Angela Yoonjeong McClean 

Welcome! My name is Angela Yoonjeong McClean. I am a Postdoctoral Associate in East Asian Studies and Lecturer in Sociology at Yale University. Previously, I was a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan's Nam Center for Korean Studies. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2021. At UCSD, I was a San Diego Fellow and a researcher at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS).

My broad research interests include international migration, forced migration, transnational and global sociology, law and society, social movements, and Asian/Asian-American Studies. 

In my dissertation and book project, I study state and societal responses to asylum claims and refugee inflows, focusing particularly on South Korea, a rich Asian democracy that is part of the "Global North" but hosts an exceptionally low number of refugees in its territory relative to its Western counterparts. In complicating the traditional narratives that elusively point to the “exclusionary national identity” as the source of Korea’s restrictiveness towards refugees, I show how the Korean bureaucratic and judicial agencies adjudicating asylum claims make it nearly impossible for asylum-seekers to win their cases. 

My research has appeared in International Political Sociology and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, as well as public outlets like 9Dashline and The Conversation. My work has been funded by the Korea Foundation, the Academy of Korean Studies, and UCSD's organized research unit fellowship through CCIS.

Prior to UCSD, I worked as Associate Director at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and Program Manager at the U.S.-Korea Institute at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. I received my A.M. in Regional Studies - East Asia from Harvard University, and a B.A. in East Asian and American Studies (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Wellesley College. 

Please email me at if you have any questions.