Le Lin, Faculty, Department of Sociology, UH Mānoa

Le Lin

Associate Professor
Office: Saunders 212
Telephone: 1 (808) 956-8451
Email: lelin@hawaii.edu


I grew up in a state-owned Chinese hospital campus where my parents and other physicians lived in employer-provided housing, and I witnessed how medical services transformed from socialist public goods into highly marketized arrangements. After college graduation, I worked as a teacher and manager at one of the world’s largest education corporations for four years. I experienced first-hand how for-profit education spawned new organizational forms, changed the way teachers worked and exerted tremendous impact on social inequality. In short, my childhood and work experience have sparkled my curiosity in understanding how and why education and healthcare privatized, marketized and financialized in the last few decades in China, the U.S. and around the world.


  • PhD, Sociology, University of Chicago, 2017
  • MA, Sociology, University of Chicago, 2012
  • MA, Education, Columbia University, 2009
  • BA, Economics, Zhejiang University, 2003


  • SOC 100: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 311: Inequality and Social Stratification
  • SOC 356: Chinese Society and Culture
  • SOC 419: Organizations and Society
  • SOC 478: Field Research Methods
  • SOC 609: Seminar in Qualitative Research
  • SOC 720: Comparative Study of East Asia
  • SOC 723: Modern Chinese Society


My research centers on organizations, political economy, economic sociology and social stratification, especially where these areas intersect with education and healthcare in China, the U.S. and transnational context. Employing sociological insight and mixed methods, I study schools, universities and hospitals as organizations, and teachers, professors and physicians as occupations, as well as how education and healthcare impact social inequality and stratification. My book, The Fruits of Opportunism: Noncompliance and the Evolution of China’s Supplemental Education Industry, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2022. This book draws on the 40 years’ emergence and transformation of China’s massive supplemental education sector to shed new light on market formation, organizational change and China’s turn to market capitalism. It won the Honorable Mention of the Asia/Transnational Book Award, American Sociological Association (ASA) in 2023. My articles have appeared in journals such as Socio-Economic ReviewHigher Education and Global Perspectives, and have won awards from the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics.