Youngmin Yi

Assistant Professor of Sociology


Sociologist and demographer interested in family, race, institutions of social control, and inequality in the United States.

My research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of family; race and ethnicity; law and society; crime and deviance; and inequality. I focus primarily on using quantitative data and methods to study the criminal legal and child welfare systems in the United States (US). I am particularly interested in these systems' impacts on family and racial inequality, the ways these systems shape and reflect our ideas of family relationships and race, and critical interrogation of the ways we ask these questions and use quantitative tools to try and answer them. The questions I am interested in range from fundamental (i.e., "What proportion of Americans have ever had a family member incarcerated?) to more complex (i.e., "What shapes variation in the timing and intricacy of criminal legal cases?"), and my collaborators and I use multiple methods to try and answer them (e.g., descriptive statistics, sequence analysis, observations).

At Wellesley, I teach courses on law and society, critical criminology, demography, and social exclusion. I have also taught courses in research design and quantitative methods. My courses are designed to offer students with an opportunity to build out conceptual and analytic toolkits to understand and interrogate systems that govern and shape social organization and inequality. In addition to teaching within the walls of the classroom, I am actively engaged in mentorship and teaching through undergraduate research opportunities.

Prior to joining the Wellesley faculty, I was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I completed my PhD in Sociology at Cornell University, where I completed my doctoral work in the Departments of Sociology and Policy Analysis and Management (now the Brooks School of Public Policy). I am a proud alum of Wellesley College, where I majored in Economics and French.