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Professor Jooyoung Lee interviewed on The Bulletin Brief

Professor Jooyoung Lee discusses what he’s looking forward to in the new school year in a recent interview featured on The Bulletin Brief. The Bulletin Brief is a digest featuring news about the staff and faculty across the University of Toronto. The full interview is available on The Bulletin Brief website. We have posted an excerpt below.

Getting Ready for #UofTBackToSchool with Jooyoung Lee

Sept. 6, 2017

By Krisha Ravikantharaja

Jooyoung Lee has a lot to look forward to as a new semester starts. The sociology professor, who recently received tenure, is teaching a third year course called Sociology of Serial Killers and a second year course on qualitative methods. He is also rolling out two new interactive textbooks on the same topics (his textbook on the sociology of serial killers is co-authored with Sasha Reid, a PhD student at OISE). Lee shares how he has been getting ready for the start of the fall semester.

What does the start of the semester mean for you? 
It’s a new beginning.  It’s a chance to grow and expand my teaching repertoire.  I always like to tell students about my somewhat unusual path into academia on the first day of school.  I went to university (at UC Berkeley) on a swimming scholarship and was mostly focused on training.  I swam for three years and then experienced burnout and decided to really focus more on my studies.  This led me down an interesting path where I became a street performer and “popper” or “pop-locker”, which is a style of funk-hip hop dance.

My experiences in the Bay Area dance world got me really interested in researching hip hop culture. I found that I really enjoyed doing ethnographic research, which involves hanging out with people and writing about their lives from an up-close perspective.  I tell them about my path because I want them to see that you can achieve a lot of things even if you aren’t from a certain type of family, or even if you sometimes feel lost.

Read the full interview.

Professor Jooyoung Lee teaches the effects of gun violence in the US

U of T News recently profiled Professor Jooyoung Lee’s course on gun violence in the United States. Professor Lee is teaching this fourth-year seminar on the St. George campus this summer.  This course draws considerably on Professor Lee’s own research into the wide-ranging impacts of gun violence in the U.S.

The following is an excerpt of the U of T News piece.

Gun violence in the U.S.: U of T expert helps undergrads understand school shootings, serial killings and gangs

One year ago today, the United States witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in its history when 49 people were killed and 58 others wounded inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

But like the Sandy Hook kindergarten massacre of 2012, the Pulse shooting failed to bring an end to the widespread availability of guns across the U.S.

Jooyoung Lee, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto is teaching a fourth-year undergraduate course this summer on gun violence in the U.S.

“There’s a bit of insularity when we think of cases of gun violence,” Lee explains. “I wanted to show that everybody is affected in some way by gun culture – all communities, even if some are especially more vulnerable yet get the least attention from the public.”

Lee is one of the first two Bissell-Heyd Fellows at U of T’s Munk School’s Centre for the Study of the United States, who are provided with resources to conduct further research in American studies, while giving them a platform to showcase their work with students and the general public. Just a few weeks ago, Lee organized a workshop on gun violence and its impact on urban Black communities in the U.S.

Lee’s interest in gun violence goes back to his time as a graduate student. Back then, he was writing his dissertation, which would become his first book, Blowin’ Up: Rap Dreams in South Central, an ethnographic study of young African American men from South Los Angeles who were trying to make it in the music industry.

Read the rest of the article.

Congratulations to Professor Jooyoung Lee on being appointed a Bissell-Heyd Fellow in American Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs

Professor Jooyoung Lee has been named one of the two inaugural Bissell-Heyd Fellows in American Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Professor Lee has been teaching and conducting research in the department of sociology since 2011.  He works in the area of violence and poverty in the United States.

According the Munk Centre website, The Bissell-Heyd Fellowships are intended to:

engage current Assistant/Associate Professors at the University of Toronto in the work of CSUS by providing them with resources to further research that is connected to the enterprise of American Studies, and to give them a platform from which to disseminate or showcase that research.

Professor Lee began the fellowship in 2016.

 

Jooyoung Lee in London Free Press

Jooyoung Lee is a faculty member in Sociology, teaching at the St. George Campus. His research focuses on gun violence. He spoke with the London Free Press on Wednesday, February 1. The full article is available here. Below is an excerpt.

London police: More weapons seized, but lack of arrests in local gun incidents erodes confidence in cops, says prof

By Dale Carruthers, The London Free Press

As gun seizures more than doubled in London last year, police still haven’t made any arrests in a spate of shootings — including one homicide — that have plagued the city over the last half year.

One gun violence expert warns that unsolved shootings not only make citizens feel unsafe, but they also erode their confidence in police.

“When cases go unsolved, they also compound and add to people’s distrust of the police,” said Jooyoung Lee, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Toronto.

“There’s a lack of faith that police can actually protect people and do their job.”

The unsolved shootings — all of them in the second half of 2016 — left one man dead and two others injured…

(part of the article omitted)
…But Lee says authorities can’t seize their way out of gun-violence problems.“Aside from seizing guns, which is a valuable measure, police also could reduce gun violence by working with community leaders and trying to repair the strained relations with communities that don’t trust them all the time,” said Lee, whose research focuses on street gang members and gunshot victims.

Witnesses to two of the recent London shootings, neither of whom wanted to be identified, said they didn’t fully co-operate with investigators, citing a distrust of police and fear of retribution.

Lee says marginalized communities, where gun violence is more prevalent, often adopt a moral code of not co-operating with authorities — something that police need to crack.

“It’s essential,” he said, “because police rely upon community members to solve cases and they rely on tips and information to do so.”

Read the full article.

Jooyoung Lee speaks on CBC Regina about gun amnesties

Jooyoung Lee is a faculty member at the University of Toronto, teaching at the St. George Campus. His research focuses on gun violence. On January 26, Professor Jooyoung Lee joined host Sheila Coles and Regina police chief Evan Bray in a discussion about gun amnesties on the Morning Edition, a Regina CBC radio program.

Watch the video of the interview here.

Professor Jooyoung Lee talks guns on Pulse 107.7

Professor Jooyoung Lee recently spoke with Kash Heed on 107.7 Pulse FM talking about gun violence, mental health and the victims of crime. Pulse 107.7 is a radio station located in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. The Kash Heed show is a public affairs morning show. Professor Jooyoung Lee teaches sociology and criminology at the St. George campus at the University of Toronto. His current research focuses on the victims of gun violence.

The interview is available here:

Prof Jooyoung Lee on Global News

Professor Jooyoung Lee recently spoke to Global News in relation to Toronto’s most recent homocide.Professor Lee says that this case exemplifies a pattern often seen in large cities where young people in their late teens and early twenties are “at peak risk of either offending or becoming the victims of lethal and non-lethal shootings” and calls for policy-makers to consider this in developing interventions.

Professor Lee teaches sociology and criminology at the St. George campus. His research focuses on gun violence.

http://globalnews.ca/video/3034793/police-identify-first-degree-murder-suspect-from-shooting-in-east-end-toronto

A podcast interview with Jooyoung Lee

The podcast “Office Hours” recently featured an interview with Professor Jooyoung Lee.

Office Hours is a podcast produced by The Society Pages. Office Hours describes itself as a podcast featuring conversations with top social scientists. It is produced at the University of Minnesota, and is hosted by Matt Gunther, Matthew Aguilar-Champeau, and guests from The Society Pages graduate student board.

You can stream or download the podcast here. It runs a little less than an hour. The Society Pages introduces the podcast as follows:

In this episode, I talk to University of Toronto professor Jooyoung Lee, author of Blowin’ Up: Rap Dreams in South Central. This conversation focuses on the book as well as Professor Lee’s experiences writing the book. For some context, set in South Central Los Angeles, Professor Lee worked in and around Project Blowed, an open mic venue that functioned as a kind of hub for a large underground hip-hop community in Los Angeles. For some vocabulary, “Blowin’ Up” refers to getting attention/ fame/ money/ recognition in wider society and a “Blowedian” is a member of Project Blowed. Our conversations covers topics from what it means to be an insider in ethnography, to Professor Lee’s experiences ‘defending the block’ from intruders with his dance skills.

Professor Jooyoung Lee’s new book Blowin’ Up

Professor Jooyoung Lee’s recently published book Blowin’ Up: Rap Dreams in South Central sheds light on South Central L.A.’s underground rap culture.  Professor Lee’s research on this subject has taken him deep into the core of South Central’s hip hop scene to a community workshop called Project Blowed.  For years, Project Blowed has supported young aspiring rap artists by providing them with a safe space to work on their craft.  In Professor Lee’s book, various rap artists share their experiences with the challenges they face growing up in South central trying to make a name for themselves.

The University of Chicago Press has this to say about the book:

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.

While most books on rap are written from the perspective of listeners and the market, Blowin’ Up looks specifically at the creative side of rappers. As Lee shows, learning how to rap involves a great deal of discipline, and it takes practice to acquire the necessary skills to put on a good show. Along with Lee—who is himself a pop-locker—we watch as the rappers at Project Blowed learn the basics, from how to hold a microphone to how to control their breath amid all those words. And we meet rappers like E. Crimsin, Nocando, VerBS, and Flawliss as they freestyle and battle with each other. For the men at Project Blowed, hip hop offers a creative alternative to the gang lifestyle, substituting verbal competition for physical violence, and provides an outlet for setting goals and working toward them.

Read More…

Professor Lee also spoke to U of T Press earlier this year and that interview can be found on the University of Toronto News Site.