She spent 10 years interviewing actors in Hollywood, she only speaks Mandarin to her daughters and she grew up having G.I. Joe and Gilligan's Island as her babysitter. Nancy Yuen, associate professor of sociology, is more interesting than any of the five young-adult novels she’s currently reading.
Growing up, Yuen’s television babysitter made her wonder why actors of color were unequally represented in the entertainment industry. It wasn’t until a scheduling conflict in her undergraduate years forced her to take a sociology class that her eyes were opened to the “institutional and systemic processes behind the inequality” she had experienced in her own life and witnessed in the world around her.
The Intro to Sociology class would be the only sociology class Yuen would take during her undergraduate years, but it sparked an intense desire in her to explore the subject further. Starting in graduate school at UCLA, Yuen spent a decade studying and analyzing the entertainment industry to see how actors of color were typecast in Hollywood.
Now, in her fifth year of teaching at Biola, Yuen is combining her passion for film and for sociology by offering a “Visual Sociology” class where students can get a hands-on opportunity to learn about media in society.
Here’s your chance to get to know her.