Jennifer Lee

A renowned scholar of immigration, race/ethnicity, and inequality, Professor Jennifer Lee returns to her alma mater as Professor of Sociology and as a Core Faculty Member of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. She has received numerous grants, fellowships, and awards for her research. She has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago, a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and a Fulbright Scholar to Japan. She was recently elected to the Sociological Research Association—an honor society recognizing the most successful researchers in the field since its founding in 1936. Currently, she is a Deputy Editor of the American Sociological Review, serves on the Editorial Boards of International Migration Review and Ethnic and Racial Studies, and is Past Chair of the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association.

A prolific writer, Professor Lee is the author or co-author of four award-winning books: Civility in the City (2002); Asian American Youth (2004); The Diversity Paradox (2010); and The Asian American Achievement Paradox (2015). Her most recent book, co-authored with Min Zhou, garnered an astonishing four book awards. Three awards come from the American Sociological Association: the Pierre Bourdieu Book Award from the Sociology of Education Section; the Best Book Award from the Asia and Asian America Section of the American Sociological Association; and the Thomas and Znaniecki Distinguished Book Award from the International Migration Section. The fourth book award is bestowed upon by the Association for Asian American Studies, which hailed it as the Best Book in the Social Sciences. Her articles have appeared in the discipline’s top journals, including American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Annual Review of Sociology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Lee is a co-Principal Investigator of the 2016 National Asian American Survey, which focuses on political and civic engagement, identity, inter-group attitudes, and perceptions of discrimination. For this project, she, together with her co-PIs were awarded grants from the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Strongly committed to public engagement, Professor Lee has written opinion pieces for The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, CNN, The Guardian, TIME, and Los Angeles Magazine, and has done radio and television interviews for NPR, CBS News, Fusion TV, and Tavis Smiley. In addition, her research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Economist, Slate, Buzzfeed, and a number of other national and international media outlets. She is one of few public sociologists who very successfully engages publics through multiple types of media.

Research Interests

Immigrant Children or Children of Immigrants
International Migration


National Asian American Survey