Chien-Juh Gu

Photo of Chien-Juh Gu
Chien-Juh Gu
Professor of Sociology
(269) 387-5243
3217 Sangren Hall, Mail Stop 5257
Mailing address: 
Department of Sociology
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5257 USA
  • Ph.D., Sociology, Michigan State University
Teaching interests: 
  • Medical sociology
  • Research methods
  • Social psychology
  • Sociology of gender
Research interests: 
  • Gender and immigration
  • Gender and mental health
  • Self and social identity

Dr. Chien-Juh Gu is Professor of Sociology at Western Michigan University. She specializes in gender, social psychology, and immigration. Gu has received numerous awards and grants. She is the first winner of the Gender Scholar Award at WMU. She also received, among other recognitions, the Junior Scholar Grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and the Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award from WMU. On students’ nomination, she received a 2015-16 College of Arts and Sciences’ Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching. She also received a 2016-17 College of Arts and Sciences’ Faculty Achievement Award in Research and Creative Activity.

Dr. Gu was a finalist for the internationally renowned Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research. Her research was featured in the WMU College of Arts and Sciences Magazine. Gu recently received the U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award to Austria for the academic year 2024-25.

Gu has published two books and numerous articles. In her first book, Mental Health among Taiwanese Americans: Gender, Immigration, and Transnational Struggles (2006, LFB), Gu examines how immigration history, gender, and social relations affect Taiwanese Americans' mental health. She provides a novel sociological theory to explore the complex dimensionality of social structure, identity, and well-being. She also offers a refined concept of agency.

Gu's second book, The Resilient Self: Gender, Immigration, and Taiwanese Americans (2018, Rutgers University Press), is the first book to discuss self in the study of gender and immigration. It is also the first book to document everyday racism encountered by highly educated immigrant women. Based on 45 life-history interviews and seven years of ethnographic observations, Gu illuminates the complexity of multi-faceted connections of gender, immigration, work, family, culture, race and ethnicity, citizenship, and the self as they are manifested in varied ways during the process of adaptation and in women's lived experiences. The book was featured at the 2018 International Sociological Association RC32 Women, Gender, and Society as a publication that makes significant contributions to sociology with a focus on women.  

Gu’s recent research examines Burmese Christian refugees’ social adaptation and refugee entrepreneurship in the United States. She is working on her third book, From Religious Minority to Racial Minority: Burmese Christian Diaspora in Michigan.

Gu is the faculty advisor for the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society.