Hung Cam Thai

Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies; Chair of Sociology
With Pomona Since: 2001
  • Expertise


    Hung Cam Thai teaches courses on immigration, Asia, and Asian American issues at Pomona College. Dr. Thai published a book on Vietnamese international marriages in 2008, and a second book on money in low-wage transnational families in 2014.

    He's currently working on an ethnographic/interview-based project on "measurements of worth" in contemporary Vietnam, focusing on how people use different criteria to draw boundaries between them and others to signal status and social worth.

    Research Interests

    • International marriages
    • Low-wage, transnational families
    • Status boundaries

    Areas of Expertise


    • Immigration
    • Vietnamese Diaspora
    • Marriage Markets
    • Children of Immigrants
    • Contemporary Asian American Issues
    • Vietnam
    • Urban Life
    • Transnationalism
    • Ethnography
  • Work


    Insufficient Funds: The Culture of Money in Low-Wage Transnational Families (Stanford University Press, 2014)

    For Better or For Worse: Vietnamese International Marriages in the New Global Economy (Rutgers University Press, 2008)

    "Special Money in the Vietnamese Diaspora." Invited publications in Transpacific Studies. Edited by Viet Nguyen and Janet Hoskins. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press (2014).

    "The Dual Roles of Transnational Daughters and Transnational Wives: Monetary Intentions, Expectations, and Dilemmas." 2012. Global Networks no. 12 (2):216-232.

    “Transitional Masculinity in Contemporary Vietnam.” Invited for publications in Southeast Asian Masculinities. Edited by Lenore Lyons and Michelle Ford. New York and London: Routledge (2012).

    "The Legacy of Doi Moi, The Legacy of Immigration" Reconfiguring Families in Contemporary Vietnam. (D. Belanger, ed., Stanford University Press, 2009)

    “Money and Masculinity among Vietnamese Low Wage Immigrants in Transnational Families.” 2006. International Journal of Sociology of the Family. v. 32, n. 2, 247-271

    Featured Work

  • Education


    University of California, Berkeley

    Master of Arts
    University of California, Berkeley

    Bachelor of Arts
    University of Florida

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Global Asia/Asia America
    • Immigration & Second Generation
    • Introduction to Sociology
    • Qualitative Research Methods
    • Senior Seminar in Sociology
    • Summer Reading & Research in Sociology
    • Contemporary Asian American Issues
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    The Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professorship at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 2019-2020

    Best Book in the Social Sciences Award for Insufficient Funds from the Association for Asian American Studies, 2016

    Best Book on Transnational Asia Award for Insufficient Funds from the Asian America/Asia Section of the American Sociological Association, 2015

    Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Sociological Association, 2012

    Senior Faculty Fellowship, Institute for East Asian Studies, Berkeley, 2012

    Senior Scholar Fellowship at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 2009

    John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation Faculty Fellowship, 2008

    Freeman Foundation Research Fellowship, 2006

    Pacific Rim Research Grant, 2005

    The Hewlett Foundation Research Fellowship, 2000