Kelin Li

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Sociology

Associate Professor

(310) 243-3457


Dr. Kelin Li joined the Department of Sociology in the fall of 2015. His research lies at the intersection of population health and social inequalities. He uses quantitative methods to study how social forces shape health disparities and health trajectories, with particular focuses on racial/ethnic minorities and urban neighborhoods. His past and current projects have examined: (1) multilevel structural and psychosocial factors that contribute to health disparities by race/ethnicity and nativity status; (2) dynamics and complexities associated with immigrants’ health behavior change; (3) both distal and proximal factors underlying the link between social constructs and health status such as lifestyles and biomarkers.

Associate Editor, Journal of Biosocial Science

Visiting Scholar, Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany  


Ph.D.  Sociology, University of Utah, 2014
M.S.  Sociology, University of Utah, 2011
B.A.  English, Beijing Normal University, 2008

Areas of Interests

Medical Sociology, Social Demography, Social Epidemiology, Urban Sociology, Racial/Ethnic Minorities, Immigrants, Quantitative Methods

Courses Taught

SOC 220    Analytical Statistics
SOC 305    Methods of Soc Research
SOC 505    Seminar in Soc Research (graduate)

SOC 506    Lab in Soc Research (graduate)

Select Publications

Li, Kelin, Jessie X. Fan, Ming Wen, and Qi Zhang. 2022. “WIC participation and dietary quality
         among US children: Impact of the 2009 food package revision.” Journal of Hunger &
         Environmental Nutrition 17(4): 445-459.

Li, Kelin and Sohaila Shakib. 2020. “How privilege shaped the COVID-19 pandemic.” Contexts,

         19(4): 74-77.

Li, Kelin, Ming Wen, and Kevin A. Henry. 2017. "Ethnic density, immigrant enclaves, and
         Latino health risks: A propensity score matching approach." Social Science &
189: 44-52.

Li, Kelin and Ming Wen. 2015. “Substance use, age at migration, and length of
         residence among adult immigrants in the United States.” Journal of Immigrant
         and Minority Health, 17(1): 156-164.

Li, Kelin, Ming Wen, and Kevin A. Henry. 2014. “Residential racial composition and
         black-white obesity risks: differential effects of neighborhood social and built
         environment.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public
         Health, 11(1): 626-642.

Li, Kelin and Ming Wen. 2013. “Racial and ethnic disparities in leisure-time physical
         activity in California: patterns and mechanisms.” Race and Social Problems, 5(3):