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Kimberly Hoang

sociology department

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

McGuinn Hall 406
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-1293

Curriculum Vitae*


Scholarly Interests

Global Sociology, Immigration, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Political Economy, Qualitative Research Methods, Asia and Southeast Asia

Academic Profile

Kimberly Hoang is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies at Boston College. She joined BC in 2013 following a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rice University in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities at the Center for the Study of Women Gender and Sexuality and the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

She received her Ph.D. in 2011 from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and in 2012 she won the American Sociological Association Best Dissertation Award for her dissertation titled, New Economies of Sex and Intimacy in Vietnam.

Dr. Hoang is currently working on two book projects. The first book, Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies in Global Sex Work (forthcoming with the University of California Press), is a monograph that draws on 22 months of ethnographic research between 2006-2007 and 2009-2010 where she worked as a bartender and hostess in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The book analyzes four different bars that cater to wealthy local Vietnamese men and their Asian business partners, overseas Vietnamese men living in the diaspora, Western businessmen, and Western budget travelers to illustrate how the sex industry is central to Vietnam's economic development by helping to attract foreign direct investments, overseas remittances, and charity-money into the local economy.

The second book project, Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisioning New Solutions, is an edited collection commissioned by Open Society that she is the lead editor on with Professor Rhacel Parrenas. This volume expands the literature on human trafficking through the lens of migration and forced labor. A focus on forced labor avoids conflating trafficking with prostitution, and calls attention to the susceptibility of a wide range of migrant workers (agricultural, construction, factory, and domestic), to understand the structures and systems that render migrant workers vulnerable to human trafficking.

She is interested in the links between changing political economies and intimacy, globalization and transnationalism, and gender and migration. She has written and published academic journal articles in Gender & Society, The Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and Sexualities as well as news articles for BBC on the global sex industry in Vietnam.


SOCY5518 - Participant Observation
SOCY5530 - International Studies/ Senior Seminar: Globalization and Migration


2012 American Sociological Association Best Dissertation Award
New Economies of Sex and Intimacy in Vietnam

2010 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow



Hoang, Kimberly Kay. Forthcoming. Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendency, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies in Global Sex Work. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Hoang, Kimberly Kay and Rhacel Parrenas. 2014. Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Migration and Forced Labor. New York: International Debate and Education Association (IDEA). (Commissioned and Funded by Open Society).

Select Articles and Chapters

2014. “Competing Technologies of Embodiment: Pan-Asian Modernity and Third World Dependency in Vietnam’s Contemporary Sex Industry,” Gender & Society. (DOI: 10.1177/0891243214523122)

2013. “Transnational Gender Vertigo,” Contexts 12(2): 22-26. [Feature Article]

2013. “Performing Third World Poverty: Racialized Femininities in Sex Work,”  
The Kaleidoscope of Gender, edited by Joan Spade and Catherine Valentine, Thousand Oaks:  Sage Publications, Inc 4th Edition.

2011. “She’s Not a Low-Class Dirty Girl!’: Sex Work in Ho Chi Minh City,” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 40(4): 367-396. [Lead Article]

2010. “Economies of Emotion, Familiarity, Fantasy, and Desire: Emotional Labor in Ho Chi Minh City’s Sex Industry,” Sexualities 13(2): 255-272.


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