• Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • yawenlei@fas.harvard.edu
  • http://sociology.fas.harvard.edu/people/yawen-lei
  • 436 William James Hall | 33 Kirkland Street | Cambridge MA, 02138

Research interests: law, sociology, political sociology, law and society, cultural sociology, economic sociology.

Ya-wen Lei is Assistant Professor of Sociology, having previously been a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. Professor Lei grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, graduating from her undergraduate studies at the National Taiwan University. Trained in both law and sociology, she holds a J.S.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

With its diverse mix of historical-comparative, qualitative, and quantitative methods, Professor Lei’s research lies at the intersection of political sociology, law and society, cultural sociology, and economic sociology.

From the Fairbank Blog:

Ideological Struggles and China’s Contentious Public Sphere
Ya-Wen Lei, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, maps connections among top Chinese social media leaders to show how online public dialogue does not always adhere to government ideology.

Challenges Ahead for the DPP in Taiwan
Ya-Wen Lei, Assistant Professor at Harvard’s Department of Sociology, examines the political environment inherited by Taiwan’s opposition DPP.

From the Fairbank Podcast: 

雷雅雯来自台湾,于台湾国立大学取得法律与社会学本科学位,其后取得耶鲁大学完成司法学博士学位以及密歇根大学社会学博士学位,现任哈佛大学社会学助理教授。雷雅雯教授的研究使用包括历史比较、定量及定性分析在内的多样化方法论,处于政治社会学、法律与社会、文化社会学以及经济社会学的交叉领域。

研究兴趣:法律,社会学,政治社会学,法律与社会,文化社会学,经济社会学。

Books

The Contentious Public Sphere: Law, Media and Authoritarian Rule in China (Princeton University Press, November, 2017)

Articles 

Ya-Wen Lei. 2016 "Freeing the Press: How Field Environment Explains Critical News Reporting in China" (122 American Journal of Sociology 1: 1-49, Lead Article). 2017 Best Research Paper Award from the Asia and Asian American Section of the American Sociological Association. 2017 CITAMS Paper Award Honorable mention, Communication, Information, Technologies, and Media Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association

Ya-Wen Lei & Daniel Xiaodan Zhou, 2015 "Contesting Legality in Authoritarian Contexts: Food Safety, Rule of Law and China's Networked Public Sphere" (49 Law & Society Review 3: 557-593, Lead Article )

Ya-Wen Lei & Daniel Xiaodan Zhou,2015 "Embedding Law into Politics in China’s Networked Public Sphere" (The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China, Jacques deLisle, Avery Goldstein, and Guobin Yang, eds., University of Pennsylvania Press)

Ya-Wen Lei. 2011. "The Political Consequences of the Rise of the Internet: Political Beliefs and Practices of Chinese Netizens." Political Communication 28:291-322 * Winner of the First Prize in the Graduate Student Paper Competition of the 37th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies