In his “Understanding Gun Violence” series contribution, Jooyoung Lee poses the question: “What might gun violence research look like if we centered our analysis on victims?” In addressing the matter, he focuses on ethnographic approaches and the concept of “social loss” that extends beyond individual victims to a whole range of effects on families and neighborhoods. Drawing on his own extensive research in Philadelphia, Lee engages with victims as they move from the hospital to their homes and communities. In one instance, the connection between pain management due to gun violence and the opioid crisis becomes clear.
Jooyoung Lee is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. He is also a faculty member in the Centre for the Study of the United States at the Munk School of Global Affairs, an international scholar in the University of Pennsylvania Injury Science Center, and a Senior Fellow in the Yale University Urban Ethnography Project. His first book, Blowin' Up: Rap Dreams in South Central (University of Chicago Press, 2016) won the 2018 Charles Cooley Book Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He is currently finishing a new book, Ricochet: Surviving Gun Violence in Killadelphia, which is under contract with the University of Chicago Press. In addition to academic writing, Lee has also published articles in the New York Times, VICE, Maclean's, Toronto Star, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is also a recipient of the Oswald Hall Award for teaching excellence at the University of Toronto. When he is not doing research, he teaches and trains Brazilian jiujitsu.