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Shobha Gurung - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Shobha Gurung

Professor of Sociology | Southern Utah University


Specializes in gender and labor, comparative family and community, migration, globalization, and transnationalism, and civic engagement.


Shobha Hamal Gurung is Associate Professor of Sociology and Women and Gender Studies at Southern Utah University and the Program Director of SUU’s Nepal Studies Program. Her research focus is gender and labor; globalization, migration, and transnational studies; South Asia and international studies; and social justice and human rights. Her broad expertise on the lives of Nepali women is reflected in these publications: “Growing Up Hindu: Mapping the Memories of a Nepali Woman in the United States” (2008); “Nepali Female Migrants and Informalization of Domestic and Care Work: Service or Servitude?” (2010); “Sex Trafficking and the Sex Trade Industry: The Processes and Experiences of Nepali Women”(2014); and “Dynamics and Ramifications of US Immigration and Visa Policies: Nepali Transnational Workers, Families, and Children in the United States” (2015).

Her book Nepali Migrant Women: Resistance and Survival in America is published by Syracuse University Press in their longstanding and critically acclaimed Gender and Globalization Series. This book is a pioneer in documenting the gendered experiences of educated and professional migrant women who work in ethnically segmented labor markets in Boston and New York.

She has presented her scholarly work at the numbers of regional, national, and international conferences. Her current research project examines the socio-cultural and emotional lives of Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin in Salt Lake City and Seattle.

She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology at Northeastern University.




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Industry Expertise (4)




International Affairs

Areas of Expertise (9)

Global Civic Citizenship

Human Rights and Social Justice

Gender and Labor Studies

Immigrant, Migrant, and Refugee Community

Gender and Society

Human and Sex Trafficking

Globalization and Transnational Studies

Stratification and Intersectionality

Global Popular Culture

Education (4)

Northeastern University: Ph.D., Sociology 2003

Northeastern University: M.A., Sociology 1994

Padma Kanya College: B.A., Economics and Music 1986

Tribhuvan University, Nepal: B.A.

Accomplishments (13)

Curriculum Innovation Grant

Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning, Southern Utah University, 2018

Affiliate Faculty, South Asia Center

University of Washington, 2017

Visiting Research Scholar

East-West Center and Sociology Department at University of Hawaii, 2017

SUU Influencer Award Nomination

Southern Utah University, 2017

Distinguished Scholarly / Creative Activity Awards

Southern Utah University, 2016

Distinguished Faculty Scholarly Award

Southern Utah University, 2016

Utah Campus Compact 2014 Engaged Scholar

Southern Utah University, 2014

Achievement in Experiential Learning

Southern Utah University, 2014

Faculty Scholarly Support Fund

Southern Utah University, 2010, 2013, 2014

The Service Fellow Award

Southern Utah University, 2010

Labor, Migration, and Gender Conference Travel Grant

The University of Illinois-Chicago and the Ford Foundation, March 2010

The Ford Foundation Research Grant

University of Illinois, Chicago, Summer 2009

T-Birds Award for Professor of the Year

Southern Utah University, 2009

Affiliations (16)

  • SUU Women and Gender Studies Board (Co Chair)
  • Research Committee 32: Women and Society (International Sociological Association)
  • United Nations Economic and Social Council
  • American Sociological Association (ASA)
  • International Sociological Association (ISA)
  • Phi Beta Delta (PBD)
  • International Sociological Honor Society (AKD)
  • Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS)
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP)
  • Pacific Sociological Association (PSA)
  • Nepali Women Global Networks (NWGN)
  • Asian American Association (AAA, Sub-section of the ASA)
  • Race, Class, and Gender (RCG, Sub-section of the ASA)
  • The Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative (NEJRC)
  • Multicultural Environmental Leadership Development Initiative (MELDI)
  • Nepali Women Global Networks (NWGN)

Languages (3)

  • Nepali
  • Hindi
  • Urdu

Media Appearances (2)

University to Honor Professors/Staff at Graduation

The Spectrum  online


Southern Utah University will be honoring 13 of its outstanding educators on Saturday during graduation ceremonies for their commitment to student success inside and out of the classroom.

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Student Presents at UN Parallel Event on Gender Equality

SUU News  online


Southern Utah University senior, Sarah Pirzada, was the lone undergraduate student who presented at the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at United Nations Headquarters, a co-sponsored event through the Sociologist for Women and Society (SWS) on March 10.

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Articles (2)

Sex Trafficking and the Sex Trade Industry: The Processes and Experiences of Nepali Women

Journal of Intercultural Studies

Over the past decade, girls' trafficking and the sex trade industries have intensified in contemporary South Asian nations, particularly in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. The sex trafficking of Nepali girls and women into Indian brothels has been widely discussed on both local and global levels. In this paper, I examine cases of Nepali girls and women who were trafficked and sold into Indian brothels and illustrate how trafficking of girls and women has occurred within the intersections of larger structural conditions and micro level factors.

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Nepali Female Migrants and Informalization of Domestic Care Work: Service or Servitude?

Scholar Works UMB

Shobha Hamal Gurung

Nepali female migrants are among the fastest-growing immigrant workforces in the South Asian community, particularly in service and domestic work in big cities of the United States. However, there has not until now been a study investigating the work experiences of Nepali immigrants/migrants employed in the service and domestic sectors in these cities. This article investigates the work experiences of Nepali female migrants who work in service and domestic/child care work in Boston and New York, focusing on examining the type and nature of women's work, labor practices, work and living conditions, women's experiences and views about their work, and their responses to labor policies.

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Courses (8)

SOC 1010 - Introduction to Sociology

Designed to give students a foundation for all future sociological studies. Develops an understanding of the role of social organization on human interaction. Introduces definitions, terms, and concepts used in sociological literature.

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WGS 2010 Introduction to Women and Gender Studies

The course explores women’s and gender experiences/issues from interdisciplinary perspectives while acquainting students with the major theories and debates of feminist and gender scholarship.

SOC 3200 Global Popular Culture

Using general theories of the nature of social and cultural structures, this course provides a sociological analysis of everyday American culture. Examining popular culture such as print, media, television, sport, and other aspects of a consumer-driven culture helps understand prevailing values and anticipate changing norms and behaviors.

SOC 3220 Human Trafficking

This course explores the types, causes, and consequences of human trafficking from sociological perspectives. In particular, it focuses on labor and sex trafficking from local to global contexts.

SOC 3370 Gender and Society in Global Perspectives

An introduction to the field of gender studies with a focus on sex-role behavior from several theoretical perspectives. Emphasis is on recent sociological research as well as cross-cultural and historical analysis of women and men in society.

WGS 4010 - Women and Gender Studies Internship

This internship synthesizes concepts of women and gender studies into a final research, service-learning, and/or international project.

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SOC 4500 Global Issues in Sociology

Global issues in sociology addresses the globalization of cultures and societies. We will explore global events along with the trends and issues that are contributing to international inequalities. Specifically, the course focuses on the global impact of the culture of capitalism. This includes capitalism and the nation-state, population growth, hunger, poverty, disease, exploitation of the environment, and the changing status of indigenous groups through a global economy. The emphasis of this course will be developing a global perspective of the contemporary world. The course will consider the interrelations between imperialism, colonialism, post-colonialism, regionalism, and globalism.

SOC 4890 - Sociological Internship

Practical experience in sociology. No more than six (6) credit hours will be applied to one’s major, three (3) to a minor; remaining credit hours will be counted as elective hours outside the major or minor.

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