Dr Sung-Hee Lee

Sung Hee Lee

Position: Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy

College: College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Department: Law, Criminology and Social Sciences

Subject area: Social Science

Research Centre: Centre for Society, Religion and Belief

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Sung-Hee is 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

  • Researching Society 1: Methods and Analysis
  • Researching Society 2: Qualitative Approaches
  • Sociology Independent Study
  • Patterns of Inequality
  • Society, Government, & Policy

Research interests

Sung-Hee's research interests are based on a comparative study across East Asian societies entitled ‘Gender Politics and the Socialisation of Care in East Asian Countries: South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan’. Since she completed her PhD thesis entitled ‘The Impact of Gender Politics on the Socialisation of Care in South Korea’, in 2014 at the University of Bath in the UK, she has been continuing to develop her work to incorporate other East Asian countries.

With generous financial support from the College Research Fund at the University of Derby, she was able to complete the first fieldwork phase in South Korea in June last year (2015) and in Japan in June last year (2016), with the aim being to finish her last one in China and Taiwan in the following year 2018. She believes that this rich information gathered through in-depth interviews with key policy makers in these countries enables her to explore further the nexus between gender politics and the socialisation of care.

Membership of professional bodies

  • FHEA (Fellow of Higher Education Academy)


  • PG Cert Higher Education, University of Derby
  • PhD in Social Policy, University of Bath, UK
  • MPhil and MA in Social Policy, Chung-Ang University, South Korea
  • BA in Social Welfare (Social Work and Social Policy), Hoseo University, South Korea

Recent publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • 2017, 'The socialization of childcare and a missed opportunity through path dependence: the case of South Korea', Social Politics, 24(2), pp.132-153
  • 2016, 'Has childcare become less of a burden in South Korea? Exploring the nature of pre- and post-reform childcare provision’, Asian Journal of Women’s Studies, 22(04), pp.414-442. 
  • 2013, A Study on the Curricula of Social Welfare in the UK Universities and their Content Analysis, Korean Journal of Social Welfare Education, Vol. 24, pp.53-80 (co-author).
  • 2011, the current coordinates of the Korean care regime. Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, Vol. 27(2), pp.143-154 (co-author).
  • 2008, Comparison of Divergent Response in Welfare State Restructuring focused on Childcare Policy, Journal of Critical Welfare, Vol.26, pp.77-123. (IN KOREAN) 

Book section

  • 2018, Family Allowances in UK. In: Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs., ed. Social Security Systems in UK, KIHSA and Nanam, Sejong: South Korea (IN KOREAN)
  • 2014, the Curricula of Social Welfare in UK Universities and the Implications for Korean Social Welfare Education. In: Hyun, Y-S., ed. Globalisation and Social Work Education, Korean Council of Social Welfare Education, Seoul: South Korea (IN KOREAN).

Recent conferences

  • 2017, Socialisation of care and gender politics, The 8th Expert Round Table Discussion 9 August at Korean Women's Development Institute, Seoul: South Korea (With Invitation)
  • 2017, A comparative study of the impact of gender politics on the socialisation of care: South Korea and Japan, The 14th East Asian Social Policy Annual Conference 2-3 August at Nagoya University, Nagoya: Japan
  • 2017, The Socialsiation of  care in South Korea and Japan: Social Investment and Gender Politics, Workshop on Social Investment Policies in Europe and East Asia, 6-7 July at University of Leeds, Leeds: UK (With Invitation)
  • 2016, The socialisation of childcare and a missed opportunity through gender politics: the case of South Korea, Post-graduate research seminar, 28th May at Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo: Japan (With Invitation)
  • 2016, The impact of gender politics on the socialisation of childcare in Japan, 13th East Asian Social Policy Annual Conference 1-2 July at Ewha Womans University, Seoul: South Korea
  • 2015, The Socialisation of care and gender politics in East Asian countries. 11th Social Security International Academy Conference, 12-13 September 2015 at SUNGKYUNGWAN University, Seoul: South Korea
  • 2015, The Lost Translation of 'gonggongsung' regarding Childcare Reform in South Korea: The Socialisation of care through the Lens of Gender Politics, East Asian Social Policy Annual Conference, 30-31st July 2015 at the National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • 2014, Has Childcare Become Less of a Burden in South Korea? Exploring the nature of pre and post reform childcare provision, In: Seminar 3 of the ESRC International Research Seminar Series: Child Maintenance: International Perspectives & Policy Challenges, 27th June 2014, University of York, York: UK
  • 2013, The UK University Curriculum Content and Development on the Education of Social Work and Social Policy, Korean Council on Social Welfare Education, 27th September 2013, Seoul: South Korea
  • 2013, The Characteristics of Gender Politics in the Reform of Child Care Policy in South Korea, Social Policy Association Annual Conference,  8th-10th July 2013, Sheffield University, Sheffield: UK
  • 2012, The Analytical Framework of Socializing Care: Through the Lens of Gender Politics, East Asian Social Policy & Social Policy Association Joint Conference, 16th- 18th July 2012, University of York, York: UK.

Experience in industry

Government research experience

Sung-Hee is currently involved with a research project entitled 'Social Security Systems in the UK', organised by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, which is an affiliate of the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences in South Korea.

She was involved as a research associate on a central government project run by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in South Korea entitled ‘Family Day Care’ in European countries, mainly the UK, France and Belgium (from Feb 2007 to Aug 2008). This project provided her with extensive experience in conducting qualitative interviews with policy makers, representatives from non-governmental organisations as well as practitioners in each country. She was also involved as a research assistant with a local government project in South Korea entitled ‘Accreditation System Indices in Elderly Care Services’ (from Sep to Dec 2005). She was responsible for managing large scale surveys probing conditions in elderly care facilities in Seoul and subsequently analysing the survey data sets using SPSS including: analysis of variance (ANOVA), correlation and regression analysis. 

International experience

International research collaboration

Sung-Hee is currently working with Professor Hajime Takeuchi (Bukkyo University, Japan) and Professor Anneli Ivarsson (Umeå University, Sweden) in an international research collaboration focused on Child Poverty and Health Care Programmes in four different countries, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and UK. 

Sung-Hee's involvement in one of the government research projects above led her to work on an international project as a research associate (from Feb 2007 to Mar 2011); the East Asian Database Project, which aimed to establish comparable quantitative data sets recording social care services and informal care provision in East Asian countries. For this initiative she was responsible for data collection regarding Korean long-term care insurance and the informal care burden of caring for elderly people within the family.

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