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Yu-Ri Kim

Graduate Student

Yu-Ri Kim received her BA in sociology from Seoul National University in 2008 and her MA in sociology from Chung-Ang University in 2014. She specializes in gender and sexuality, aging and the life course, cultural practices, and social stratification. She is committed to uncovering how intimacy emerges as a realm of reshaping social inequalities.

She is currently finishing her dissertation based on the three-year-long fieldwork on South Korea’s “daylife” partner-dance scene for older men and women. By drawing on the multi-sited ethnography of the commercial venues that offer intimate opportunities, as well as archival research and in-depth interviews, her dissertation examines how older individuals situate intimacy within the broader impact of demographic aging, coinciding with increasing individualization. Her dissertation, titled "Economies of Intimacy in an Aging World: Aging Individuals and the Commodification of Intimacy in South Korea," received support from the Association for Asian Studies, the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies, and Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, & Public Policy. She recently received two awards: (1) 2022 Graduate Student Paper Award, the Sports, Leisure, and the Body Division, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, (2) 2022 Best Paper Award, Graduate Student Research and Publication Workshop, Institute for Korean Studies, George Washington University. Her graduate study was funded by Fulbright Scholarship.

While completing her dissertation, she is currently serving as a research assistant at the Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings (GetPreCiSe). In this NIH-funded project, she is conducting collaborative research on how the cultural imagination of genetics interplays with the social dynamics of race, gender, and class.

Her previous research examined the classed construction of intimate desirability by Chinese international undergraduate students in the US South.