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Victor Tan Chen is an associate professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies economic inequality. He is the author of Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy, a study of long-term unemployment in America and Canada. For his work on Cut Loose, Chen received the John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Chen’s latest book, co-edited with Katherine K. Chen (no relation), is Organizational Imaginaries: Tempering Capitalism and Tending to Communities through Cooperatives and Collectivist Democracy, a peer-reviewed collection of cutting-edge scholarship on worker cooperatives and other decentralized and collectively owned enterprises. Organizational Imaginaries received the Joyce Rothschild Book Prize from the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. Chen is also the author of The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America, written with Katherine S. Newman, named by Library Journal as one of the best business books of the year.

Chen’s work has been featured in the Atlantic, the New York Times, BBC News, Fortune, Next Question with Katie Couric, the Leonard Lopate Show, the Associated Press, 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, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme, 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.