The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Miliann Kang

Associate Professor

Miliann Kang

W469 South College

Miliann Kang is associate professor in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she is also affiliated faculty in Sociology and Asian/Asian American Studies. Her book, The Managed Hand: Race, Gender and the Body in Beauty Service Work (2010, University of California Press) addresses gendered processes and relations in immigrant women’s work focusing on Asian-owned nail salons. It won four awards from the American Sociological Association (Sections on Racial and Ethnic Minorities; Sex and Gender; Race, Gender, and Class; and Asia/Asian America) and the Sara Whaley book prize from the National Women’s Studies Association. She is currently researching work-family issues for Asian American women, and the racial politics of mothering. Her research has been supported by the American Association of University Women, the Ford Foundation, the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston, the Labor Relations and Research Center at UMass Amherst and the Social Science Research Council. She received her Ph.D. from New York University and her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University.


“Are Second-Generation Korean American Women Tiger Mothers? Strategic, Transnational, and Resistant Responses to Racialized Mothering.” In Pyong Gap. Min and Samuel Noh, eds. 2014.

Second-Generation Korean Experiences in the United States and Canada. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 227-247. 2013.

“Reinventing Dirty Work: Immigrant Women in Nursing Homes.” Co-authored with Lucy Fisher, University of California San Francisco, in Flores-González, Nilda, Anna Romina Guevarra, Maura Toro-Morn, and Grace Chang. Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age. Urbana, IL; University of Illinois Press. 164-185. 2013.

“’What Does a Manicure Have to Do With Sex?’: Racialised Sexualisation of Body Labour in Routine Service Work,” in Wolkowitz, Carol, editor. Body/Sex/ Work: Intimate, Embodied and Sexualised Labour. London: Palgrave. 160-174. 2010. 2010.

“Manicuring Intimacies: Inequality and Resistance in Asian-Owned Nail Salons,” in Intimate Labors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Care, Sex, and Domestic Work, Eileen Boris, and Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, eds. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. 217-231. 2010.

“Writing Bodies and Emotions into the Study of Gender, Work and Immigration.” In Fenstermaker, Sarah and Nikki Jones, eds. Sociologists Backstage: Answers To 10 Questions About What They Do. New York: Routledge. 63-72. 2007. “Why Do People Get Tattoos?.” Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds. 6:1: 42-47. Co-authored with Katherine Jones.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Reproducing Race, Sexuality and Citizenship
  • Asian American Feminisms
  • Feminism, Buddhist Thought and Contemplative Practices
  • Issues in Feminist Research
  • Body Politics
  • Gender and Difference:  Critical Analyses
  • Issues in Feminist Research