Dr Rebecca King O'Riain

Sociology, Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI)

Associate Professor

TSI Building
2nd Fl
(01) 708 3941


Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology with research interests in: globalization, popular culture, emotions, and technology; racial/ethnic beauty pageants (Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants - University of Minnesota Press); critical race theory; qualitative methods; interracial marriage and multiracial people (Global Mixed Race - New York University Press). Her current research explores globalized interpersonal and interactive forms of bodily culture through skin-altering practices in Asia and Europe, beauty pageants (for more on beauty pageants listen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswrld), and Asian popular culture (Korean and Japanese popular music and dramas). For a recent piece on Korean Popular Culture see: https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2021/1011/1252930-squid-game-netflix-korea-culture-society/

Research Interests

Globalization, emotions and technology; racial/ethnic beauty pageants, critical race theory; qualitative methods; interracial marriage and multiracial people, skin altering practices (beauty) in Asia and Europe, Japanese and Korean popular culture

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
H2020 travel support Rebecca King O'Riain PI 07/10/2015 07/07/2016
A-Pop: the Transcultural Wave of Asian Popular Culture PI Eochair funding application approved 01/02/2018 01/02/2019
Publication Award for 'Global Mixed Race' PI 18/09/2013 17/09/2014
The Transnational World of Japanese Popular Culture Principle Investigator Japanese Studies Fellowship 17/02/2022 18/03/2022 5000


Year Publication
2014 King-O’Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko; Small, Stephen; Mahtani, Minelle; Spickard, Paul; and Song, Miri. (2014) Global Mixed Race. : New York University Press.
2006 King-O'Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2006) Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Beauty Pageants. : University of Minnesota Press.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2022) 'Loving the Stranger: Mixed Couples and Mixed Emotions'. Simmel Studies, . [Link]
2022 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2022) '#Wasian Check: Remixing ‘Asian + White’ Multiraciality on TikTok'. Genealogy, 55 . https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy6020055 [Full-Text]
2021 King-O’Riain R.C. (2021) '“They were having so much fun, so genuinely..”: K-pop fan online affect and corroborated authenticity'. New Media and Society, 29 (3):2820-2838. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2019 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2019) 'How the Irish Became More Than White: Mixed-Race Irishness in Historical and Contemporary Contexts'. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47 (4):821-837. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 King-O’Riain R. (2018) 'What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Interracial/national Couples in Ireland'. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 39 (4):494-509. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2016 King-O'Riain R. (2016) 'Enduring or crossing distance for love? Negotiating love and distance in the lives of mixed transnational couples'. Sociological Research Online, 21 (1). [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 King-O'Riain, RC (2015) 'Emotional streaming and transconnectivity: Skype and emotion practices in transnational families in Ireland'. Global Networks, 15 :256-273. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2008 King-O'Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2008) 'Making the Perfect Queen: The Cultural Production of Identity in Beauty Pageants'. Sociology Compass, 2 :74-83. [Full-Text]
2008 King-O'Riain R. (2008) 'Target earning/learning, settling or trampolining? Polish and Chinese immigrants in Ireland'. Irish Geography, 41 (2):211-223. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2007 King-O'Riain, RC (2007) 'Counting on the ' Celtic Tiger ' - Adding ethnic census categories in the Republic of Ireland'. Ethnicities, 7 :516-542. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2000 King, Rebecca Chiyoko (2000) 'Racialization, Recognition and Rights: Lumping and Splitting Multiracial Asian Americans and the 2000 Census'. JOURNAL OF ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES, 3 :191-217. [Full-Text]
1997 King, Rebecca Chiyoko (1997) 'Multiraciality Reigns Supreme? Mixed Race Japanese Americans and the Cherry Blossom Queen Pageant'. Amerasia Journal, 23 :113-128. [Full-Text]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2019 King-O'Riain, RC (2019) 'Mixed-Race Japanese American Millennials Millennials or Japanese Americans?' In: JAPANESE AMERICAN MILLENNIALS: RETHINKING GENERATION, COMMUNITY, AND DIVERSITY. PHILADELPHIA : TEMPLE UNIV PRESS.
2019 King-O’Riain R.C. (2019) 'Public multiculturalism and/or private multiculturality?' In: Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology: Second Edition. New York : Routledge. [DOI]
2017 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2017) 'Cherry Blossom Dreams: Racial Eligibility Rules, Hapas and Japanese American Beauty Pageants' In: Hapa Japan. California : Ito Center Editions Kaya Press.
2013 Kerr A.; King-O'Riain R.; Titley G. (2013) 'Transnational media networks and the 'migration nation'' In: Migrations: Ireland in a global world. Manchester, UK : Manchester University Press.
2014 King-O'Riain R. (2014) ''Going home' to where the heart is: Mixed international families in the Republic of Ireland' In: The 'Irish' Family (Linda Connolly ed). London : Routledge. [DOI]
2016 Rebecca Chiyoko King O'Riain (2016) 'Purity, Racial' In: The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism. London : Wiley Blackwell. [DOI]
2015 Dr Rebecca Chiyoko King O'Riain (2015) 'Transkonnektiver Raum, Emotionen, und Skype: Binationale Paare in Irland' In: Die Ambivalenz Der Gefuhle. Germany : Springer.
2015 Dr Rebecca Chiyoko King O'Riain (2015) 'Multiracial' In: Keywords in Asian American Studies. New York : New York University Press. [Full-Text]
2013 King-O'Riain R. (2013) 'Transconnective space, emotions, and skype: The transnational emotional practices of mixed international couples in the Republic of Ireland' In: Internet and Emotions. London : Taylor and Francis/Routledge. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2012 King-O'Riain, RC (2012) 'Is no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama?' In: OBAMA AND THE BIRACIAL FACTOR: THE BATTLE FOR A NEW AMERICAN MAJORITY. BRISTOL : POLICY PRESS. [Full-Text]
2010 King-O'Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2010) '“The Experience of Discrimination in Ireland: Evidence from Self-Report Data”' In: Making Equality Count: Irish and International Research Measuring Equality and Discrimination. Dublin : Liffey Press. [Full-Text]
2010 King-O'Riain, Dr, Rebecca Chiyoko (2010) 'From Public Multiculturalism to Private Multiculturality' In: Handbook of Cultural Sociology. New York : Routledge.
2009 King-Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko. (2009) 'Beauty Queens' In: Encyclopedia of Women's Folklore and Folklife. Westport, CT : Greenwood Press. [Full-Text]
2008 King-O'Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2008) '“Beauty Pageants”' In: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Contemporary Asian American Issues. Westport, CT, USA : Greenwood Publishing Group.
2008 King-Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2008) 'Miss China Ireland' In: Belongings: Shaping Identity in Modern Ireland. Dublin, Ireland : Irish Public Administration. [Full-Text]
2006 King-Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2006) 'Re-Racialising the Irish State through the Census, Citizenship, and Language' In: Race and State. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge Scholars Press. [Full-Text]
2005 King-Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2005) 'Miss Cherry Blossom Meets Mainstream America:' In: East Main Street:Asian American Popular Culture. New York : New York University Press. [Full-Text]
2004 King-Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2004) 'Tracing Race to a Multiracial Majority in the Japanese American Community' In: The Politics of Multiraciality. New York : State University of New York Press.
2002 King, Rebecca Chiyoko (2002) 'Eligible to be Japanese American: Counting on Multiraciality in Japanese American Basketball Leagues and Beauty Pageants' In: Contemporary Asian American Communities: Intersections and Divergences. Philadelphia : Temple University Press.
2001 King, Rebecca Chiyoko (2001) 'Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Mapping Discussions of Feminism, Race and Beauty on Mixed Race Japanese American Women' In: The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed-Heritage Asian Americans. Philadelphia : Temple University Press.
1996 King, Rebecca Chiyoko and DaCosta, Kimberly McClain (1996) 'Changing Face, Changing Race: The Making and Remaking of Race in the Japanese American and African American Communities' In: The Multiracial Experience: Racial Borders as the New Frontier. Newbury Park, CA : Sage Publications. [Full-Text]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2015 Dr Rebecca Chiyoko King O'Riain (2015) 'Celtic Connections – Ireland’s Global Families' International Sociological Association - Global Dialogues, ISA .

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2022 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2022) They are Followers not Fans: Transpacific Asian Masculinities on TikTok (Paper) Association of Internet Researchers Dublin Ireland, 03/11/2022-05/11/2022.
2022 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2022) Hallyu Dreaming: Understandings of Race and Gender in the Western K-Drama Fandom Racial Translocalism and the Reception of Korean Popular Culture Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA, 16/11/2022-16/11/2022.
2021 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2021) Hallyu Dreaming: Understandings of Race, Class and Gender in the Western K-Drama Fandom Sponsored by the Korea Foundation Exchange Program of European Lecturers and the Association for Korean Studies in Europe University of Central Lancashire, .
2021 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2021) The Korean Wave: K-pop Yuen Campus Mini Series - The Korean Wave University of Chicago, Yuen Campus, Hong Kong, .
2021 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2021) Small Screen, Big Dreams: K-Beauty and Digital Social Media Korean Screen Cultures Conference University of Tübingen, Germany, .
2021 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2021) Korean men ruin it for you! Paper Given University College Cork, Department of Asian Studies, .
2021 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2021) Squid Game The Korean Wave Mini-Series: Dissecting Squid Game and Parasite University of Chicago, Yuen Campus, Hong Kong, .
2020 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2020) Ethnography, Sociology and K-pop Maynooth University Ethnography Winter School Maynooth University, .
2019 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2019) Is Korean Drama ‘Global TV Powered by Fans’ or Multicultural Literacy and Learning on Global Platforms? Korean Screen Cultures Conference University of Central Lancashire, .
2019 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2019) K-pop Live: Understanding VliveStreaming and K-pop Boyband Fan Service in the USA and Europe Korean Screen Cultures Conference University of Central Lancashire, .
2019 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2019) K-Pop 3.0? Understanding K-Pop Boyband Fans in the USA and Europe Departmental Seminar Speaker Trinity College Dublin, .
2019 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2019) Ethnography in Sociology Paper presented at the Maynooth University Ethnography Winter School Maynooth University, .
2018 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2018) Where is Your Hidden Grandmother Now?: Mixed-race People and Critical Mixed-Race Studies in a Post-Obama Era Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference University of Maryland, College Park, MD, .
2017 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2017) What’s Love Got To Do With It? Emotional Authority and State Regulation of Mixed Couples in Ireland Power, Intimacy and the State: Mixed Families in Europe and Beyond University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, .
2017 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2017) How the Irish Became More Than White: Mixed-race Irishness in Historical and Contemporary Contexts” Paper presented at ‘The Multiracial Family and the Mixed ‘Race’ Future of Ireland’ Conference University of Limerick, .
2016 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2016) Ethnography in Sociology: Questions for Alice Goffman and the ‘Carwash Conundrum’ Paper presented at the Maynooth University Ethnography Winter School Maynooth University, .
2015 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2015) Plastic Paddies, Citizenship Tourists and Migrants in Ireland: Will the ‘Real’ Irish Please Stand Up? Consortium for African American Research Conference Liverpool, UK, .
2015 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2015) Managing the Affairs of the Heart: Loving Practices and State Regulation of Mixed Couples and Their Children In Ireland ‘New Research Challenges on Interracial Marriage and Mixedness in Europe and Beyond’ Conference The Sorbonne, Paris, France, .
2014 King-O'Riain, Rebecca and Brian Conway (2014) The Structured PhD: Lessons from The Craft and Logics of Social Research Teaching and Learning Showcase, Centre for Teaching and Learning NUI Maynooth, .
2014 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2014) Mixed Race, Transconnectivity, and the Global Imagination Keynote address, Critical Mixed-Race Studies Conference DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, .
2014 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2014) You Have to Look Irish to be Irish: Untying Race and Ethnicity in Irish Mixed Families British Sociological Association Race and Ethnicity Study Group Conference Birmingham, UK, .
2014 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2014) Emotional Streaming and Transconnectivity: Skype and Emotion Practices by Children in Transnational Families Stockholm University Anthropology Roundtable: Social Responsibility at a Distance: Caring, Parenting and Generation in Transnational Social Space Stockholm, Sweden, .
2014 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2014) What are we Teaching Sociology PhD Students? Comments from the Frontlines of a Structured PhD Programme Sociological Association of Ireland Conference Dublin, Ireland, .
2013 King-O’Riain Rebecca Chiyoko (2013) Ethnography’s Pasts and Promises: On Disciplinary Identities and Histories in Sociology Ethnography Winter School, Department of Anthropology, National University of Ireland Maynooth Maynooth University, .

Published Report

Year Publication
2010 Titley, Gavan, Kerr, Aphra and King O Riain, Rebecca (2010) Broadcasting in the New Ireland-Mapping & Envisioning Cultural Diversity Broadcasting. Broadcasting authority of Ireland, . [Link] [Full-Text]
2006 Ying Yun Wang with Rebecca C. King-O'Riain (2006) Chinese Students in Ireland. National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, .
2006 Katarzyna Kropiwiec with Rebecca C. King-O'Riain (2006) Polish Migrant Workers in Ireland. National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, .
2001 King, Rebecca Chiyoko and Sean O'Riain (2001) Participation and Service: The Japanese American Community in Chicago. Japanese American Service Committee, .
2000 King, Rebecca Chiyoko; David Omori, Dean Osaki, and Jill Shiraki (2000) Charting Course and Shifting Direction for the Nikkei Community. Japanese American Consortium of Community Related Organizations, .
1998 Kich, George; Rebecca Chiyoko King and Larry Shinagawa (1998) Intermarriages and Hapas. Nikkei Heritage, .
1998 King, Rebecca Chiyoko and Sean O'Riain (1998) Participation and Possiblities. Japanese American Consortium of Community Related Organizations, .

Book Review

Year Publication
2011 King O'Riain, Dr Rebecca Chiyoko (2011) review of Caitríona Ní Laoire, Fina Carpena-Méndez, Naomi Tyrrell and Allen White, “Childhood and Migration in Europe: Portraits of Mobility, Identity and Belonging in Contemporary Ireland.”. [Book Review]
2010 King O'Riain, Dr Rebecca Chiyoko (2010) Review of Aoki, Andrew and Takeda, Okiyoshi. “Asian American Politics”. [Book Review]
2009 King Ó Riain, R.C. (2009) Gendered Work in Asian Cities: The New Economy and Changing Labour Markets. [Book Review]
2006 King-O'Riain, RC (2006) Colorado's Japanese Americans: From 1886 to the present. CHAMPAIGN: [Book Review]
2006 King Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2006) Review of Bill Hosokawa. Colorado's Japanese Americans: From 1886 to the Present. [Book Review] [Full-Text]
2003 King Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2003) Japanese American Celebration and Conflict: A History of Ethnic Identity and Festival 1934-1990. [Book Review] [Full-Text]
2002 Chiyoko King Ó Riain, Rebecca (2002) Relative/Outsider: The Art and Politics of Identity Among Mixed Heritage Students. [Book Review]
2001 King Ó Riain, Rebecca Chiyoko (2001) Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics. [Book Review]

Magazine Article

Year Publication
2016 Dr Rebecca Chiyoko King O'Riain (2016) Global Love on Skype. [Magazine Article]

Magazine Article

Year Publication
2021 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2021) Why is Squid Game is so Popular?. [Magazine Article] [Link] https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2021/1011/1252930-squid-game-netflix-korea-culture-society/
2020 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2020) What Parasite tells us about life in modern Korea. [Magazine Article] [Link]
2019 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2019) The Irish Angle to the Rise and Rise of K-pop. [Magazine Article] https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2019/1204/1096912-the-irish-angle-to-the-rise-and-rise-of-k-pop/
2018 Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (2018) K-pop - music, not missiles, is shaping the worldview of Korea. [Magazine Article] [Link]

Newspaper Articles

Year Publication
1999 King-Ó Riain, R.C. (1999) Defining Japanese American. [Newspaper Articles]
1997 King-Ó Riain, R.C. (1997) Taking the Beauty Out of Beauty Pageants. [Newspaper Articles]

Technical Publication

Year Publication
1998 Kich, G., King-Ó Riain, R.C. and Shinagawa, L. (1998) “Intermarriages and Hapas” Nikkei Heritage. [Technical Publication]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2023) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
American Sociological Association member -
Sociological Association of Ireland member -
Association of Asian American Studies member -
World Association of Hallyu Studies Ireland - regional president -
TikTok Cultures Research Network Key Regional Leader -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/01/2021 Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship Grant Japan Foundation
01/07/2020 Maynooth University Teaching Award Maynooth University
01/01/2021 Teaching Hero Award National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Union of Students in Ireland
01/01/2003 IRCHSS Postdoctoral Fellowship Trinity College Dublin


Employer Position From / To
University of San Francisco Assistant/Associate Professor 03/09/1995 - 01/01/2004


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
University of California Berkeley PhD Sociology


Client Description
Broadcasting Association of Ireland

Outreach Activities

Organisation Type Description
RTE Brainstorm Civic Society K-pop - music, not missiles, is shaping the worldview of Korea
Irish Museum of Modern Art Civic Society Global Love on Skype

Teaching Interests

Critical Race and Ethnic Ireland, Structures of Inequality, Research Methods, Research Design for PhD Students, Race/Ethnicity, Social Worlds of Children, Beauty and Popular Culture