You are here: Home / People / Ming-Cheng Lo

Ming-Cheng Lo

Ming-Cheng Lo


2269 SS&H

Office Hours for Spring 2017 :

  • Spring 2017: Thursdays 2:10-4pm


  1. Ph.D. University of Michigan


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Health and illness experiences
  • Immigration
  • Sociology of culture
  • Civil society and social movements

Current Research Projects

  • “Immigrant Patients and Culturally Competent Healthcare”: Drawing on in-depth interviews with policy makers, primary care physicians, RNs, and Mexican and Vietnamese immigrants in California, I examine how policy makers and healthcare professionals develop notions of “culturally competent healthcare.” The study further analyzes how the state’s and professions’ categories of cultural competence are operationalized and transformed by front-line healthcare professionals. In addition, I trace how immigrant patients make sense of clinical encounters and develop their own coping mechanisms. This project contributes to our understandings of how immigrants succeed or fail in their institutional negotiations, and how "street-level bureaucrats" facilitate or inhibit these efforts. More broadly speaking, this research draws on and extends Bourdieu's notion of cultural capital. (Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the ASA/NSF Advancement of the Discipline Grant.)
  • “Cultures of Civil Society”: This study focuses on how political cultures develop in two marginalized, newly democratized societies in East Asia: Hong Kong and Taiwan. Based on a dataset of 376 political cartoons that my co-authors and I collected, this project has generated several articles. Beyond reporting empirical findings about these two places, this project engages with the theoretical literature on the paths of young, non-Western civil societies.
  • "Contending Visions for Post-Disaster Reconstruction": My co-authors and I are starting a new project on how disaster survivors consolidate visions for community rebuilding through interactions -- and sometimes contentions -- with NGOs and government agencies. We focus on how different types of civic engagement shape the debates and outcomes of community reconstruction. We also examine how survivors draw upon local cultural repertoires, while also create new rituals, symbols, or narratives, to make sense of their sufferings and articulate their subjectivities. We are conducting comparative ethnographic research in Taiwan and Japan, in the areas afflicted by Typhoon Morakot and the 3.11 earthquake-tsunami, respectively. (Funded by the CCK Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and the UC Pacific Rim Research Program.)
  • “Handbook of Cultural Sociology”: I recently co-edited The Handbook of Cultural Sociology (with John R. Hall and Laura Grindstaff; Routledge 2010). The Handbook contains 65 chapters that address various topics on the cultures in and of the transnational lifeworlds. We are currently working on the second edition of the Handbook.

Selected Publications

  • Ming-Cheng M. Lo and Emerald Nguyen. “Caring and Carrying the Cost: Hispanic Nurses’ Challenges and Strategies for Working with Co-ethnic Patients,” in New Immigrant Labor Market Niches (an issue of The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences), forthcoming.

1283 Social Sciences & 
University of California, 
One Shields Avenue 
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-0782 phone
(530) 752-0783 fax

Map and Additional Contact Information

Make a Gift

Giving matters at UC Davis. For more than a century, donors have been helping the university address the issues that matter most to California, the nation and the world.  The Department of Sociology is dedicated to achieving excellence. Your gift can help.

Make a gift