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Victor Tan Chen is an associate 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.

Chen’s previous book, written with Katherine S. Newman, was The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America, one of the top-selling sociology books of recent years, which was named by Library Journal as one of the Best Business Books of 2007. Chen’s work has been featured in the Atlantic, the New York Times, BBC News, Next Question with Katie Couric, the Leonard Lopate Show, Newsday, Times Higher Education, Viewpoints, With Good Reason, Bill Moyers Journal, the Boston Globe, C-SPAN’s Book TV, and NPR. He is also the editor in chief of In The Fray, an award-winning magazine devoted to personal stories on global issues. Chen received his PhD and BA from Harvard University and was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He has given talks at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cornell University, MIT, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago, and he has been interviewed by news outlets in the U.S. and abroad.

With Jesse Goldstein, Chen is currently working on a new book on entrepreneurship and its relationship to the labor market.

[Pronunciation note: Chen’s middle name is pronounced like the color “tan.”]

Featured In

Chen’s work has been featured in or honored by:

Victor Tan Chen's work featured In: The New York Times, NPR, BBC News, The Boston Globe, Bill Moyers Journal, C-SPAN's Book TV, Zócalo Public Square, Library Journal, Labor and Employment Relations Association

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For more details, including his CV, check out the media kit.