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Jacob Richard Thomas (唐龙）is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. In 2020 he obtained his Ph.D from the Department of Sociology at University of California, Los Angeles. After serving as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University’s Center on Contemporary China during the 2020-2021 academic year, he joined the CUHK Department of Sociology in September of 2021. Dr. Thomas’s main research interests are international migration/mobility/travel, social stratification, sociology of law, economic sociology, mixed methods research, and U.S.-China relations. His early research projects at University of Chicago drew on political theory to both normatively and empirically critique migrant-receiving country-centric perspectives of international migration merely as “immigration” and comparatively and historically analyze why the national sources of immigrants coming from Canada and Australia diversified so rapidly in the 1960s to 1980s. At University of California, Los Angeles, his Ph.D dissertation “The Denied, the Deterred and the Disenchanted,” surveyed over 2,500 individuals in Mainland China (the Non-Migrant Survey or NS) to explain why many might-have-been-migrants instead are either denied visas, deterred from applying at all, or went abroad to immigrate and then become disenchanted with the prospect and returned to their country of origin. He has expanded this project into a six-chapter book he is preparing to submit to academic presses. In addition, while a graduate student training in a diverse range of methods he completed many other migration- and travel-related papers that employ multilevel modeling regression, ethnographic methods, social network analysis, online survey experiments, quasi-experimental time series designs, computational analysis of social media text, interpretive analysis of artwork, and formal mathematical modeling, summaries of which one can find on his website. At Princeton he led a collaborative project with Lemeng Liang at Peking University, Sonoda Shigeto at Tokyo University, and Yu Xie at Princeton University to assess to the extent to which COVID-19 has impacted how unfavorably 13 OECD nationalities view both China and the United States in 2020 and also how the specific ways COVID-19 transformed their lives was associated with such increasingly unfavorable views. With Associate Professor Xi Song at University of Pennsylvania he also has begun co-authoring a book, Misperceived, about how (un)acceptable people in China view distinct types of inequality within different types of media. At CUHK, Dr. Thomas is currently designing a new research project examining how Hong Kong residents that threaten to emigrate from Hong Kong and yet remain are different from those that actually emigrate as China’s influence over Hong Kong has increased in recent years, raising implications for how the composition and character of Hong Kong will change demographically in the future.
- International migration/mobility/travel
- Sociology of law
- Mixed methods research
- US-China relations
Thomas, Jacob and Min Zhou, “Ethnic Entrepreneurship and Its Transnational Linkages,” in Brenda Yeo and Francis Collins, Handbook On Transnationalism. Routledge, 2022
Jacob Thomas, Lemeng Liang, Shigeto Sonoda, and Yu Xie, 2021, “Shingata Korona wuirusu wa sekaino taichu/taibei ninsiki wo ikani kaetaka? (How did COVID-19 change Global Views of China and US?)” in Shigeto Sonoda and Yu Xie eds., Sekai no Taichu Ninshiki: Deta de saguru sono tokucho to henka (Global Views of China: Empirical analysis of their trends), University of Tokyo Press, December 2022
Thomas, Jacob. “From local control to remote control: an excavation of international mobility constraints.” Theory and Society 50, no. 1 (2021): 33-64.
Thomas, Jacob. “Reflecting upon the Impact of the United States’ 2016 Election and Travel Ban: Why Might Fewer Foreign Businesspeople, Tourists, Students, and Relatives Be Visiting the United States?.” S. Cal. Interdisc. LJ 29 (2019): 619.
Thomas, Jacob. “How COVID-19 Can Inspire to Change Society of the Better in the Long Run (If We Take It Seriously)”, Op-Ed in Special issue of Contexts on covid-19 and the future of society, 2020
Thomas, Jacob. “When Political Freedom Does Not Offer Travel Freedom: The Varying Determinants of Visa‐Free Travel Opportunities.” International Migration 58, no. 2 (2020): 80-97.
Thomas, Jacob and Kjerstin Gruys, 2014, Entry on “Class.” Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumer Studies.
- SOCI 3231 Qualitative Research
*American Sociological Association
*Population Association of America
*International Chinese Sociological Association