Korean Studies

Jun.-Prof. Yewon Lee, Ph.D.

B.A. Program Director
Junior Professor


Universität Tübingen
Abteilung für Koreanistik

 Wilhelmstr. 133, Room 61

 +49-7071-29 72724

yewon.leespam prevention@uni-tuebingen.de 

Office Hours

Sign up for office hour:

Always schedule an appointment via signing up with the link here. Do NOT just show up. Note that this office hours will not be held online. You must be present at my office. Please cancel (via calendly) if you cannot show up for the time you signed up. This way, others can occupy that time slot.

Matters that ALWAYS need to be handled in-person

  • Anything that requires my my signature.
  • If you want to discuss your BA/ MA thesis.

(If you have a quick question or straight forward matter that can be handled via email, you can always email me instead.)


Junior Professor Yewon Lee is a sociologist interested in the areas of urban and labor sociology, social movements, and politics in Korea as well as in Asia.

She received her Ph.D. in 2019 in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining University of Tübingen in 2021, she served as a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto and Assistant Research Professor of International Affairs and Postdoctoral Fellow at the George Washington University Institute for Korean Studies.

Currently, Professor Lee is preparing a monograph that examines a fascinating case in which tenant shopkeepers in South Korea are challenging the formidable power of property-ownership-based citizenship. These tenant shopkeepers are micro-entrepreneurs or petit bourgeoisie who are often dismissively labeled as unrevolutionary and individualistic. Yet, the activism of tenant shopkeepers against eviction from their shops is debunking the idea that the autonomous nature of self-employed tenant shopkeepers’ work shields them from capitalist exploitation. Professor Lee’s ethnographic work on tenant shopkeepers’ activism both reveals the urban inequalities that are driven by rentier capitalism and analyzes the on-the-ground efforts to counter them. 

Her work has been well received, winning many awards, including the American Sociological Association’s 2020 Labor & Labor Movement Section’s Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Graduate Student Paper Award.

Academic Profile

since May, 2021

Department of Korean Studies, University of Tübingen

August, 2019
Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology

University of California, Los Angeles

August, 2008
Masters of Arts, Sociology

Yonsei University (South Korea)

February, 2006
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Diplomacy

Yonsei University (South Korea)


Selected Publications