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Nadia Young-na Kim

Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies, Loyola Marymount University
Chapter Member: Los Angeles Unified SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Nadia

Kim's research focuses on US race and citizenship inequalities, Los Angeles (e.g., 1992 LA Unrest), immigrant women activists, environmental racism, and comparative racialization. Throughout, Kim’s approach centers (neo)imperialism, transnationality, and intersectionality, including citizenship. Kim is the author of the multi-award-winning Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to LA and the new book, Refusing Death: Immigrant Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice in LA (Stanford University Press, 2021).


What Americans Need to Know about the Korean War

In the News

"2018's Most Diverse Cities - Ask the Experts," Nadia Young-na Kim, Wallet Hub, May 3, 2018.
Nadia Young-na Kim's research on the influence of Hollywood on Korean ideas of racism discussed by Sandra Song, "The Meaning behind ‘Black Panther’s’ Massive Success in Asia," NYLON, March 20, 2018.
"She Doesn’t Negotiate with North Korea: “Angry Korean Lady” Explains ," Nadia Young-na Kim, Racism Review, January 27, 2018.
"LA Riots: After the Smoke Settled, Blacks and Korean-Americans Faced Contrasting Realities ," Nadia Young-na Kim, Interview with Austin Cross and A Martinez, Take Two, 89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, April 28, 2017.
Interview on the history of Korean-American migration Nadia Young-na Kim, Korea and the World, August 30, 2016.
"Still Not Doing the Right Thing: Black-Asian American Relations," Nadia Young-na Kim, Racism Review, May 25, 2015.
"Fresh Off the Boat: The Asian American Race Conversation We Never Had," Nadia Young-na Kim, Racism Review, May 19, 2015.
Nadia Young-na Kim quoted on the conflation of Asians and Asian-Americans by Justin Chan, "It's Not Easy Being Asian-American" MIc, December 31, 2013.
Interview on her book, Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to LA Nadia Young-na Kim, New America Media, July 10, 2009.
"Why Kim Jong Il Jokes Aren't Funny," Nadia Young-na Kim, Racism Review, June 16, 2009.
Nadia Young-na Kim's research on Korean-American public opinion on the environment discussed by Ngoc Nguyen, "Asian Americans Strong Environmentalists, Poll Finds ," New America Media, May 27, 2009.
"Never Perfect," Nadia Young-na Kim, Interview with Regina Park, Single Drop Films, July 20, 2007.


"Racing to LA's Future," Forecast LA: Preparing for the Future of the Region, Loyola Marymount University, April 19, 2017.

Evaluates survey data on inter-group views among Los Angeles racial/ethnic communities, comparing current survey data with data from the 1990s recorded in the aftermath of the 1992 riots.

"'Success is Relative': Comparative Social Class and Ethnic Effects in an Academic Paradox" (with Christine J. Oh). Sociological Perspectives 59, no. 2 (2016): 270-295.

Compares in-depth interview data of middle-class Korean American and Mexican American college students who have realized a similar academic outcome (university enrollment) to ascertain what shapes the two groups' almost completely divergent definitions of success.

"Race-ing towards the Real South Korea: The Cases of Black-Korean Nationals and African Migrants" in Multiethnic Korea? Multiculturalism, Migration, and Peoplehood Diversity in Contemporary South Korea, edited by John Lie (University of California Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies, 2015), 211-243.

Examines the social locations and the views of Black Koreans in South Korea to gain intellectual traction on how they are treated by the nation-state and how they interpret and act in response.

"Campaigning for Obama and the Politics of Race: The Case of California, Texas, and Beyond" in Race in the Age of Obama, Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, Volume 16, edited by Donald Cunnigen and Marino Bruce (Emerald Publishers, 2010), 247-266.

References the author's experience working for Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign where she found that the oft-invoked "Muslim" or "not-American" epithets in Texas revealed a citizenship-based racism usually reserved for Asian Americans and Latinos being used against a Black American.

"Critical Thoughts on Asian American Assimilation in the Whitening Literature" in Racism in Post-Racism America: New Theories, New Directions, edited by Charles A. Gallagher (Social Forces, 2008), 53-66.

Problematizes the forecast that Asian Americans are "whitening," arguing that Asian groups have been racially subordinated along lines of citizenship even if many of them have not been subordinated in the same way as blacks along color and socioeconomic lines.

Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to LA (Stanford University Press, 2008).

Analyzes how America's post-World War II expansion into Asia introduced racial inequalities and ideologies that shaped future immigrants' understandings of both their own group and of the White-over-Black U.S. order. 

"A Return to More Blatant Class and 'Race' Bias in US Immigration Policy?" Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 4, no. 2 (2008): 469-477.

Examines the class and race biases in recent immigration policies and their level of severity.