Early life and education
Lie was born in in Seoul, South Korea. He grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and Honolulu, Hawaii. After graduating from Punahou School, he attended Harvard University (A.B., Social Studies; Ph.D., Sociology). He has held tenured appointments at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan, as well as holding visiting appointments at Yonsei University, Keio University, Harvard University, and other institutions.
Lie's "sociological imagination" trilogy explores the intersection of biography, history, and social structure by analyzing his Korean diasporic experience. The trilogy comprises Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots, Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea, and Multiethnic Japan. These books have transformed our understanding of topics ranging from ethnic conflict and economic growth to the nature of contemporary Japanese society. The latest addition is "Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity". He is a widely cited and quoted authority on the Korean diaspora.
Perhaps his most important book to date is Modern Peoplehood. It seeks to advance a unified theory to make sense of race, nation, ethnicity, racism, and (peoplehood) identity. By advancing a general theory of race, ethnicity, and nation that avoids ethnocentrism and essentialism, his theory of "modern peoplehood" promises to advance the current impasse of social-scientific discussion on these topics.
- Abelmann, Nancy; Lie, John (1995). Blue Dreams: Korean Americans and the Los Angeles Riots. ISBN 978-0674077058.
- Lie, John (1998). Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0804740159.
- Lie, John (2001). Multiethnic Japan. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674013582.
- Lie, John (2004). Modern Peoplehood. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674013278.
- Lie, John (2008). Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity. University of California Press.
- http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_asian_american_studies/v001/1.1br_abelmann.html; Jeffry Frieden (2006). Global Capitalism (New York: Norton) ISBN 978-0393058086; http://www.japanreview.net/review_lie_and_befu.htm
- e.g. http://articles.latimes.com/2003/dec/21/local/me-russkor21
- See David Hollinger (2006) Postethnic America (New York: Basic) ISBN 978-0465030651