Victor Tan Chen
(Sociology & Social Policy, May 2012)
Thesis Title: Meritless: Unemployed Autoworkers, the Social Safety Net, and the Culture of Meritocracy in America and Canada
Committee: William Julius Wilson (Chair), Katherine S. Newman, and Bruce Western
Initial Placement: National Science Foundation and American Sociological Association postdoctoral fellow, the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment and the Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley (2012‐2014)
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Victor Tan Chen is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies economic inequality. Chen’s latest book is Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy. Based on his research on long-term unemployment in America and Canada, Cut Loose examines how recent changes in the economy and culture are affecting laid-off workers in the auto industry and elsewhere. It also looks at what we can do to improve the situation for those who have lost out in today’s new economy. For his work on Cut Loose, Chen received the 2017 John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association.