The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program ended February 2017. The site will no longer be updated. More »

Jooyoung Lee, Ph.D.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar:

Sociology, Social-Psychology

Area(s) of Expertise:
Urban Ethnography, Interaction, Race, Culture, Crime, Mental Health



Jooyoung Lee is an urban ethnographer who studies race, crime, culture, and health. Dr. Lee's first book, “Blowing Up: Rap Dreams in Los Angeles,” is under contract at the University of Chicago Press. In it, he examines the careers of aspiring rappers from South Central Los Angeles. In addition to showing how young black men organize their lives around “blowing up” in the music industry, he shows how the creative process transforms their social networks and worlds.

In 2003, Dr. Lee graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with B.A.s in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies.  From there, he pursued graduate studies in the Department of Sociology at UCLA. During his time at UCLA, Dr. Lee was a Minority Fellow in the American Sociological Association. This fellowship was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and became his first introduction to health research.  After receiving his Ph.D. in 2009, Dr. Lee was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars at the University of Pennsylvania.  During his time as an RWJF Health & Society Scholar, he was also affiliated with the Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center (PCVPC) and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, both of which are housed at the University of Pennsylvania.  In the fall of 2011, Dr. Lee became an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and a Senior Fellow in Yale University's Urban Ethnography Project

Other News: