Experts Exchange
Contact Information
Phone: 310 825 2974
Fax: 310 206 9844
contact: Prof. Russell C. Leong
Prof. David K. Yoo
Mission of the
U.S./China Media
and Communications
Program at UCLA

Our mission is to create, promote, and disseminate a more balanced understanding of the interrelationship of the countries, peoples, and cultures of the United States and China through the tools of mass communication and public education.

Four strategic areas make up the U.S.-China Media and Communications Program, housed at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Experts Exchange: Yoon Park
Yoon Jung Park
University of Johannesburg

Dr. Yoon Jung Park is currently a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Sociological Studies at the University of Johannesburg and the convener/coordinator of the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) International Research Working Group. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 2006 for a PhD thesis on Chinese South African identities in the apartheid and post-apartheid eras. Her dissertation was published by Jacana Media, Pty., under the title: “A Matter of Honour. Being Chinese in South Africa” (September 2008) and co-published in the US by Lexington Books (April 2009).

Her current research interests include Chinese in Africa (as well as perceptions of Chinese by local communities and social & political mobilization of anti-Chinese sentiment); migration; race, ethnicity & identity; race, class & power dynamics; and xenophobia. In a previous life, she did work on gender and gender-based violence in the US and South Africa; consulted on rural community development projects; and worked in arts & culture with the Smithsonian Institution.

In keeping with her inter-disciplinarity, Dr. Park also holds an MA from the Fletcher School in International Relations with an emphasis on comparative and development politics and Latin America (Tufts University, Boston, MA, with an MA thesis on the demise of the PRI in Mexico) and a BA from Pitzer College in Sociology and Women’s Studies (Claremont, CA with a BA thesis on violence against women). She did additional coursework at UCLA and Colby College. She speaks English and Spanish (yes, Spanish) fluently; some basic Korean (of the kitchen variety); and very rudimentary Kiswahili and isiZulu. She can also understand a bit of French, Portuguese and Italian.

Dr. Park is married and has an 8-year-old daughter (born in Nairobi, Kenya). Park was born in Seoul, Korea; grew up in Los Angeles, CA; and has lived in Africa (Johannesburg and Nairobi) since 1995. She has also lived, for brief periods, in Cuernavaca, Mexico; Boston, MA; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Washington, DC. (AND, she did a stint as an intern at the Asian American Studies Centre while she was an undergrad at Pitzer College, about a million years ago!)


The Chinese in Africa/Africans in China International Research Working Group

[keywords: Chinese, Africa, racial profiling, migrants, working group]

Events in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Lesotho over the last few years indicate that the Chinese have become targets of increasing anti-Chinese sentiment, especially led by opposition political parties and civil society groups for different ends. In South Africa, perceptions that those who look Chinese carry on them large sums of cash appear to have resulted in a sort of racial profiling by South Africa's criminal element as well as corrupt police and other government officials/

Simultaneously, African traders and other entrepreneurial business people have been making their way to China in increasing numbers over the last few years. They are bypassing Chinese traders acting as middlemen in Africa and going directly to wholesalers as well as producers/manufacturers in China. However, very little is also known about these transient and settler communities that are bridging the continents through exchange of goods and money, but also through dispersal of cultural knowledge.

Read more "The Chinese in Africa/Africans in China International Research Working Group"