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Ming-Cheng Lo

Ming-Cheng Lo


2269 SS&H

Office Hours for Winter 2015 :

  • W 1:10-3 pm


  1. Ph.D. University of Michigan


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Civil society and social movements
  • Health and illness experiences
  • Sociology of culture
  • Comparative-historical sociology

Current Research Projects

  • “Immigrant Patients and Culturally Competent Healthcare”: Drawing on in-depth interviews with policy makers, primary care physicians, 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. At a theoretical level, the project addresses two broad issues. It offers an understanding of the everyday “medical consciousness” of ordinary people. The project also contributes to understandings of “immigrant habitus.” (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.

Selected Publications

  • Ming-Cheng M. Lo. “Conceptualizing ‘Unrecognized Cultural Currency’: Bourdieu and Everyday Resistance among the Dominated,” forthcoming in Theory and Society 44, 2015.

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

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

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Research Spotlight

Article Reference Sex and School: Adolescent Sexual Intercourse and Education (Social Problems, 58(2):213--234. 2011) McCarthy, B and Grodsky, E

Article Reference The Enduring Significance of Racism: Discrimination and Delinquency Among Black American Youth (Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(3):662--676. 2011) Martin, MJ, McCarthy, B, Conger, RD, Gibbons, FX, Simons, RL, Cutrona, CE, and Brody, GH

Article Reference Patriarchy, Resources, and Specialization: Marital Decision-Making Power in Urban China (Journal of Family Issues, 34(7):885--917. 2013) Shu, X, Zhu, Y, and Zhang, Z

Article Reference Regulating Sex Work: Heterogeneity in Legal Strategies (Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 8:255--271. 2012) McCarthy, B, Benoit, C, Jansson, M, and Kolar, K