Grad Students

Andrew N. Le

Contact Information

Office  Haines 111

My research and teaching interests are in international migration, race and ethnicity, and political and environmental sociology.

My dissertation addresses a topic of concern in the Global South today, which is the outsourcing of international migration regulation. My project, “Mobility in Vietnam,” explains how migrant brokers became a structural feature in Vietnam’s export labor system and details the processes through which aspiring migrants and their families navigate a broker centric migration system. Drawing on 20 months of ethnographic observations and 275 interviews in three countries (Vietnam, Taiwan, and Trinidad and Tobago), I analyze the experiences of state officials, migrant brokers, and migrants to better understand the opportunistic tendencies of brokers. In turn, I uncover how migrants and their families mobilize their “broker wisdom,” the cultural frames by which they render broker activity more legible and manipulable, to work abroad. The sixth chapter is forthcoming in the Journal of Peasant Studies.

My second project shifts the focus from the causes to the consequences of cross-border mobility for immigrants and their children. I explore assimilation outcomes of Vietnamese-Americans (Ethnicities) and the how the nexus between race and religion persists for later generation Japanese Buddhists (Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies).

My third projects investigates the politics of environmental migration and climate refugees. In my first article, I provide a novel examination of environmental migration. Drawing on 6 months of ethnographic observations in a Vietnamese fishing village near the 2016 chemical spill, I apply Weber’s refraction theory to show how the disaster’s unpredictable nature indirectly increased rates of unauthorized migration. In my second article, I demonstrate how the chemical spill exacerbated gender inequalities.

My research sites include: Los Angeles, Seattle, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Fields of Study

International Migration, Race and Ethnicity,  Environmental and Political Sociology, Political Economy, Organizations



Le, Andrew N. 2020. “Unanticipated Transformations of Infrapolitics.” Forthcoming in the Journal of Peasant Studies. (JIF 4.959)
* ASA Section on Asia & Asian America Best Article Award, 2011.
* UCLA Professor Harry H. L. Kitano Academic Prize, 2016.

Le, Andrew N. 2020. "Upward or downward? The importance of organizational forms and embedded peer groups for the second generation." Ethnicities 20:1, 136–154.

Le, Andrew N. 2019. “Episodic Ethnicity: A Case Study of a Japanese Buddhist Temple.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45:15, 2989-3006.


Le, Andrew N. 2020. “Stay-at-Home Women in a Disaster’s Aftermath.” Revised and Resubmitted to the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies.

Le, Andrew N. 2020. “The Third Element of Migration: Tertius Carpe and Cross-Border Mobility in Vietnam.” Submitted to the American Journal of Sociology.


Le, Andrew N. 2020. “An Environmental Disaster and the Rise of International Migration.” In Preparation for Submission to American Sociological Review.

Le, Andrew N. 2020. “Becoming “Broker-wise”: Outmigration and the Collateral Consequences of Opportunistic Brokerage.” In Preparation for Submission to Social Forces.

Walker, Edward & Le, Andrew N. 2020. “Poisoning the Well: How Covert Patronage Harms Generalized Trust in Advocacy Organizations.” In Preparation for Submission to Social Problems.


Le, Andrew N. 2020. “A Patient Approach: Research Access in the Aftermath of Vietnam’s Worst Environmental Disaster.” Sectors: Newsletter of ASA’s Sociology of Development Section.

Le, Andrew N. 2017. Review of Insufficient Funds: The Culture of Money in Low-Wage Transnational Families by Hung Cam Thai. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. Social Forces. 95(4): e36.

Grants and Awards

Notable Awards

  • Graduate Student Research Grant, Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable, Development, University of California Santa Barbara, 2019
  • Ethnography Incubator Fellowship, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago, Spring 2019
  • International Institute Fieldwork Fellowship, UCLA, 2018-19
  • Taiwan Studies Lectureship Graduate Fellowship, Asia Institute, UCLA, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19
  • Teaching Assistant Award, UCLA, 2017-18
  • Professor Harry H. L. Kitano Graduate Prize, Asian American Studies Center, UCLA, 2016-17
  • Ben & Alice Hirano Academic Prize, Asian American Studies Center, UCLA, 2015-16
  • Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, UCLA, 2015-16 (with Dr. Edward Walker)
  • Graduate Research Summer Mentorship, UCLA, Summer 2015 (with Dr. Rogers Brubaker)
  • Marvin Hoffenberg Research Fellow, UCLA Center for American Politics and Public Policy, 2014-2015
  • UCLA Eugene Cota Robles Fellow, 2014-2019
  • J. William Fulbright Scholar, Trinidad and Tobago, 2012-2013
  • ASA Asia and Asian America Section Graduate Student Paper Award, 2011
    -“Destiny of the Poor: The Transnational Migration of Vietnamese Laborers to Trinidad and Tobago”
  • Charles A. Dana Scholar, St. Lawrence University, 2010


Roger Waldinger (chair), Rogers Brubaker, Gail Kligman, Edward Walker & George Dutton (UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies)



M.A., The University of British Columbia
Department of Sociology, 2012                       

B.A., St. Lawrence University
Department of Sociology and Asian Studies, 2010

Visiting Scholar
University of Social Sciences and Humanities, VNU, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2017- 2018
The National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 2016- 2018
The Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies- St. Augustine, 2012-13