Jooyoung Lee is an Associate Professor of Sociology and faculty member at the Centre for the Study of the United States, which is housed in the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He is also Senior Fellow in the Yale University Urban Ethnography Project and an International Scholar at the Penn Injury Science Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
He researches and writes about gun violence, health disparities, Hip Hop, and true crime. He is the author of Blowin' Up: Rap Dreams in South Central (2016, University of Chicago Press), which won the 2018 Charles Horton Cooley Award for Best Book from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He is currently writing a new book, Ricochet: Surviving Gun Violence in America (under contract with University of Chicago Press). In addition to academic writing, Jooyoung has also published articles in The New York Times, VICE, Maclean's, Philadelphia Inquirer, Toronto Star, and other popular media outlets.
Jooyoung is also a public speaker who appears on CBC, CP24, CTV, Al Jazeera, and other news outlets as a commentator. His TEDx talk, "What Happens to the People We Save?", highlights his innovative work on gun violence and health disparities. His vlog, #RiseandGrind, offers quick, digestible, and down-to-earth sociological lessons about positivity and resilience. He also consults on court cases involving gangs, gun violence, and Hip Hop.
In addition to his research, Jooyoung is an award-winning teacher who received the Oswald Hall Award for Teaching Excellence in the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto.
If you have any questions, or just want to say hello, feel free to drop Jooyoung a line at
Rap Dreams in South Central
Dr. Dre. Snoop Dogg. Ice Cube. Some of the biggest stars in hip hop made their careers in Los Angeles. And today there is a new generation of young, mostly black, men busting out rhymes and hoping to one day find themselves “blowin’ up”—getting signed to a record label and becoming famous. Many of these aspiring rappers get their start in Leimart Park, home to the legendary hip hop open-mic workshop Project Blowed. In Blowin’ Up, Jooyoung Lee takes us deep inside Project Blowed and the surrounding music industry, offering an unparalleled look at hip hop in the making.
U of T News Profile
"What Happens to the People We Save?"
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