Le Lin, Faculty, Department of Sociology, UH Mānoa

Le Lin

Assistant 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 609: Seminar in Qualitative Research
  • SOC 720: Comparative Study of East Asia


My research centers on organizations, work, 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, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press in Summer 2022. This book draws on the privatization, marketization and financialization of China’s supplemental education sector to shed new light on market formation and organizational changes. Another book project I am working on, tentatively entitled Globalizing Chinese Universities and currently under contract with Cambridge University Press, explores the multifaceted internationalization of China’s higher education. My articles have appeared in journals such as Socio-Economic Review and Higher Education, and have won awards from the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics.