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Hee Eun Kwon

Global Exchange Fellow
EducationPhD Candidate, UC San Diego

Hee Eun Kwon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California San Diego where she investigates temporary migrants' stratified sense of belonging in the Persian Gulf. In her current book project and dissertation, entitled Performance of Cosmopolitanism: Temporary Migrants and their Sense of Belonging in Dubai, Hee Eun uses 32 months of immersive and extended ethnography in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to explore cosmopolitanism as a social performance that conceals systems of categorical inequality.

Using a dramaturgical lens, this project explores how temporary migrants interactionally resolve the contradiction of policies that celebrate cosmopolitanism and liberal tolerance to continue attracting migrant workers, but also enforce illiberal hierarchical inequalities that prevent their settlement. In doing so, this work offers an in-depth and often personal insight into temporary migrants’ everyday lives that deviate from the conventional paradigms of assimilation/integration.

Driven by her passion to bridge her research with her teaching, Kwon is also a Graduate Teaching Consultant at UC San Diego's Engaged Teaching Hub where she works to collectively build antiracist and equity-focused teaching excellence.