Staff profile

Dr Sung-Hee Lee

Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy

Sung-Hee Lee


Social Sciences


College of Business, Law and Social Sciences


Criminology and Social Sciences

Research centre

Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre, Better Society




One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



I am a Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy within the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Derby. 

Teaching responsibilities

Leading modules

Research interests

My research focuses on social policy in East Asia, specifically, gender analysis regarding childcare policy development and its effect on working women’s care conditions in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. I am keen to influence and subsequently change working women’s life experiences, particularly where there are enduring and pervasive cultural gender ideologies, discriminatory assumptions and social injustices, not only in the practise of informal care but also in the workplace. I grew up in a Confucian oriented family that has a clear gender ideology determining who is deemed to be: ‘a good daughter’, ‘a good wife’ and ‘a good mother’.

Consequently, I have been drawn to understanding the ways in which the element of gender intersects with social class and working cultures and have applied her academic rigour to these problems. Currently, many countries are faced with further complexities brought about by race and ethnicity, owing to the growing numbers of migrant workers entering the care labour market. My research aims to show how the intersectionality of gender ideologies can be challenged by bringing gender forward for consideration in the political arena to impact on women’s experiences in care work, for the better.

My international research profile is reflected in my excellent publishing record to date. I have brought my international recognition, with invitations from governmental research institutes and universities in South Korea, Japan as well as from within the UK. For example, I presented my research at the Korea Women’s Development Institute (KWDI) in Seoul where governmental researchers and key experts in the field of childcare policy in South Korea were in attendance.

I was subsequently invited to work on a governmental research project submitted to ‘The Presidential Committee on Ageing Society’ under President Moon Jae-in, in May 2019. Additionally, I have produced two more collaborative governmental research projects working with the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (2020) and the City of Seoul (2017).

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

International experience

International research collaboration:

I am currently holding a research grant awarded by the Academy of Korean Studies (Grant no. AKS-2021-R018). During this research project, I am aiming to investigate the recent childcare policy reform - free childcare in South Korea (called ‘Moo-sang Boyuck’ in Korean) - and to assess the impact on socializing childcare. 

I am also currently working with Professor Hajime Takeuchi (Bukkyo University, Japan) and Professor Anneli Ivarsson (Umeå University, Sweden) with an international research collaboration focused on child poverty and health care programmes in three different countries; Japan, Sweden, and the UK.

Additional interests and activities

Referee for Journals 

Editorial Board Membership 

External examiner at the University of Hull, UK

In the media

Recent publications

Peer-reviewed publications:

Book sections: