2021-22 Moon Family Postdoctoral Fellow in Korean Studies

Ji Hye Kim has studied cultural, cognitive sociology and social psychology in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Iowa. Her works specifically focus on the values and beliefs of South Koreans from a cross-cultural perspective. In her doctoral dissertation, “The Structure of Culture: Cross-Cultural Investigation of Shared Beliefs”, she takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining social cognition connected to social stratification and culture. To identify how individuals perceive the world differently based on their values and life goals, she utilizes latent classification methods to analyze primary and secondary data (survey and survey experiment) from both South Korea and the US. The findings show heterogeneous cultural logics among Koreans and also define the similarities and differences in the logics between Koreans and Americans. This dissertation further underscores how different cognitive patterns of beliefs are associated with educational, political, and religious outcomes, varying across stratification in the two societies. To expand the scope of cross-cultural investigations, one of her recent papers, published in Social Indicators Research (2021), examines how subjective social class is socially constructed in the comparison of Korea and other East Asian societies. Before joining the current program, Ji Hye received her BA in Sociology from Korea University (Seoul, South Korea), MPhil in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), and MA in Sociology from the University of Iowa.