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Sirin Sung

Photo of Sirin Sung
Sirin Sung

BA (South Korea), MA, PhD (Nottingham)
Lecturer in Social Policy
Room 1.17, 3 College Park East
Ext. 3469; E-mail: 

My main research interest include gender and social policy, gender and employment, work-life balance policies, care workforce, gender and benefits, and East Asian Welfare State. In my PhD thesis, I examined the issue of gender and the welfare state - Confucian gender regime in South Korea. In particular, I focused on the issue of working women reconciling paid and unpaid work, and to what extent government policies have an influence on the experience of those women.

From 2003 to 2005, I was involved in various research projects in Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester. My research in Manchester was mainly focused on gender and employment issues in England; gender inequalities in different sectors, tension between providing and accessing childcare for childcare workers, two-tier workforces in homecare and childcare.

From 2005 to 2006, I have involved in a research project funded by ESRC - Within Household Inequalities and Public Policy – in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, the University of Oxford. This is a multi-methods research, using qualitative, quantitative research methods, and policy simulation. In this research, I have mainly explored the qualitative part of research, by interviewing low to moderate income couples in Britain. The qualitative part of research aims to identify policy-relevant factors influencing gendered division of power. It also aims to identify indicators of intra-household division of power and wellbeing; suggest possible distributional factors to test; and investigate gendered impact of recent potential policy changes in benefits/tax credits/labour market policy.

In 2010, I was awarded the Leverhulme Study Abroad Fellowship and this includes research on ‘gender and the welfare state in the UK and US: work-family balance issues’. The research has been carried out at the Northeastern University in Boston, USA from September to December 2010.

Teaching  and Research Interests

Gender and social policy, Social security policies, Welfare theories, gender and employment policies, East Asian Welfare state, Work-family balance policies in Europe, East Asia, and USA.


Sung, S. (2003) 'Women reconciling paid and unpaid work in a Confucian welfare state: The case of South Korea' Social Policy and Administration, Vol.37, No.4, August, pp. 342-360.

Sung, S. and Bennett, F. (2007), 'Dealing with money in low-moderate income couples: Insights from individual interviews', in Clarke, K. and Maltby, T.(eds.) Social Policy Review 19, The Policy Press.

Cox, A., Sung, S., Hebson, G. and Oliver, G. (2007), 'Applying union mobilisation theory to explain gendered collective grievances: Two UK case studies', Journal of Industrial Relations, Sage.

Carroll, M., Smith, M., Oliver, G., and Sung, S. (2009), "Recruitment and Retention in Front-line Services: The case of childcare" Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 19, pp. 59-74.

Bennett, F. De Henau, J. and Sung, S. (2010), "Within-household inequalities across classes? Management and control of money" Inequalities in the 21st century: new barriers and continuing constraints, pp.78-98, Edward Elgar.

Sung, S. and Guerreiro, M.D.D. (2011) "Standardisation or diversity in European Welfare regime? The case of Work-Family Policies in the UK and Portugal", Diversity, Standardisation and Social Transformation, pp. 77-95, Ashgate.

Sung, S. and Pascall, G. (eds), (forthcoming 2012), Gender and Welfare state in East Asia: Confucianism or Equality?, Palgrave.

Bennett, F., De Hanue, J., Himmelweit, S., Sung, S. and Sutherland, H. (2010), "Inequality within households: who holds the purse strings?, Britain in 2010, Annual magazine of the economic and social research council, Economic and Social Research Council"

A contributor to the 'International Encyclopedia of Social Policy' (2006) edited by Tony Fitspatrick, Huck-ju Kwon, Nick Manning, James Midgely and Gillian Pascall, Routledge.