Jamie Lew

Jamie Lew


jamie.lew [at] rutgers.edu



Office Location

Hill Hall 625


My research interests lie broadly within the fields of sociology of education, immigration and international migration, race and ethnicity. My work explores intersections of immigration and race, particularly as it relates to education for migrant youths in urban space. In the context of black and white binary system inherent in the U.S. history, I am interested in understanding how geographical and metaphorical color line, in given space and time, changes and shifts in urban schools and contemporary cities. By paying particular attention to these changing race relations at the ground level, I examine the ways in which various migrant and racialized groups create spaces for articulating new politics of change.

My current research project explores how urban refugee families and children negotiate their sense of belonging and placemaking in cities in the U.S. and abroad. In this study of urban refugees, I explore how urban spaces and its institutions of schooling, housing, and work are changing and being changed by contemporary migration. I explore how refugees with their own legal and political status, in relation to other migrants and native-born populations in cities, for instance, build relationships and produce political spaces with other spaces of urban marginality that have been historically disenfranchised. In exploring some of these questions, I use a wide range of social science methodologies, including visual images and approaches. My hope is that in doing so, I can cross boundaries of disciplines, theories, and methods to engage and understand a complex and changing social phenomenon of migration that is rapidly transforming our cities and society at large.

My previous work examined social and economic inequalities faced by Asian American youths in urban schools. This three-year study resulted in a book titled, “Asian Americans in Class: Charting the Achievement Gap Among Korean American Youths” (Teachers College Press, 2006).  By using Korean Americans in New York City public schools as a case study, the book focused on how stratifying forces of class and race broadly, and social capital and racial segregation specifically, impact academic achievement of 1.5- and second-generation Asian American youths in urban context.  In comparing experiences of low- and high-achieving Asian American students, the findings challenge model minority stereotype and underscore the significance of structural resources all children need in order to achieve academically and social mobility. 

Courses Taught

Graduate Level

Globalization, International Migration, & Contemporary Cities (Global Urban Studies/ Urban Systems, Ph.D. Program)

Immigration Then and Now: Culture, Race, Politics of Identity (American Studies, Ph.D. Program)

Migration, Race, Youth (Global Urban Studies/ Urban Systems, Ph.D. Program)

Research Methods: Doctoral Seminar (Global Urban Studies/ Urban Systems, Ph.D. Program)

Sociology of Urban Education (Global Urban Studies/ Urban Systems, Ph.D. Program)

Comparative and International Education (Peace and Conflict Studies, MA Program)

Undergraduate Level

Honors College Seminar: Asian American Studies

Honor College Seminar:  U.S. Immigration History and Policies

Immigrant Minorities in the U.S.

Issues in Urban Education

Philosophy of Education

School and Society

Social Foundations of Education

Social Inequality: Immigration, Race, Ethnicity

Social Issues in Classroom

Sociology of Education

Teaching in Urban Schools

Topics in Education

Topics in Sociology: Asian American Communities and Populations

Urban Sociology


Ph.D., Comparative Education and Sociology, Columbia University



Magno, C., Lew, J., Rodriguez. S. (Eds) (2022). "(Re)Mapping Migration and Education: Centering Methods and Methodologies" Brill Press, Leiden, Netherlands.

Lew, J. (2006). “Asian Americans in Class: Charting the Achievement Gap Among Korean American Youth” Teachers College Press, New York, NY.


Lew, J. (2022). "Refugees and claims-making in spaces of urban marginality: Syrian refugees build alliances across racial lines for collective action." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2022.2121270)

Lew, J. and Villanueva, V. (2022). "Urban refugees and education advocacy: A case of Syrian refugees and coalition building in urban education." In Magno, C., Lew, J., Rodriguez. S. (Eds) (Re)Mapping Migration and Education: Centering Methods and Methodologies, Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Press.

Lew, J. (2013). “Asian American Children and Poverty: Multicultural Education Context” in Banks, J., Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education, SAGE publications.

Lew, J. (2010). “Asian American Youth in Poverty: Benefits and Limitations of Ethnic Networks in Postsecondary and Labor Force Options” Journal of Education for  Students Placed at Risk, Vol. 35 (1 & 2), pp. 127-143.

Lew, J. (2010). “Insider and Outsider: Reflexivity and Intersubjectivity in Ethnography,” In K. Scott and W. Blanchett, Research in Urban Educational Settings: Lessons Learned and Implications for Future Practice, Information Age Publishing.

Lew, J. (2010). “Keeping the American Dream Alive: Model Minority Discourse of Asian American Children,” In S. Tozer, S. Gallegos, & Henry A., Handbook of Research in the Social Foundations of Education, Routledge.

Lew, J. (2007). “A Structural Analysis of Success and Failure of Asian Americans: A Case of Korean Americans in Urban Schools,” Teachers College Record, Vol. 109 (2), pp. 369-390.

Lew, J. (2006). “Burden of Acting Neither White nor Black: Asian American Identities in Context” The Urban Review, Vol. 38 (5), pp. 335-352.

Lew, J. (2004). “The ‘Other’ Story of Model Minorities: Korean American High School Dropouts in an Urban Context,” Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Vol. 35 (3), pp. 297-311.

Lew, J. (2003). “Korean American High School Dropouts: A Case Study of Their Experiences and Negotiations of Schooling, Family, and Communities,” In Sue Books, (Ed.), Invisible Children in the Society and its Schools, Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 53-66.

Lew, J. (2003). “(Re) Construction of Second-Generation Ethnic Networks: Structuring Academic Success of Korean American High School Students,” In C. C. Parks, S. J. Lee and A. L. Goodwin (Eds.), Research on the Education of Asian Pacific Americans, Vol. II. Information Age Publishing, pp. 157-176.