About Us

Project Aim

The aim of our project, led by Dr Sung-Hee Lee (Principal Investigator), Professor Sun-Hee Baek, Professor Alex Nunn, Professor Stephen Farrall, Dr Bak-Ne Im, and Dr Yoon Irons, is to establish and develop a sustainable collaboration of researchers focusing on social policy toward families in the UK and South Korea.

The project focuses on four areas of expertise:

  • Social care

  • Children’s wellbeing

  • Crime desistance

  • Technological innovations and artistic and cultural participation

The Team

Dr. Sung-Hee Lee (Principal Investigator)

Dr Lee is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Derby. Sung-Hee is currently leading the ESRC Research Networking Project as a PI, which aims to establish and develop a sustainable collaboration of researchers in the UK and South Korea, focusing on social policy and families. She is also commencing a research project, funded by the Academy of Korean Studies, aiming to investigate the recent childcare policy reform in South Korea and assess the impact of socialising childcare among working mothers in South Korea. Sung-Hee is keen to influence and subsequently change working women's care experiences, particularly where there are enduring and pervasive cultural gender ideologies, discriminatory assumptions and social injustices, not only in the practice of informal care but also in the workplace. Her international publication record is reflected in Government & Opposition, Social Policy & Society, Social Politics and Asian Journal of Women's Studies, including other collaborative governmental research projects working with Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, Korea Women's Development Institute and the City of Seoul.

Prof. Sun-Hee Baek (Co-Investigator)

Sun-Hee is a Professor at the Department of Social Welfare at Seoul Theological University in South Korea and the Chairperson of the Korean Academy of Family Social Work. She is also a policy advisor for the Presidential Committee on Ageing Society and Population Policy, and is a former President of the Korea Institute of Child Care and Education, a national policy research institute set up under office of the Prime Minister. She has served as an advisor at the Presidential Committee on Aging and the Future Society and the Vice President of the Korea Academy of Social Welfare.

Prof. Alexander Nunn (Co-Investigator)

Prof. Nunn's current research agenda focuses on three inter-related areas: (1) the way in which household strategies interact with institutions and social conditions to reproduce inequalities over time; (2) political and public attitudes to inequality and (3) the way that labour market policy and implementation shapes the reproduction/mitigation of inequalities. Current externally funded work includes two UK research council projects on social Policy in the UK and South Korea, a project on using arts and Virtual Reality Films to improve social work and foster care professional work for children in care and research for the IDB to evaluate the quality of labour market policy implementation in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Prof. Stephen Farrall (Co-Investigator)

Prof. Farrall is a criminologist with an interest in the later stages of individuals' offending careers. His previous work has included studies of the fear of crime as well as the relationship between politics and crime. Currently, he is a Professor of Criminology at the University of Nottingham and a Honorary Professor of Criminology at the University of Sheffield.

Dr. Bakne Im (Co-Investigator)

Dr Im holds a master’s degree from Chung-Ang University in South Korea, where her dissertation analyzed the factors influencing persistent and repeated homelessness of homeless youths. As a social worker, Bak-Ne has experiences in youth counselling and case management in the youth and school welfare field. Bak-Ne also studied at Humanities and Social Science departments in Paris Dederot University (Université Paris 7), writing her master’s degree on the educational rights of undocumented migrant workers’ children in Korea. Dr Im received her doctoral thesis with an analysis of multiculturalism in modern day Korea through the changes in the legal and social status of three generations of Koreans with mixed-race backgrounds (Korean-Japanese from the Japanese Colonial Period, mixed-race children of American soldiers post-Korean War, and the children of people who migrated to Korea for marriage). After returning to Korea early last year, she has been participating as a researcher and advisor at Korea Labour & Society Institute, National Centre for the Rights of the Child, and the Presidential Committee on Ageing Society and Population Policy on projects concerning families, children and labour policies in France. Bak-Ne is currently a BK21(Brain Korea 21 Programme) postdoctoral researcher at Chung-Ang University’s Department of Social Welfare.

Dr. Yoon Irons (Co-Investigator)

Yoon is an Associate Professor of Arts for Health and Wellbeing at University of Derby. Yoon was born and grew up in Pusan, South Korea and studied and worked in Germany and Australia. Her background is music therapy, and as a researcher, she developed and evaluated group singing interventions for people living with long-term health conditions, such as Parkinson’s, chronic pain and cystic fibrosis. Currently, at Derby, Yoon teaches research methods, PhD students and leads research projects. She also enjoys singing in the University choir and conducting staff orchestra.

Institutional Partners

University of Derby (UK)

Located in the heart of England, the University of Derby offers industry-relevant, expert teaching, from foundation and undergraduate degrees to postgraduate study and research. The University has a long and proud heritage of using our knowledge and innovation to support the prosperity of the city and region. Derby is an applied research University that places research at the heart of our curriculum, demonstrates positive impacts for society and works with industry to drive business growth. Find out more.

Chung-Ang University (South Korea)

Seoul Theological University (South Korea)

Korean Academy of Social Work (South Korea)