Research in the dictionaryThe UCSC Sociology Department faculty research interests fall into one or more of these three areas:

  • Political Economies and Political Ecologies

  • New Studies of Inequality

  • Culture, Knowledge, and Power

Steven McKay
  • Pronouns he, him, his, his, himself
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
    • Director, UCSC Center for Labor Studies
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Sociology Department
    • Center for Labor Studies
    • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Affiliations College Nine, Community Studies Program, Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas
  • Phone
    831-502-7331 (office)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Rachel Carson College Academic Building, 318
  • Office Hours by appointment
  • Mail Stop Rachel Carson College Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Sociology, Labor and Social Movements, Immigration, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Globalization, Gender Studies
  • Courses SOCY 15 World Society: Origins and Consequences of Globalization, SOCY 139T Community Engaged Research Practicum, SOCY 176A Work and Society, SOCY 188A Social Change in Global Economy, SOCY 205 Graduate Field Methods, SOCY 220 Global Transformations, SOCY 229 Ethnographies of Work and the Work of Ethnography

Research Interests

Labor and labor markets, political sociology, globalization, migration, racial formation, masculinity, Southeast Asia, community-engaged research.

Biography, Education and Training

2001 - Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1996 - M.A., Southeast Asian Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1989 - B.A., Political Economy of Industrial Societies, University of California - Berkeley


Honors, Awards and Grants


  • 2022. Koret Mentor Award, Koret Scholars Undergraduate Research Program, UCSC
  • 2019. Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching, UCSC Division of Social Sciences

  • 2017. Community Hero, United Way of Santa Cruz County, Community Assessment Project

  • 2015.  Community Game Changer Award, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County
  • 2012. UC Santa Cruz Chancellor's Achievement Award for Diversity.
  • 2011. Visiting Senior Research Fellowship at the National University of Singapore, Asia Research Institute, Migration Studies Cluster.
  • 2010.  Teaching: Award for Universal Design in Instruction from the University of California – Santa Cruz’s Disability Resource Center. 


  • 2022-23. UC Community Links Grants Program - project: "We Belong Too" - co-PI Regina Langhout - $25,000
  • 2022. UCSC Office of Research Seed Funding for Early Stage Initiatives - project: "Lost Stories of Asian American Labor: Research & Planning for an Integrated Exhibit of Arts and Oral History from the Pajaro Valley" - co-PI: K. Gutierrez $38,000
  • 2021. Collaborative Projects Grant, Arts Research Institute, UCSC. Project: Watsonville is in the Heart: Art & The Oral History Archive - $5,000
  • 2020. UC Collaborative to Promote Immigrant and Student Equity. Project: We Belong: Collaboration for Community-Engaged Research and Immigrant Justice - $10,000
  • 2019. Student Fee Advisory Committee, UCSC, Project: We Belong: Collaboration for Community-Engaged Research and Immigrant Justice - $45,000
  • 2018. Service Employees International Union, Local 251, Project: “Affordable Housing Research Project” - $15,000
  • 2016. Student Success Initiative Grant, University of California Office of the President,Project: “Community Engaged Research Practicum” - $100,000
  • 2016. Engaging Humanities Project Grant, 2016-17, University of California Humanities Research Institute. Project: “No Place Like Home: Voices and Visions of the Housing Crisis in Santa Cruz County” - $27,000
  • 2015. John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Culture, Andrew Mellon Foundation. project title: "Non-citizenship". CO-PIs: C. Ramirez, J. Poblete, S. Falcon and F. Amaya Shaeffer. $178,000.
  • 2014-2015. Engaging Humanities Public Humanities Project Grant,  University of California Humanities Research Institute Project: “Working for Dignity:  Rural-Urban Stories in a Changing California.” $20,000.

Selected Publications


Edited Books

  • 2021. Precarity and Belonging: Labor, Migration, and Noncitizenship, Rutgers University Press, co-edited with Catherine S. Ramírez, Juan Poblete, Sylvanna M. Falcón, and Felicity Amaya Schaeffer. 
  • 2012. New Routes for Diaspora Studies. Indiana University Press. Co-edited with S. Banerjee and A. McGuinness.

Contributions to Books

Journal Articles/Reports

Selected Presentations