Thompson Rivers University

Jennifer E. Shaw

Name: Dr. Jennifer E. Shaw
Position: Assistant Teaching Professor
Affiliation: Sociology & Politics


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Jenny Shaw (she/her/hers) is a cultural anthropologist, multimodal ethnographer, and creative facilitator. She completed her PhD in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University in early 2018. Her teaching is interdisciplinary, having taught a range of courses as a lecturer at SFU in Sociology, Anthropology, and Labour Studies. She continues to build bridges between anthropology and its kindred disciplines by teaching in Sociology and Politics at TRU. She offers a particular focus in her courses on cross-disciplinary ethnographic research and investigations into precarity and persistence in everyday life.

Jenny's teaching and supervision interests address social justice issues that include:
- migration, borders, and citizenship
- precarity, labour, life, and well-being
- children, youth, and family
- gender, race, class, and age
- the politics of human rights and humanitarianism
- visual and ethnographic methods

Jenny worked for the Society for Cultural Anthropology and their flagship open access journal Cultural Anthropology for five years as a Social Media Editor. She is currently an executive board member for the Society for the Anthropology of Work and a member of the Research Ethics Board at TRU.

Research Interests

Jenny's doctoral research, supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, explored Filipina/o-Canadian youths' experiences of transnational migration and long-term family separation after having a parent come to Canada as a migrant worker. Through ethnographic storytelling and visual methods, Jenny's research explored the intergenerational implications of immigration and labour policies, social and economic precarity, and long-term family separation and reunification for migrant youths, as well as how they remake their worlds amid uncertainty and adversity.

Prior to her latest project, Jenny researched cultural identity and family reconfiguration with transnationally adopted children and their adoptive parents. She is now a part of the Understanding Precarity BC Partnership (UP-BC), in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and SFU's Labour Studies Program. Her next project with UP-BC will investigate precarious employment among multi-generational migrant families in BC, and especially those affected by COVID-19.

Jenny's research is published in Children & Society and Anthropology of Work Review.


Ph.D., Simon Fraser University
M.A., University of Victoria
B.A.(hons), University of Victoria


Shaw, Jennifer E. 2020. Tender Labor: Transnational Young People and Continuums of Familial Care. Anthropology of Work Review, 41(1): 14-23.

Shaw, Jennifer E. 2018. Desiring Self-Determination in Research and Beyond: Parental Consent Requirements and Situated Ethics for Migrant Young People Living amid Changing Family Dynamics. Children & Society. 32(6): 433-443.

Shaw, Jennifer and Hilary Agro. 2017. Open Access Meets Social Media. Anthropology News.

Arslan, Sevda and Jennifer Shaw. 2016. Life Matters: An #AmAnth2016 Panel Review. Cultural Anthropology website,

Shaw, Jennifer and Darren Byler. 2016. Curated Collection: Precarity. Cultural Anthropology website.

Shaw, Jennifer. 2015. Beyond The (Familiar) Text: A #AAA2015 Roundtable Review. Cultural Anthropology website. text-a-aaa2015-roundtable-review.

Shaw, Jennifer. 2012. (Re)Constructing the Past: The Role of Memory and Imagination Among Transnationally Adopted Children and their Adoptive Parents. PlatForum: Anthropology Graduate Student Journal. Vol. 12.

Employment History

Assistant Teaching Professor
Thompson Rivers University, 2019-Present

Lecturer and Sessional Instructor
Simon Fraser University, 2016-2019

Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 2018-2019

Sessional Instructor
University of the Fraser Valley, 2019

Courses Taught

Upcoming 2021/2022 Courses:
Fall 2021: SOCI 3120 Gender Relations; SOCI 3610 Social Inequality; POLI 1110 Canadian Government and Politics; POLI 1210 Political Ideologies

Winter 2022: SOCI 2010 Race and Ethnicity; SOCI 3520 Work in Contemporary Society; POLI 3900 ST: Women, Rights, and Development; POLI 1110 Canadian Government and Politics

Courses Taught at TRU:
- SOCI 2130 Women in Global Perspective
- SOCI 3120 Gender Relations
- SOCI 3620 ST: Migration, Mobility, and Transnationalism
- SOCI 4130 Family & Kinship
- SOCI 4600 Globalization
- POLI 1210 Contemporary Ideologies
- POLI 2900 ST: Politics of Child Labour
- POLI 3900 ST: Politics of the State and Everyday Life
- POLI 3900 ST: Biopolitics

Courses Taught Elsewhere:
- Ethnography and Qualitative Methods
- Labour and the Arts of Living
- Cultures, Politics, Performance
- Gender and the Family in Southeast Asia
- Labour Movements: Issues, Images and Popular Culture
- Childhood, Youth, and Culture
- Working Children
- Anthropology of Childhood and Youth
- Culture and Theory of the City
- Minority Indigenous Peoples of the World
- Religions and Cultures
- Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
- Anthropology and Contemporary Life

Professional Affiliations

American Anthropological Association
Society for the Anthropology of Work
Anthropology of Children & Youth Interest Group
Anthropology of Aging and the Life Course Interest Group
American Sociological Association
ASA Section Membership: Children and Youth, International Migration, Labor and Labor Movements, and Teaching and Learning in Sociology
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


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