Bio and CV
Eunsil Oh (Harvard Sociology PhD) is a sociologist and is currently a lecturer and post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, following which she will join the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Asian Languages and Cultures.
Broadly, Eunsil's scholarship examines gender, family, labor market, cultural meanings, education, and social movements. Her dissertation project, Defining Female Achievement: Gender, Class, and Work in Contemporary Korea, is a study of how women define achievement and success in an age of shifting gender-role ideologies and of job insecurity. Analyzing over 100 in-depth interviews of mothers with young children living in urban Korea, this study examines three important events throughout their life course including marriage, employment after motherhood, and childrearing and then assesses how gender and class shape women's work decisions and their definitions of what makes life worth living. Contributing to the literature on women’s work, her dissertation project interrogates the intersections of gender, class, and nationalism—what it means to be a Korean woman, daughter, and mother —and the conditions under which disparities in women’s lives widen over the life course. This study also extends the family literature by exploring how families influence the process of which women create their identities and define a worthwhile life. Lastly, she critically intervenes in the social mobility literature by making salient women’s experiences and identifying the role of the mother-daughter relationship in the production and reproduction of social class.
Eunsil is one of core researchers in the comparative project on Fertility (U.S., Spain, Sweden, Korea, and Japan) led by Mary C. Brinton. Relying on in-depth interviews with highly educated men and women who range in age from 25 to 35, her work with Mary Brinton demonstrates how the rigid labor-market structure and the culture of overwork in Japan and Korea not only reproduce gender inequality in workforce participation after parenthood but also lower couples’ aspirations to have children. First round of interviews was conducted in 2012. From 2019, follow-up interviews will take place to explore how couples went through the transitioning process related to employment, parenthood, and division of labor. Also, as a postdoctoral scholar, Eunsil is exploring how MeToo movement emerged in East Asia.