Dr Huiyan Fu

Senior Lecturer
EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Dr Huiyan Fu
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 874462

  • Location

    EBS.3.16, Colchester Campus



Trained as a social anthropologist, I have conducted considerable interdisciplinary and cross-national comparative research on precarious work and social inequalities in Japan, China and beyond. In particular, I am interested in how gender and other social stratification variables (such as employment and marital status, age, rural-urban provenance, class, sexuality and body shape) combine to create distinct modes of discrimination in work, employment and wider society. During my doctoral research, I embarked on yearlong ethnographic fieldwork inside Japanese business organisations, with the aim of exploring Japan’s female-dominated temporary agency workers’ everyday experiences. My doctoral thesis became my first book entitled An Emerging Non-Regular Labour Force in Japan: The Dignity of Dispatched Workers (Routledge 2011, 2015). Subsequently, I published an edited volume on Temporary Agency Work and Globalisation (Routledge 2015), which is interdisciplinary in approach and international in scope. My work has also appeared in journals such as Human Relations, Gender & Society and British Journal of Industrial Relations. Among most recent research outputs is an edited book on Temporary and Gig Economy Workers in China and Japan: The Culture of Unequal Work (Oxford University Press 2023), which explores how core cultural values impinge on the iniquitous patterns of precarious work and its surrounding institutions ranging from state policy and legislation to industrial relations and social welfare. By bridging culture and institutions and combining macro-level structural scrutiny and micro-agency empiricism, this book aims to bring a more integrated and nuanced understanding of unequal work, with a view to casting fresh light on social change in a wider post-pandemic world. I am interested in supervising PhD projects addressing the following broad topics: * Social anthropology of Japan and China * Precarious work, gig economy and social inequality * Gender, sexuality and power in the workplace * Cross-national comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary pressing work & employment issues


  • PhD (DPhil), MPhil, Social Anthropology, University of Oxford,

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Managing Across Cultures (BE469)

  • Employment Relations in Context (BE478)

  • Strategic Human Resource Management (BE733)

  • Professional and Academic Development (Management and Marketing) (BE909)

  • Independent Study Project: Management/Marketing (BE938)


Journal articles (7)

Fu, H., (2021). Social action as ‘a total social phenomenon’: Comparing leadership challenges facing community-based labour organisations in China and Japan. Human Relations. Online (9), 1396-1420

Fu, H., Su, Y. and Ni, A., (2018). Selling motherhood: Gendered emotional labour, citizenly discounting, and alienation among China’s migrant domestic workers. Gender and Society. 32 (6), 814-836

Fu, H., (2016). From ‘Entering into a Firm’ to ‘Entering into a Profession’: An Anthropological Approach to Changing Personhood in Japan. British Journal of Industrial Relations. 54 (3), 552-573

Fu, H., (2013). Flexibility or inequality: The political debate on dispatched workers in Japan. Critical Discourse Studies. 10 (3), 312-326

Fu, H., (2013). Fragmented Work in Post-Bubble Japan: Negotiating Identity, Gender, Age, and Class in Triangular Employment Relationships. Anthropology of Work Review. 34 (1), 27-38

Fu, H., (2011). Anthropologising the complexity of leadership: a holistic understanding of cross-cultural context. International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management. 1 (4), 395-395

Fu, H., (2011). The bumpy road to socialise nature: sex education in Japan. Culture, Health & Sexuality. 13 (8), 903-915

Books (3)

Fu, H., (2023). Temporary and Gig Economy Workers in China and Japan: The Culture of Unequal Work. Oxford University Press. 9780192849694

Fu, H., (2016). Temporary Agency Work and Globalisation Beyond Flexibility and Inequality. Routledge. 1317046269. 9781317046264

Fu, H., (2011). An Emerging Non-regular Labour Force in Japan The Dignity of Dispatched Workers. Routledge. 0203806867. 9780203806869

Book chapters (6)

Fu, H., Introduction: The culture of unequal work: Temps and giggers in China and Japan. In: Temporary and Gig Economy Workers in China and Japan: The Culture of Unequal Work. Editors: Fu, H., . Oxford University Press

Fu, H., (2023). Old and new inequalities: Citizenly discounting and precarious work in a changing China. In: Temporary and Gig Economy Workers in China and Japan: The Culture of Unequal Work. Editors: Fu, H., . Oxford University Press

Fu, H., (2020). Employment regulation and practices: The production and consumption of non-regular work. In: Routledge Handbook on Contemporary Japan. Editors: Takeda., H. and Williams, M., . Routledge. 266- 277. 9781138668614

Fu, H. and et al., (2018). The Future of Work – Good Jobs for All. In: Rethinking Society for the 21st Century: Volume 1, Socio-Economic Transformations Report of the International Panel on Social Progress. Editors: IPSP, . Cambridge University Press. 255- 312

Fu, H., (2016). Introduction: Temporary Agency Work and Globalisation. In: Temporary Agency Work and Globalisation: Beyond Flexibility and Inequality.. Routledge. 1- 15

Fu, H., (2016). Conclusion: Beyond Flexibility and Inequality.. In: Temporary Agency Work and Globalisation: Beyond Flexibility and Inequality. Editors: Fu, H., . Routledge. 205- 209

+44 (0) 1206 874462


EBS.3.16, Colchester Campus