Barrett Lee, PhD

Professor of Sociology and Demography-Retired
The Pennsylvania State University
704 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802-6211
Phone: 814-863-7430
Curriculum Vitae: PDF icon Download C.V.


  • PhD, Sociology, University of Washington, 1980
  • MA, Sociology, University of Washington, 1976
  • BS, Sociology, University of California, Riverside, 1973


Barry's research focuses particularly on study of the causes, patterns, and consequences of racial and socioeconomic residential segregation requires the careful measurement of segregation patterns. This, in turn, requires that measures of segregation incorporate an understanding of spatial proximity/distance, something that is now possible due to the increasing availability, sophistication, and ease-of-use of desktop geographical information system (GIS) software. The project will develop and refine a new approach to measuring spatial (race/ethnic) segregation that addresses known flaws in other measures. This approach is based on the understanding that a segregation index is a measure of the extent to which the local environments of individuals differ in their racial or socioeconomic composition (or, more generally, on any population trait). This approach is operationalized by assuming each individual inhabits a 'local environment' whose population is made up of the spatially-weighted average of the populations at each point in the region of interest. Given a particular spatial weighting function, segregation is measured by computing the spatially-weighted racial (or socioeconomic) composition of the local environment of each location (or person) in the study region and then comparing the average compositions of the local environments of members of each group. 


Sociology and Criminology and Demography Program