Professor Song joined the University of Kent, after completing her PhD at the London School of Economics (1996), MSW at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and her BA at Harvard University (1986). After graduating from university, she worked for a few years for a newspaper, and in a women’s homeless shelter in New York City.
Professor Song’s research interests include ethnic identity, ‘race’ and ‘mixed race’, racisms, migration (in its many forms) and immigrant adaptation. Over the years, she has been involved in British, European and North American research networks, including IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion), the American Sociological Association, and the British Sociological Association.
Professor Song’s most recent book, 'Multiracial Parents: Mixed Race Families, Generational Change, and the Future of Race', was published in September 2017. She is also the author of 'Mixed Race Identities' (co-author with Peter Aspinall), 'Choosing Ethnic Identity', and 'Helping Out: Children’s Labor in Ethnic Businesses'. She has also co-edited a number of books.
Professor Song was the Guest Professor in Memory of Willy Brandt at the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM), in Malmo, Sweden, in Autumn 2013, where she gave a series of research seminars. In Autumn 2017, she was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York.
Professor Song's current research project, 'Racial Identities and Life Choices among Mixed-Heritage People in the United States', is funded by the Russell Sage Foundation.
This project is carried out in conjunction with Carolyn Liebler (University of Minnesota). As interracial unions and multiracial people are becoming more ordinary in the US, how important are racial and ethnic backgrounds to people with mixed racial heritage and their families? Thus far, while many studies have investigated the identifications of multiracial people, no studies in the US have examined their racial identifications, spousal choices, and their upbringing of their children. In this innovative study, they use their complementary research skills and parallel research interests to understand three intertwined aspects of the lives of mixed-heritage individuals from three distinct racial backgrounds using both qualitative interviews and quantitative analyses of census data.
They ask: How does a person’s race and ancestry responses link to their choice of spouse and the racial identification of their children? Does the answer to this question vary by location in the United States? Does it vary across different mixed-heritage groups?
Professor Song teaches modules on the subject of race and racism at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Professor Song welcomes independent, motivated students. If you have a proposal within her research areas, please email her to discuss further.
Editorial board membership
Professor Song is on the editorial board of the following refereed journals: