Political Science and Sociology, University of California, Irvine
Current Professional Positions
- Lecturer/Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology (September 2003 to May 2009)
- Senior Lecturer Professor
Department of Sociology (May 2009 to Present)
Asian & Asian American Studies Certificate Program
(January 2004 to Present)
Research Associate (January 2000 to July 2002)
Center for Technology in Government, Albany, NY
- Worked within a small team of primary investigators to conduct NSF-funded research (including ethnographic field observation, structured interviews, focus groups, facilitated meetings, and administering survey questionnaires) on how New York State government agencies use information technology to work collaboratively and to improve their public services.
Director of Education (November 1998 to January 2000)
Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Inc., New York, NY
- Developed and oversaw multi-level community education and outreach planning, implementation, and evaluation, including peer education programs; hired, supervised, and evaluated staff of coordinators for six separate but interrelated targeted programs.
Administrative Coordinator (September 1998 to November 1998)
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, New York, NY
Sociology of the Asian American Experience (Sociology 240)
Explores both the similarities and differences in the histories, experiences, and cultures within the Asian American population, along with specific issues including immigration to the U.S., assimilation and ethnic identity, media images and popular culture, demographic trends, ethnic enclaves, anti-Asian discrimination, socioeconomic mobility, gender dynamics, and emerging connections between Asia and Asian Americans.
Sociology of Immigration (Sociology 244)
This course examines who, why, and how different groups immigrate to the U.S. and what happens once they arrive -- how they are received by mainstream society and how they adjust to their new country. Specific issues include settlement, education, identity, assimilation, discrimination, employment, language, marriage, legal status, and political participation.
Demography of Minority Groups (Sociology 361)
Introduction to using demographic data and statistics to understand public policy issues faced by American racial/ethnic minorities across education, prejudice and discrimination, immigration, wealth and poverty, crime, health care, etc.
Bridging Asia and Asian America Colloquium (Asian Studies 397B)
Meeting in Dwight Hall (location of the Asian theme residential floor), this weekly seminar combines class discussions, guest speakers, film screenings, and small group activities to focus on the political, economic, and cultural intersections between Asians and Asian Americans.
Research Interests & Current Projects
- Race and Ethnicity
- Immigration: Structural Assimilation & Cultural Adaptation, Socioeconomic Mobility, and Public Policy
- Comparative Outcomes of Asian American Integration
The bulk of my research involves using Census data to analyze and compare socioeconomic and demographic outcomes of assimilation among Asian Americans. These outcomes include (1) self-employment and entrepreneurship; (2) marital assimilation and intermarriage/interracial marriage; (3) education, occupation, and income; and (4) residential segregation and quality of neighborhoods. I also have secondary research interests in cross-national comparisons of socioeconomic assimilation among Vietnamese diasporic communities in the U.S., Canada, France, and Australia, along with analyzing the sociological contexts of anti-communist political activities of Vietnamese Americans.
Publications Completed or Forthcoming
Le, C.N. 2013. "Bridging the Campus and the Community: Blogging About the Asian American Experience" in Sociologists in Action (Second Edition), edited by Kathleen Korgen, Jonathan White, and Shelley White. Sage Publications.
Le, C.N. 2012. "New Dimensions of Asian American Self-Employment in Los Angeles and New York." Asian American & Pacific Islander Nexus 10:2:55-76.
Le, C.N. 2010. "Multiracial Asian Americans: Social Class, Demographic, and Cultural Characteristics" in Multiracial Americans and Social Class: The Influence of Social Class on Racial Identity, edited by Kathleen Korgen. New York: Routledge.
Le, C.N. 2010. "Racial Tensions and Living in a Colorblind Society" and "Globalization and Higher Education" in Everyday Sociology Reader, edited by Karen Sternheimer. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Le, C.N. 2010. Short articles on "Adoption of Asian Children," "Amerasians and Multiracial Asian Americans," "Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965," "Interracial Marriages, "Second-Generation Identity," "Youth Gangs," and "Asian Americans and Work" in Asian American History and Culture: An Encyclopedia, edited by Huping Ling and Allan W. Austin. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Le, C.N., 2009. "Post-Vietnam War Tensions in the Vietnamese American Community" in Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today, edited by Edith Chen and Grace Yoo. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing.
Le, C.N. 2009. "'Better Dead Than Red': Anti-Communist Politics Among Vietnamese Americans" in Anti-Communist Minorities in the US: The Political Activism of Ethnic Refugees, edited by Ieva Zake. New York: Palgrave-MacMillan.
Le, C.N. 2007. Asian American Assimilation: Ethnicity, Immigration, and Socioeconomic Attainment. New York, NY: LFB Scholarly Publishing.
Le, C.N. 2004. "Fleeing Dragon: The Refugee Experience From a Vietnamese Immigrant Family" in Minority Voices: Linking Personal Ethnic History with the Sociological Imagination, edited by John Rowan. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Recent Media Quotations
Profiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education, “An ‘Indefinite’ Adjunct Sees Progress, and Tensions, at His University” video segment, by Greg Kahn and Rose Engelland, October 1, 2013.
Quoted by AFP (Agence France-Presse), "Indian-Origin Miss America Shows Evolving US Ideal" article by Shaun Tandon, September 17, 2013.
Interviewed by CNN, "Behind Asian Americans' Low Unemployment" video segment by Zain Asher, August 12, 2013.
Quoted by China Daily USA, "Changing Times: Interracial Marriages" article by Kelly Chung Dawson, July 1, 2013.
Quoted by the Washington Post, "Familiar Ad Trope: Pairing White Men and Asian American Women" article by Paul Farhi, September 28, 2012.
Quoted by the TheDailyBeast.com (operated by Newsweek magazine), "Texas Teenager Diane Tran Jailed for Working Hard?" article by Joie Chen, April 30, 2012.
Cited by the Wall Street Journal, "The Real Reason Why Asian Americans Are Outmarrying Less" article by Jeff Yang, April 16, 2012.
Cited by the New York Times, "For Asian-American Couples, a Tie That Binds" article by Rachel L. Swarns, March 30, 2012.
Quoted by the Press of Atlantic City, "Casinos Lure Asian Communities with Lunar New Year Festivities" article by Wallace McKelvey, January 23, 2012.
Quoted by the Los Angeles Times, "Unemployment Lasts Longer for Asian Americans" article by Alana Semuels, September 7, 2010.
Quoted in USA Today, "Cultural Factors Help Limit Recession's Impact" article by Haya El Nasser, November 16, 2009.
Quoted in Marie Claire magazine, "The New Trophy Wives: Asian Women" article by Ying Chu, August 2009.
Quoted in The Associated Press, "Concern Over Focus on VT Shooter's Race" article by Dionne Walker, April 19, 2007.
Guest speaker on radio program on "Asian & Arab Culture," hosted by Paul Allen Billings of WUVS-LP 103.7 The Beat, December 11, 2006.
Quoted in Diversity Inc. Magazine, "To Be Asian in America: Success and Stereotypes" article by Angela Johnson Meadows, April 2005.
Selected Presentations, Invited Talks & Professional Service
Council Member (2010-2012) and Secretary-Treasurer (2012-present), Section on Asia and Asian America, American Sociological Association.
Le, C.N.. "Mutual Mentoring to Develop and Support Asian American Studies in the Five Colleges," presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian American Studies, May 20, 2013, in Seattle, WA.
Organizer, Presider, and Discussant. "Asian American Ethnoscapes in Urban/Suburban California" regular session at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian American Studies, May 19, 2011, in New Orleans, LA.
Invited Speaker, "Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century: Connecting Asians, Americans, and Asian Americans," United States Army Corps of Engineers, Winchester, VA, May 4, 2011.
Invited Speaker, "Balancing Asian, American, and Asian American Identities in the Era of Globalization," annual conference of the East Coast Asian American Student Union, University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA, February 19, 2011.
Invited Panelist, "The Roar over Amy Chua, Tiger Mom," Smith College, Northampton MA, February 10, 2011.
Invited Speaker, "Asian American Stereotypes and the Illusion of Colorblindness," The Westminster Schools, Atlanta GA, October 1, 2010.
Organizer, Presider, and Discussant, "Emerging Connections Between Asians and Asian Americans," Section on Asia and Asian America session at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 16, 2010, in Atlanta, GA.
Invited Speaker, "Bridging Asian, American, and Asian American Identities in the 21st Century," Syracuse University, NY, April 16, 2010.
Invited Speaker, "Lions, Tigers, and Dragons, Oh My!: An Introduction to Asian American History, Stereotypes, and Identities," Emerson College, MA, November 3, 2009.
Invited Speaker, "Obstacles and Opportunities in Connecting Asian and Asian Americans in the 21st Century," Boston Asian American Students Intercollegiate Conference, Northeastern University, MA, October 10, 2009.
Invited Speaker, "History, Segregation, and Inclusion: The Meaning and Consequences of Ethnic Solidarity," Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, May 7, 2009.
Invited Speaker, "Interracial Asian Adoption: Issues and Identity in 21st Century American Society," April 6, 2009 at Bates College, Maine.
Le, C.N. "Virtually Asian: The Social Construction of Identity Through Internet Media," presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian American Studies, April 20, 2008 in Chicago, IL.
Invited Speaker, "Muslim American Assimilation: Cultural and Socioeconomic Patterns," U.S./Spain Exchange Project on Muslim Youth Integration, Institute for Training and Development, Amherst, MA, June 12, 2007.
Panelist, "Blogging and Asian Pacific American Political Awareness," 13th Annual National Asian Pacific American Conference on Law and Public Policy, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA, March 3, 2007.
OAQs: Ocassionally Asked Questions
What exactly does C.N. stand for?
Basically, the C.N. is just the first and middle initials of my full name, Cuong Nguyen Le. However, it's been my experience over the years that unless people speak Vietnamese, chances are they will mispronounce my name. To make a long story short, I've gone by a few different variations of my real name and eventually compromised between ease of pronunciation on the one hand and a true reflection of my Vietnamese identity on the other by going by my first and middle initials.
I would like to add your class but it's filled up on SPIRE -- what can I do to try to get in?
I'm glad to hear that you're interested in taking my class. Unfortunately, before the semester begins, I do not have the ability to manually enroll anybody. I recommend that you keep checking SPIRE regularly from now until the start of the semester in case somebody de-enrolls and a spot opens up.
If you're not able to add through SPIRE by the start of the semester, come to class anyway and I will collect names of students wanting to add the course and presuming spots open up the first week of class, give priority to senior sociology majors, then seniors, then junior sociology majors, etc.
Dept. of Sociology
Asian American News
Favorite Words of Wisdom
We declare our rights to be a man
To be a human being
To be given the rights of a human being
To be respected as a human being
In this society, on this earth, in this day
Which we intend to bring into existence
By any means necessary.
-- Malcolm X
Do, or do not. There is no try.
-- Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back')
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal ideas from many people is research.
It costs me less in every sense to incur the penalties of civil disobedience than it would to obey.
-- Henry David Thoreau
I don't know what's the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
-- Bill Cosby
Soon after The Buddha became well
known, people would come to see him
and they would ask, "Are you a god?"
The Buddha replied, "No."
They asked, "Are you a saint?"
The Buddha replied, "No."
They asked "Are you an angel?"
Again The Buddha replied, "No."
"So what are you?"
The Buddha replied, "I am awake."
The philosophers have merely interpreted the world. The point however, is to change it.
-- Karl Marx
Be the change that you want to see in the world.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
Academics & Sociology
Social Justice & Racial Equality
Just for Fun