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Jia-Lin Liu International Education PhD Student

Jia-Lin Liu

International Education PhD Student

Name: Jia-Lin Liu

Email: jalin.liu@nyu.edu

Program: International Education

Research Interests: immigration and education, undocumented immigrant families, racial and ethnic inequality, family and social stratification

Principal Advisor(s): Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, Philip Kasinitz (CUNY Graduate Center), Robert C. Smith (CUNY Graduate Center), Lisa M. Stulberg, Niobe Way, Hirokazu Yoshikawa

Dissertation Title: “Beyond Model Minority: social class, face, and understandings of education among transnational undocumented and mixed-status Chinese immigrant families”

Research Description/Bio:

Jia-Lin is a doctoral candidate whose research focuses on how current theoretical understandings of social class are inadequate to describe the experiences of immigrants. Building on work that examines social class transnationally and literature that centers on the stigma of being undocumented, Jia-Lin draws upon four years of ethnographic fieldwork in New York and Fuzhou, China and examines the lived experiences of undocumented and mixed-status Chinese families and their sending families. In the realm of education, as most families came from low educational attainment backgrounds in China across class, their home communities had to claim onto other forms of legitimacy. Instead of education, immigration has become the pathway to give “face” and honor to their families. However, as this immigrant group’s cultural practices and beliefs are faced with new exclusion and barriers that come from being undocumented in the US, their social class background significantly influences their acculturation and their next generation’s educational trajectories. 

Prior to coming to NYU, Jia-Lin worked as a child welfare social worker at the Center for Family Life, based in Sunset Park Brooklyn for 6 and a half years. During her time as a social worker, she provided clinical casework counseling to around 100 Chinese, Latino, and other Asian immigrant families. In addition, Jia-Lin also ran many community groups and helped the process of starting a tutoring cooperative, Sunset Scholars, which continues to flourish in the community today. Jia-Lin has also done a variety of volunteer community work that has taken her to India, China, Japan, and her home Taiwan. Jia-Lin graduated from Columbia University with her master’s degree in social work and graduated from Vanderbilt University with her bachelor’s degree in molecular cellular biology.

Selected Awards, Publications, and Presentations:

Publications: 

  • Liu, Jia-Lin, Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, Bela Rex-Kiss, Gretchen Lord, and Julia Jean-Francois. 2018. “Parents Beyond Oceans: A Social Group Work Curriculum for Chinese Immigrant Parents.” Social Work with Groups, 41(4): 291-305
  • Cherng, Hua-Yu Sebastian and Jia-Lin Liu. 2017. “Academic Social Influences and Student Expectations: The Case of Second-Generation Asian Americans.” Asian American Journal of Psychology. 8(1):16-30.  

Awards: 

  • AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship (2020-2021) 
  • NYU Shanghai’s Global Dissertation Fellowship (Spring 2020) 
  • International Chinese Sociological Association Travel Award (2018)  
  • NYU Shanghai’s Global Research Institute (Spring 2018) 
  • Steinhardt Doctoral Student Travel Fund Award (2018)
  • Shearwater Foundation Grant for Dissertation Research (2016-2020) 
  • Steinhardt Doctoral Student Fellowship (2015-2019) 

Presentations (selected): 

Liu, Jia-Lin. “Deeper Sacrifice to Save Face: Expectations for Women in Undocumented and 

Mixed-Status Chinese Immigrant Families” Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, CA (August 2020: virtual due to COVID-19) 

Liu, Jia-Lin and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, “Saving Face: A Mismatch in Educational Cultural Capital among Undocumented Chinese Immigrants in the US.” Annual meeting of International Chinese Sociological Association, New York, NY (August 2019) 

Liu, Jia-Lin and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, “Saving Face and the Educational Consequences of Children in Undocumented and Mixed-Status Chinese Families.” Annual meeting of the Comparative International Education Society, San Francisco, CA (April 2019)

Liu, Jia-Lin and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, “The Role of Saving Face in Immigration Stories of Undocumented Chinese Families.” Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Philadelphia, PA (August 2018)

Liu, Jia-Lin. “Chinese Immigrant Families in New York City.” Queens County Family Court, Cultural Competency & Asian Communities Workshop hosted by the Disproportionate Minority Representation Committee, New York, NY (May 2018) 

Liu, Jia-Lin and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, “The Role of Saving Face in Immigration Stories of Undocumented Chinese Families.” Annual meeting of the Comparative International Education Society, Mexico City, Mexico (March 2018) 

Liu, Jia-Lin. “Chinese Immigrant Families in New York: Sunset Park” Kings County Family Court, Cultural Competency & Asian Communities Workshop hosted by the Disproportionate Minority Representation Committee, New York, NY (November 2017)

Liu, Jia-Lin and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, “Saving Face and the Road to being Undocumented for Chinese immigrants in the US.” Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal, Canada (August 2017) 

Liu, Jia-Lin and Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, “Saving Face: Face Work and Downward Mobility among Undocumented Chinese Families.” Annual meeting of the Comparative International Education Society, Atlanta, GA (March 2017)

Cherng, Hua-Yu Sebastian and Jia-Lin Liu, "Academic Networks and Expectations: the Paradox of Second-Generation Asian American." Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Seattle, WA (August 2016) 

Link to Personal Website: http://sites.google.com/view/jia-lin-liu/