Barrett Lee

Barrett Lee

Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Demography

704 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-7430

Curriculum Vitae

Download CV


  1. Ph.D., Sociology, University of Washington, 1980
  2. M.A., Sociology, University of Washington, 1976
  3. B.S., Sociology, University of California, Riverside, 1973


Barry Lee is an urban sociologist and demographer who studies spatial manifestations of social organization and inequality. His research has addressed such topics as community ethnoracial diversity, residential segregation, neighborhood change, gentrification, housing mobility and displacement, local social networks, and perceptions and evaluations of place. Current projects describe residential outcomes associated with extreme affluence and explore the sources, consequences, and dynamics of neighborhood reputations.

Lee also has a career-long interest in urban homelessness. His past scholarship examines domiciled-homeless interactions, geographic variation in homelessness, and patterns and antecedents of panhandling, criminal victimization, and food insecurity among people who are homeless. In a new analysis, he is comparing the magnitude of homelessness now to that during the Great Depression.

Professional Recognition

  • Robert and Helen Lynd Lifetime Achievement Award, Community and Urban Sociology Section, American Sociological Association, 2020
  • Research Council, National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2019-
  • Service to the College Award, Liberal Arts, Penn State, 2019
  • External Funding Award, Liberal Arts, Penn State, 2018
  • Graduate Program Chair Leadership Award, Graduate School, Penn State, 2013
  • Distinction in the Social Sciences, Liberal Arts, Penn State, 2009
  • Sociological Research Association, elected 2003
  • Chair, Community and Urban Sociology Section, American Sociological Association, 2002-04
  • Member, Executive Committee, Eastern Sociological Society, 2003-06
  • Editorial Assignments: Demography Deputy Editor (2016-19); Editorial Boards of City & Community (2009-14), Contexts (2003-05), American Sociological Review (1999-2001, 1988-90), Sociological Quarterly (1991-93), Social Science Quarterly (1984-2003)
  • Funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2017-19, 2013-17, 1985-86), National Science Foundation (2005-08, 1996-98, 1994-95, 1993-99, 1987-90), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2003-05, 1994-96), Brookings Institution (2002-04), American Sociological Association/Ford Foundation (1994-96)

Selected Publications

  • Lippert, Adam M. and Barrett A. Lee. 2020. "Adult and Child Food Insecurity among Homeless and Precariously Housed Families at the Close of the Twentieth Century." Population Research and Policy Review (online early view).
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Megan Evans. 2020. "Forced to Move: Patterns and Predictors of Residential Displacement during an Era of Housing Insecurity." Social Science Research 87 (article 102415):1-20.
  • Tach, Laura, Barrett A. Lee, Michael J.R. Martin, and Lauren Hannscott. 2019. "Fragmentation or Diversification? Ethno-Racial Change and the Social and Economic Heterogeneity of Places." Demography 56:2193-2227.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Chad R. Farrell, Sean F. Reardon, and Stephen A. Matthews. 2019. "From Census Tracts to Local Environments: An Egocentric Approach to Neighborhood Racial Change." Spatial Demography 7:1-26.
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Michael J.R. Martin. 2019. "Whither the Urban Diaspora? The Spatial Redistribution of Latino Origin Groups in Metropolitan America since 1990." Journal of Urban Affairs 41:960-980.
  • Farrell, Chad R. and Barrett A. Lee. 2018. "No-Majority Communities: Racial Diversity and Change at the Local Level." Urban Affairs Review 54:866-897.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Michael J.R. Martin, and Matthew Hall. 2017. "Solamente Mexicanos? Patterns and Sources of Hispanic Diversity in U.S. Metropolitan Areas." Social Science Research 68:117-131.
  • Sharp, Gregory and Barrett A. Lee. 2017. "New Faces in Rural Places: Patterns and Sources of Nonmetropolitan Ethnoracial Diversity since 1990." Rural Sociology 82:411-443.
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Gregory Sharp. 2017. "Ethnoracial Diversity Across the Rural-Urban Continuum." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 672:26-45.
  • Fowler, Christopher S., Barrett A. Lee, and Stephen A. Matthews. 2016. "The Contributions of Places to Metropolitan Ethnoracial Diversity and Segregation: Decomposing Change across Space and Time." Demography 53:1955-1977.
  • Hall, Matthew, Laura Tach, and Barrett A. Lee. 2016. "Trajectories of Ethnoracial Diversity in American Communities, 1980-2010." Population and Development Review 42:271-297.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Glenn Firebaugh, John Iceland, and Stephen A. Matthews (eds.). 2015. Residential Inequality in American Neighborhoods and Communities. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 660 (July):1-366.
  • Lippert, Adam M. and Barrett A. Lee. 2015. "Stress, Coping, and Mental Health Differences among Homeless People." Sociological Inquiry 85:343-374.
  • Lee, Barrett A., John Iceland, and Chad R. Farrell. 2014. "Is Ethnoracial Residential Integration on the Rise? Evidence for Metropolitan and Micropolitan America since 1980." Pp. 415-456 in John R. Logan (ed.), Diversity and Disparities: America Enters a New Century. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Farrell, Chad R. and Barrett A. Lee. 2011. "Racial Diversity and Change in Metropolitan Neighborhoods." Social Science Research 40:1108-1123.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Kimberly A. Tyler, and James D. Wright. 2010. “The New Homelessness Revisited.” Annual Review of Sociology 36:501-521.
  • Hall, Matthew S. and Barrett A. Lee. 2010. “How Diverse are U.S. Suburbs?” Urban Studies 47:3-28.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Sean F. Reardon, Glenn Firebaugh, Chad R. Farrell, Stephen A. Matthews, and David O’Sullivan. 2008. “Beyond the Census Tract: Patterns and Determinants of Racial Residential Segregation at Multiple Geographic Scales.” American Sociological Review 73:766-791.
  • Reardon, Sean F., Stephen A. Matthews, David O’Sullivan, Barrett A. Lee, Glenn Firebaugh, Chad R. Farrell, and Kendra Bischoff. 2008. “The Geographical Scale of Metropolitan Racial Segregation.” Demography 45:489-514.
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Meredith J. Greif. 2008. “Homelessness and Hunger.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 49:3-19.
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Matthew Marlay. 2007. “The Right Side of the Tracks: Affluent Neighborhoods in the Metropolitan United States.” Social Science Quarterly 88:766-789.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Chad R. Farrell, and Bruce G. Link. 2004. “Revisiting the Contact Hypothesis: The Case of Public Exposure to Homelessness.”American Sociological Review 68:40-63.
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Chad R. Farrell. 2003. "Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime? Homelessness, Panhandling, and the Public.” Urban Affairs Review 39:299-324.
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Karen E. Campbell. 1999. “Neighbor Networks of Black and White Americans.” Pp. 119-146 in Barry Wellman (ed.), Networks in the Global Village: Life in Contemporary Communities. Boulder, CO: Westview.
  • Lee, Barrett A. and Karen E. Campbell. 1997. “Common Ground? Urban Neighborhoods as Survey Respondents See Them.” Social Science Quarterly 78:922-936.
  • Lee, Barrett A., R.S. Oropesa, and James C. Kanan. 1994. “Neighborhood Context and Residential Mobility.” Demography 31:249-270.
  • Campbell, Karen E. and Barrett A. Lee. 1992. “Sources of Personal Neighbor Networks: Social Integration, Need, or Time?” Social Forces 70:1077-1100.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Sue Hinze Jones, and David Lewis. 1990. “Public Beliefs About the Causes of Homelessness.” Social Forces 69:253-265.
  • Lee, Barrett A., Daphne Spain, and Debra J. Umberson. 1985. “Neighborhood Revitalization and Racial Change: The Case of Washington, DC.” Demography 22:581-602.
  • Lee, Barrett A., R.S. Oropesa, Barbara J. Metch, and Avery M. Guest. 1984. “Testing the Decline-of-Community Thesis: Neighborhood Organizations in Seattle, 1929 and 1979.” American Journal of Sociology 89:1161-1188.
  • Guest, Avery M. Barrett A. Lee, and Lynn Staeheli. 1982. “Changing Locality Identification in the Metropolis: Seattle, 1920-1978.” American Sociological Review 47:543-549.

Research Interests:

Neighborhood change, racial/ethnic segregation and diversity, urban homelessness, spatial aspects of affluence, community attachment, local social networks

Research Interests:


Urban community, residential segregation, homelessness

Urban, Community and Spatial Sociology:

Neighborhood change, racial/ethnic segregation and diversity, urban homelessness, spatial aspects of affluence, community attachment, local social networks

Social Inequality:

Urban Community, residential segregation, homelessness


Neighborhood change, racial/ethnic segregation and diversity, urban homelessness, spatial aspects of affluence, community attachment, local social networks