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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

February 8, 2012

Written by C.N.

Welcoming an Immigrant & Racial Minority to a New School

As regular readers to this blog know already (and as I write in the top section of every Asian-Nation post I write), I feel very strongly “public sociology” — to make sociological theory, research, and data as accessible to as wide of an audience as possible, and as applicable to real-world issues and situations as possible. I recently received an email that gave me just that opportunity.

Specifically, one reader wrote to me:

I am a full time elementary school teacher and I will have a new student in a few days from China. He and his family do not speak English–they are opening a restaurant in our small community. In our community, he will be the only Asian child. What can I do to help him not feel so alone and alienated? I know language will be a problem, but what could I as his teacher do to help? I was scanning the internet trying to find resources and found your site. Thank you for your time.

I replied back:

I commend you on trying to find ways to make this new student feel welcomed. Although my expertise is not in education, these are some suggestions that come to mind:

Young Chinese student © Justin Guariglia/Corbis

(1) Some time ago, there was a commercial (I forgot what the actual product or service was), but it showed a young Chinese boy about to enter a predominantly White school for his first day. Before entering, he was speaking in Chinese with his mom outside and told her, “My English is not good. What if the other students hate me?” His mother calmly replied, “You’ll be fine.” As he entered his classroom escorted by the principal, the teacher introduced the new student to the class. Then the entire class welcomed him by saying in unison, “Ni hao [student's name]” — translated, it means “Hello [student's name].” It was very sweet and it would be great if your class would do the same.

(2) You may already have plans to do so already, but I’ve heard from many educators that it helps new students if one or two other students are assigned to be their “guide” or someone who will spend time him the new student, show him around the school, eat lunch with him, introduce him to other students, and basically act like an ambassador for him to make him feel more comfortable.

(3) You may know Google Translate already , but if not, it’s a great tool to assist in translating between different languages. In the meantime, you’ll probably be surprised how quickly the student will learn English. Just stay patient and positive while he does.

(4) Perhaps some time in the future, your class can make a field trip to his parent’s restaurant to learn about Chinese food, running a small business, etc. This would be a great way to welcome the family to the community and to show the other students that he is welcomed in their class.

(5) Finally and perhaps most importantly, I hope you and the rest of the teachers and administrators can do whatever possible to stay on top of any incidents of racial teasing. Nothing will alienate the new student more than if other students start making fun of him because he’s Chinese — because he’s different than everybody else around him. With that in mind, it is absolutely critical to let the other students (in your class and elsewhere) that it is not acceptable to make fun of him because he’s Chinese and that any such incidents will be punished. This how we start to break the cycle of racial prejudice — one student at a time.

The teacher wrote me back and thanked me for the ideas and seemed very excited about them.

This question of how a school, administrators, teachers, and students can best welcome new student who is both an immigrant and a racial minority to their class got me thinking that, rather then just giving her my ideas, I should “crowdsource” this question and ask all of you for your suggestions on how to best welcome this new student.

If you have been in this situation, either as the new student, one of the existing students, or the educator, what were some ways to make this new student feel welcomed and comfortable? Or even if you were never in this situation, what are some strategies to try? If you are a researcher who is familiar with this issue, what are some “best practices” that have been shown to be effective? I would love to hear from others with your ideas and suggestions.

As globalization and demographic changes keep taking place and as U.S. society and more communities around the country like this become more diverse and multicultural, this kind of situation is likely to become more common. In other words, this is sociology taking place in the real world.


November 7, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #6

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of people’s lives, experiences, and issues related to race/ethnicity and immigration.

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Schlund-Vials, Cathy J. 2011. “Re-Seeing Race in a Post-Obama age: Asian American Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Intersectional Pedagogies.” New Directions for Teaching & Learning 125:101-109.

  • Abstract: Focused on comparative ethnic studies and intersectionality, the author commences with a discussion about Barack Obama’s historic inauguration and the Asian American literature classroom. Such historical and educational frames foreground a deeper discussion about the possibilities and challenges associated with cross-cultural, cross-racial pedagogies within Asian American studies and ethnic studies.
© Lisa Zador and Images.com/Corbis

DuongTran, Paul. 2011. “Coping Resources among Southeast Asian-American Adolescents.” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 21(2):196-208.

  • Abstract: This study examines the relationships of gender and ethnic differences in the experiences of stressful life events, coping-specific responses, and self-reported depression. Seventy high-school aged respondents, 40 boys and 30 girls, responded to a self-reported questionnaire that asked questions on the perceived distress of related life events (i.e., person, family, peer, acculturation events), coping-specific responses, and depression. The findings provide important data on gender and ethnic variations in the ways Southeast Asian-American adolescents deal with life stress and depression. These findings have important implications for social work practice and future research on the psychosocial adjustment with both immigrant and ethnic children and adolescents.

Borrero, Noah E. and Christine J. Yeh. 2011. “The Multidimensionality of Ethnic Identity Among Urban High School Youth.” Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 11(2):114-135.

  • Abstract: This study was designed to explore the associations of ethnic identity dimensions with collective self-esteem membership, school interest, student interest in learning, and community engagement among 406 ethnically diverse (Asian American, Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, and multiracial) high school students. Using the Ethnic Identity Scale, this article presents the relationships between school and community variables with students’ perceptions of ethnic identity exploration, resolution, and affirmation.

    Correlational analyses and post hoc t tests using Steiger’s modified z statistic show strong positive correlations between most school and community variables and students’ ethnic identity exploration and resolution. They also reveal a strong negative correlation between students’ school interest and ethnic identity affirmation. Results are discussed in terms of the emergent distinctions between student interest in learning and school interest as they relate to ethnic identity dimensions and collective self-esteem membership.

Okamura, Jonathan Y. 2011. “Barack Obama as the Post-Racial Candidate for a Post-Racial America: Perspectives from Asian America and Hawai’i.” Patterns of Prejudice 45(1 & 2):133-153.

  • Abstract: Okamura reviews the 2008 US presidential campaign and the election of Barack Obama as a ‘post-racial candidate’ in terms of two different meanings of ‘post-racialism’, namely, colour blindness and multiculturalism. He also discusses his campaign and election from the perspective of Asian America and Hawai’i given that Obama has been claimed as ‘the first Asian American president’ and as a ‘local’ person from Hawai’i where he was born and spent most of his youth.

    In both cases, Obama has been accorded these racialized identities primarily because of particular cultural values he espouses and cultural practices he engages in that facilitate his seeming transcendence of racial boundaries and categories generally demarcated by phenotype and ancestry. Okamura contends that proclaiming Obama as an honorary Asian American and as a local from Hawai’i inadvertently lends support to the post-racial America thesis and its false assertion of the declining significance of race: first, by reinforcing the ‘model minority’ stereotype of Asian Americans and, second, by affirming the widespread view of Hawai’i as a model of multiculturalism.

Shin, Hyoung-jin. 2011. “Intermarriage Patterns among the Children of Hispanic Immigrants.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(9):1385-1402.

  • Abstract: Utilizing data from the 2005–07 American Community Survey Public Use Micro Sample (ACS-PUMS), this study investigates the intermarriage patterns of Mexican, Cuban and Dominican Americans who were born in the United States or came to the country as immigrant children. Using intermarriage patterns as an indicator of social relations, I examine how cultural and structural assimilation factors affect the marital assimilation process among the children of Hispanic immigrants.

    One of the major contributions of this study is the examination of diversity within the US census categorization of ‘Hispanic’. Results from multinomial logistic regression analyses suggest that the marital assimilation process of Mexicans, Cubans and Dominicans varies across and within the groups according to their different individual characteristics and metropolitan context. My study is novel because it recognizes that broad-sweep analyses of intermarriage patterns are overly simplistic renderings of racial/ethnic assimilation because they fail to reveal distinctive and noteworthy within-group diversity.

Jain, Sonali. 2011. “The Rights of ‘Return’: Ethnic Identities in the Workplace among Second-Generation Indian-American Professionals in the Parental Homeland.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(9):1313-1330.

  • Abstract: This article explores the salience of ethnicity for second-generation Indian-American professionals who ‘return’ from the US to their parental homeland, India. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 48 second-generation Indian-Americans in India, it examines when and how they adopt ethnic identities in the workplace. My findings suggest that, bolstered by their transnational experiences and backgrounds, returnees construct ethnic identities and utilize ethnic options that reflect the cultural and economic environments of their adopted homeland.

    At the same time, and often contemporaneously, work relationships, experiences and personal interactions with those they encounter in the parental homeland factor into their transnational identity constructions. Also proposed is a preliminary framework within which to explore the conditions that facilitate the construction and assertion of returnees’ ethnic identities in the workplace in India.


October 12, 2011

Written by C.N.

Occupy Wall Street Movement: Real Deal or Just a Fad?

By now, I presume that you have heard of the Occupy Wall Street protests that began about a month ago, in which a small but fast-growing group of Americans camped outside of the large financial buildings in the Wall Street area of lower Manhattan to protest, among other things, the rising social inequality in U.S. society. The protests have since spread to numerous cities around the country (and apparently around the world) and at present, seem to be growing in popularity and media coverage.

Occupy Wall Street participant © Julie Dermansky/Corbis

One angle to look at is how the Occupy Wall Street movement may be the Left’s version of the Tea Party movement. While I have not looked into this particular aspect in detail, at first glance I think it is very interesting and even ironic that although this Occupy Wall Street movement shares much in common — at least philosophically — with the Tea Party movement, many of the latter’s prominent supporters have chosen to criticize the Occupy Wall Street movement. To my casual eye, this only highlights the hypocrisy of the Tea Party and confirms for me that is is less concerned about social change than it is about opposing President Obama and what he represents — namely the changing demographic, racial, and cultural face of U.S. society.

But beyond that, an even more interesting aspect of the Occupy Wall Street movement for me is its intentionally decentralized nature and how its most prominent informal leaders have specifically said that they do not feel that it is necessary or useful to articulate an overarching, single goal or unifying message for the movement. Below is a video clip from CBS News that discusses the movement’s reluctance to articulate a unified, central message.

Conventional sociological theory generally states that for a social movement to survive and have a realistic chance at achieving success, it needs to move beyond a single event and become more like a formal organization in terms of having a unifying message, clear leadership and personnel coordination, and well-developed administrative functions and capabilities. In other words, the early stages of a mass movement generally involve a sense of unrest or agitation, one or perhaps a series of events, a broad articulation of grievances, and an initial mobilization of collective action, media attention, and inevitably, some form of resistance or opposition.

But unless a movement can then develop strong leadership, mobilize resources, and sustain collective action, it is at this point where most social movements die. The Civil Rights Movement is often used as a model of how collective grievances eventually turned into a successful and sustained social movement through formalization, resource mobilization, organized division of labor, and political institutionalization. In fact, one of the most widely used books in the Sociology of Social Movements is Aldon Morris’ The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement that details how it evolved from collective grievances into arguably the most significant social movement in modern human history.

As applied to the Occupy Wall Street movement, conventional thinking dictates that it is eventually going to reach the point where it will either become more formalized, or it will flame out and pass into history. In this sense, the Occupy Wall Street movement’s choice to purposely remain unstructured and informal does not give me much confidence that it will be successfully sustained.

On the other hand, something also tells me that times have changed since the 1960s and that much like the rest of U.S. society, the cultural and technological landscape has evolved rather dramatically in the last 50 years or so. Obviously, back then resources such as cell phones, digital cameras, the internet, Twitter, and Facebook did not exist. Back then, communication and dissemination of information were slower, more crude, and more prone to confusion. If anything, knowing these limitations that existed 50 or so years ago makes the success of the Civil Rights Movement even more awe-inspiring.

In fact, scholars have described these types of social movements before and have called them New Social Movements (unfortunately creativity in naming things is not always a strong suit for academics). These New Social Movements tend to have decentralized leadership and organizational structures and instead relying on networks of groups that are affiliated or support their cause. They also tend to engage in nontraditional tactics — conventional protests but also TV ads, billboards, and extensive use of information technology and the internet. Some prominent examples of New Social Movements in recent history include the environmental, animal rights, anti-globalization, and peace/anti-war movements.

Today, with the widespread advent and dispersion of technological resources such as cell phones, digital imaging, and the internet, mass communication is infinitely quicker and more direct. Sociologists have started to write about just how much modern technology has affected and changed how human beings interact with each other on a daily basis. As applied to social movements, undoubtedly technology has made it much easier, quicker, and more effective to coordinate activities and disseminate all types of information.

In that sense, the Occupy Wall Street movement may not need to become formalized and organized into a hierarchy or bureaucracy in order to survive and become successful. The difference and advantage that they have today over their predecessors of 50 years ago is technology and the multitude of ways to dissemination information and to coordinate activities.

While technology itself cannot sustain a social movement, combined with the determination of participants and the fundamental importance and significance of the core issue of rising social inequality, the Occupy Wall Street movement may just be the right movement at the right time.

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Bonus: Check out this collection of some great protest posters of the Occupy Wall Street movement.


October 3, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #5

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of people’s lives, experiences, and issues related to race/ethnicity and immigration.

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Eckstein, Susan, and Thanh-Nghi Nguyen. 2011. “The Making and Transnationalization of an Ethnic Niche: Vietnamese Manicurists.” International Migration Review 45(3):639-674.

  • Abstract: The article addresses how Vietnamese immigrant women developed an urban employment niche in the beauty industry, in manicuring. They are shown to have done so by creating a market for professional nail care, through the transformation of nailwork into what might be called McNails, entailing inexpensive, walk-in, impersonal service, in stand-alone salons, nationwide, and by making manicures and pedicures de riguer across class and racial strata.

    Vietnamese are shown to have simultaneously gained access to institutional means to surmount professional manicure credentializing barriers, and to have developed formal and informal ethnic networks that fueled their growing monopolization of jobs in the sector, to the exclusion of non-Vietnamese. The article also elucidates conditions contributing to the Vietnamese build-up and transformation of the niche, to the nation-wide formation of the niche and, most recently, to the transnationalization of the niche. It also extrapolates from the Vietnamese manicure experience propositions concerning the development, expansion, maintenance, and transnationalization of immigrant-formed labor market niches.

© Lisa Zador and Images.com/Corbis

Cort, David. 2011. “Reexamining the Ethnic Hierarchy of Locational Attainment: Evidence from Los Angeles.” Social Science Research 40(6):1521-1533.

  • Abstract: Because of a lack of data, the locational attainment literature has not incorporated documentation status into models examining group differences in neighborhood quality. I fill this void by using the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, which permits the identification of undocumented respondents, allowing a reexamination of the ethnic structure of locational attainment in this important immigrant-receiving city.

    Results first suggest that while undocumented Latinos live in the poorest quality communities, blacks live in neighborhoods that are similar to native-born Latinos and better than foreign-born Asians and Latinos. Second, the effects of education are strongest for blacks, allowing the highly educated an opportunity to reside in communities that are of better quality than educated Latinos and Asians.

    Thus, undocumented Latinos replace blacks at the bottom of the locational attainment hierarchy, allowing educated blacks in Los Angeles to reside in better neighborhoods than blacks in the nation at large.

Emeka, Amon. 2011. “Non-Hispanics with Latin American Ancestry: Assimilation, Race, and Identity among Latin American Descendants in the U.S.” Social Science Research 40(6):1547-1563.

  • Abstract: In the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), 6% of respondents with Latin American ancestry answered ‘no’ when asked whether they were Hispanic themselves. Conventional definitions of the Hispanic population exclude such respondents as ‘not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino’ even though they are self-identified Latin American descendants. Since their exclusion may bias our assessments of Hispanic social mobility, it is important to know more about them.

    Non-Hispanic identification is most common among Latin American descendants who (1) list both Latin American and non-Latin American ancestries, (2) speak only English, and (3) identify as White, Black, or Asian when asked about their ‘race.’ Ancestry and racial identity are considerably more influential than respondents’ education, income, place of birth, or place of residence. These findings support both traditional straight-line assimilation and a more recent “racialized assimilation” theory in explaining discrepant responses to the ethnicity and ancestry questions among Latin American descendants.

Conger, Dylan, Amy E. Schwar, and Leanna Stiefel. 2011. “The Effect of Immigrant Communities on Foreign-Born Student Achievement.” International Migration Review 45(3):675-701.

  • Abstract: This paper explores the effect of the human capital characteristics of co-ethnic immigrant communities on foreign-born students’ math achievement. We use data on New York City public school foreign-born students from 39 countries merged with census data on the characteristics of the immigrant household heads in the city from each nation of origin and estimate regressions of student achievement on co-ethnic immigrant community characteristics, controlling for student and school attributes.

    We find that the income and size of the co-ethnic immigrant community has no effect on immigrant student achievement, while the percent of college graduates may have a small positive effect. In addition, children in highly English proficient immigrant communities test slightly lower than children from less proficient communities. The results suggest that there may be some protective factors associated with immigrant community members’ education levels and use of native languages.

Lee, Sharon M., and Barry Edmonston. 2011. “Age-at-Arrival’s Effects on Asian Immigrants’ Socioeconomic Outcomes in Canada and the U.S.” International Migration Review 45(3):527–561.

  • Abstract: Age-at-arrival is a key predictor of many immigrant outcomes, but discussion continues over how to best measure and study its effects. This research replicates and extends a pioneering study by Myers, Gao, and Emeka [International Migration Review (2009) 43:205–229] on age-at-arrival effects among Mexican immigrants in the U.S. to see if similar results hold for other immigrant groups and in other countries. We examine data from the 2000 U.S. census and 2006 American Community Survey, and 1991, 2001, and 2006 Canadian censuses to assess several measures of age-at-arrival effects on Asian immigrants’ socioeconomic outcomes.

    We confirm several of Myers et al.’s key findings, including the absence of clear breakpoints in age-at-arrival effects for all outcomes and the superiority of continuous measures of age-at-arrival. Additional analysis reveals different age-at-arrival effects by gender and Asian ethnicity. We suggest guidelines, supplementing those offered by Myers et al., for measuring and studying age-at-arrival’s effects on immigrant outcomes.


September 26, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #52

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Position: Chair of American Studies & Ethnicity, USC

The Department of American Studies & Ethnicity, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, California, is currently seeking to hire a Department Chair, at the rank of Professor with tenure. We are looking for a senior scholar with a
distinguished record of interdisciplinary research and publication and a commitment to teaching and graduate student mentorship.

The department is interested in scholars from the social sciences or the humanities whose work demonstrates an engagement with issues of race, gender, sexuality, either in the U.S. or transnationally in the fields of American and Ethnic Studies. Such a scholar will have a national and international profile, a dynamic understanding of where the field is heading, and will have some previous administrative experience to bring to this position. This is a unique and nationally recognized department that offers exciting opportunities and is open to benefiting from the vision of an established, innovative and imaginative leader in the field of American and Ethnic Studies.

To apply please send letter of interest and CV by October 1, 2011 to: Macarena Gomez-Barris, Interim Chair, Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, Kaprielian Hall (KAP) 462, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2534, preferably by email to asehiring@dornsife.usc.edu. In order to be considered, applicants must also submit an electronic USC application.

Call for Submissions: Diversity Conference

International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and AND Nation
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
11-13 June 2012

The Diversity Conference has a history of bringing together scholarly, government and practice-based participants with an interest in the issues of diversity and community. The conference examines the concept of diversity as a positive aspect of a global world and globalised society. Diversity is in many ways reflective of our present world order, but there are ways of taking this further without necessary engendering its alternatives: racism, conflict, discrimination and inequity. Diversity as a mode of social existence can be projected in ways that deepen the range of human experience.

The conference will seek to explore the full range of what diversity means and explore modes of diversity in real-life situations of living together in community. The conference supports a move away from simple affirmations that ‘diversity is good’ to a much more nuanced account of the effects and uses of diversity on differently situated communities in the context of our current epoch of globalization. The International Diversity Conference will take place in Vancouver, a city both with a past marked by racial conflict and a rich heritage of diversity.

As well as impressive line-up of international plenary speakers, the conference will also include numerous paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by practitioners, teachers and researchers. We would particularly like to invite you to respond to the conference Call-for-Papers. Presenters may choose to submit written papers for publication in The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are also available which allow you to submit a paper for refereeing and possible publication.

In addition to organizing the Diversity Conference, Common Ground publishes papers from the conference and we do encourage all conference participants to submit a paper based on their conference presentation for peer review and possible publication in the journal. Whether you are a virtual or in-person presenter at this conference,
we also encourage you to present on the conference YouTube Channel. In addition, we publish books at http://www.ondiversity.com in both print and electronic formats.

We would like to invite conference participants to develop publishing proposals for original works, or for edited collections of papers drawn from the journal which address
an identified theme. Finally, please join our online conversation by subscribing to our monthly email newsletter, and subscribe to our Facebook, RSS, or Twitter feeds at http://www.ondiversity.com.

The deadline for the next round in the call for papers (a title and short abstract) is 6 October 2011. Future deadlines will be announced on the conference website after this date. Proposals are reviewed within two weeks of submission. Full details of the conference, including an online proposal submission form, are to be found at the
conference website.

Yours Sincerely,
Prof. Jock Collins
University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
For the Advisory Board, International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations and The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations.

Position: Sociology, Villanova Univ.

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor position to begin in August 2012 (teaching load is 3-2). This position requires a specialization in Race and Ethnic Relations. Additional specialization in Theory is desirable.

Applications must include an application letter, CV, writing sample, evidence of teaching effectiveness, graduate transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation and graduate transcripts should be sent to Search Committee Chair, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, SAC 204, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, PA 19085. All other material must be submitted online at http://jobs.villanova.edu.

Review of applications begins October 15, 2011 and continues until the positions are filled. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Sociology by the time of appointment. Villanova is a Catholic university sponsored by the Augustinian Order located in the culturally diverse Philadelphia metropolitan area. An AA/EEO employer, Villanova seeks a diverse faculty committed to scholarship,service, and excellent teaching who understand and support the University’s mission, including the search for social justice.

Position: Sociology, Texas A&M

The Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University invites applications for an associate or full professor in the area of Racial and Ethnic Relations. We seek candidates who have a record of notable accomplishment in research and scholarship, a commitment to excellence in teaching, and potential to provide senior leadership to research programs linked with the Racial and Ethnic Studies Institute. Candidates in all research areas within Racial and Ethnic Studies are encouraged to apply but preference is given to candidates who have research expertise in demography or health disparities and/or whose program of research would draw effectively on the resources of the Texas Census Research Data Center.

Texas A&M is a large and expanding research university located in Bryan/College Station, a growing metropolitan community with a clean environment, attractive amenities and a low cost of living and close proximity to the large metropolitan areas of Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. It holds the unusual distinction of being a land, sea, and space grant university. The Sociology Department is large, collegial, and intellectually and demographically diverse. Major research areas include Race, Class and Gender; Crime, Law and Deviance; Culture; Demography; Political and Economic Sociology; and Social Psychology. The department’s undergraduate program has over 400 majors and the doctoral program has about 90 students. Over the past decade, the department has experienced significant investments including the addition of faculty positions at both the senior and junior levels.

The sociology department is pivotal in support for and involvement with the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute and the newly established Texas Census Research Data Center (TXCRDC). The TXCRDC is one of only 11 such centers in the United States and significant for providing exceptional access to confidential federal data files relevant for conducting research on topics including, but not limited to, population, health, income and wealth, economic activity, and business and organizations.

Applicants should submit a letter describing their research and teaching interests, a curriculum vita, and examples of their publications of scholarly works. Address correspondence to: Mark Fossett, Chair of the Sociology Search Committee, Department of Sociology, Texas A&M University, 77843-4351 (m-fossett@tamu.edu). Review of applications will begin on October 15th and continue until the position is filled. Texas A&M University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and seeks to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Position: Sociology, Brooklyn College – CUNY

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York invites applications for two tenure-track positions at the rank of Assistant Professor of Sociology to begin September 2012. Ph.D. in sociology required by the time of appointment. Position #1: Specialization in the areas of urban policy, stratification, and quantitative research methods. The candidate will be expected to teach at least one quantitative methods course each semester and contribute to the Department’s substantive courses in urban social welfare policy. We offer quantitative methods courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Teaching assignments may also include the social science course in the college’s core curriculum, as well as courses dual listed with Africana Studies. The Department of Sociology seeks to expand its ongoing collaboration with the Center for the Study of Brooklyn, Brooklyn College’s urban policy research institute.

Position #2: Specialization in the areas of race and ethnicity, stratification, and social theory. The candidate will be expected to teach at least one social theory course each semester and contribute to the Department’s substantive courses in race and ethnicity and inequality. We offer classical and contemporary social theory courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Teaching assignments may also include the social science course in the college’s core curriculum, as well as courses dual listed with Africana Studies.

For both positions, we are seeking candidates who are committed to undergraduate and graduate education at a public, urban institution that serves a highly diverse student body. Letters of application should specify how the candidate’s research and teaching interests can speak to, and make use of, Brooklyn’s uniquely rich and vibrant social context. Review of applications begins October 15th, 2011. A curriculum vita, statement of research interests and teaching philosophy, three letters of reference, and supportive documents (syllabi, student evaluations of teaching, samples of scholarship, etc.) should be sent to Michael T. Hewitt, Assistant Vice President for Human Resource Services, Department of Sociology, Brooklyn College-CUNY, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889.

Position: Sociology, Brooklyn College – CUNY

The American Bar Foundation sponsors fellowship programs for postdoctoral scholars, doctoral candidates, graduate and undergraduate students. All fellowships are held in residence at the ABF’s offices in Chicago. To submit an online application for an open fellowship opportunity at the American Bar Foundation, visit the ABF website.

ABF Doctoral Fellowship Program: The American Bar Foundation is committed to developing the next generation of scholars in the field of law and social science. The purpose of the fellowships is to encourage original and significant research on law, the legal profession, and legal institutions.

Law and Social Science Dissertation Fellowship and Mentoring Program (LSS Fellowship) The Law and Society Association, in collaboration with the American Bar Foundation and the National Science Foundation, has launched the Law and Social Science Dissertation Fellowship and Mentoring Program (LSS Fellowship) which is designed to foster scholars in the Law and Society tradition and whose scholarship is on Law and Inequality.

ABF Summer Research Diversity Program: This program of summer research fellowships is designed to introduce undergraduates from diverse backgrounds to the rewards and demands of a research-oriented career in the field of law and social science. Click here for more information.


August 31, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #49

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other related opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Position: Sociology, Urban Inequality, Univ. of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati. The Department of Sociology invites applicants for three tenure-track positions in urban inequality to begin September 1, 2011. Two positions will be at the Assistant Professor level and one at the Associate Professor level. Assistant Professor candidates should have the potential for becoming leading scholars and generating external research funding. A PhD in Sociology by July 30, 2012 is required. Associate Professor candidates should have substantial scholarly reputations and a record of garnering external funding. For all positions,
excellence in teaching is expected.

Along with current faculty, these positions will comprise a cluster of faculty with interests in urban inequality. Hence, preference will be given
to candidates with a primary scholarly focus in urban inequality. Secondary scholarly interests in family, gender, health/medicine, immigration, race/ethnicity, social movements, or work are desirable. The Department of Sociology is interested in increasing racial and ethnic diversity, so candidates of color are especially encouraged.

Position: Sociology (Race/Ethnicity) U.C. San Diego

The Department of Sociology within the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego is committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff, and student body. In that commitment, we seek candidates for a faculty position in the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity whose research, teaching, or service has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and inclusion in higher education. We are open to a wide variety of theoretical and methodological approaches. Preference will be given to scholars at the Assistant Professor level, but excellent candidates in other areas or at other levels will also be seriously considered.

Applicants are asked to submit a CV and samples of their written work, and should ask three referees to send letters of reference. Because a primary consideration for this position will be strong demonstrated accomplishments and a desire to play a leadership role contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion, applicants are asked to summarize in a personal statement their past experiences and leadership in equity and diversity, or their plans to make contributions in the field. For applicants interested in spousal/partner employment, please visit the UCSD Partner Opportunities Program website.

Application deadline is September 30, 2011.

Applicants should submit all application materials electronically via UCSD’s Academic Personnel On-Line RECRUIT (Preferred method). Please select the following recruitment: SOCIOLOGY Assistant Professor (10-175) JPF00021. If you wish to send hard copies of original publications, please mail to: John Evans, Chair, Department of Sociology-MC 0533, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0533.

Position: Sociology, Immigration, U.C. Merced

The University of California is creating a dynamic new university campus and campus community in Merced, California, which opened in September 2005 as the tenth campus of the University of California and the first American research university built in the 21st century. In keeping with the mission of the University to provide teaching, research and public service of the highest quality, UC Merced will be providing new educational opportunities at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels through three academic schools: Engineering, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences/Humanities/Arts.

The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts invites applications from exceptional scholars for one position at either the Full/Associate or Assistant Professor level in Sociology. Preference will be given to scholars who specialize in the study of Race and Ethnicity, with a substantive focus on immigration and immigrant experiences, economic inequality, labor markets, health and well-being, or education. We are seeking an individual with demonstrated excellence in both research and teaching. We currently have an undergraduate program in sociology and will be starting a graduate program soon. Applications must be submitted online by October 1, 2011, and must include the following: cover letter, cv, statement of research, teaching statement, 3 writing samples, and a list of 3 references. Assistant candidates (only) should have references send letters to sha.ref.soc11-12@ucmerced.edu.

For more information about the position, contact Nella Van Dyke: nvandyke@ucmerced.edu. To apply, please visit the UC Merced employment website.

Position: Sociology, Diversity, U.C. Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley invites applications for a position as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in any of the following three areas: (1) Diversity and Identity; (2) Legal or Philosophical Frameworks for Diverse Democracies; and (3) Diversity, Civil Society and Political Action, or some combination thereof. The anticipated starting date is July 1, 2012. The search is part of the interdisciplinary Haas Diversity Research Center and will be conducted under the auspices of the Diversity and Democracy cluster of this Center.

Candidates are expected to have a Ph.D. or J.D. degree (preferably by July 1, 2012) in one of the following disciplines: law, philosophy, political science, or sociology; they should have a research and teaching portfolio that examines how our legal, political, and social institutions and practices adapt (or fail to adapt) to an increasingly multi-racial, multi-ethnic population. Special consideration will be given to candidates who work in any of the following areas: (1) the content and contestation of group identities; (2) the normative and legal implications of racial and ethnic diversity within democratic societies; (3) the civic and political engagement of diverse electorates within local, national, and transnational contexts.

This search will be conducted with the participation of the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, and Philosophy, and the School of Law (including its Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program). The successful candidate will hold a faculty appointment in a department to be determined by the candidate’s preferences, disciplinary training, and departmental fit. Applications must include a letter of interest, a CV, three letters of reference, and up to three significant writing samples. Please direct referees to the University’s statement on confidentiality. Qualified women and members of underrepresented minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

All documents should be submitted on-line to the Diversity and Democracy Search Committee. Review of applications will begin on September 30, 2011; applications must be received by October 14, 2011 to assure it will receive full consideration.

Position: Sociology, Race, Univ. of Pennsylvania

The Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the sociology of race. We seek candidates with exceptionally strong research skills, who are also committed to undergraduate and graduate teaching.

Applications should be submitted online. Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a statement of research and teaching, and contact information for three individuals who have agreed to provide a letter of reference. Candidates are encouraged to apply by October 31, 2011.

Post Doc: African American Studies, Northwestern

The Department of African American Studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University invites applications for a two year Postdoctoral Fellowship. PhD must be completed by September 1, 2012. Recent Ph.D.s (degree granted during or after 2010) with a commitment to the field of African American and/or African Diaspora studies are encouraged to apply.

This two year fellowship is residential and provides a competitive stipend and benefits, a visiting appointment in the Department of African American Studies (including teaching of one or two classes in the Department), and participation in the intellectual life of the Department and University.

Applicants should submit one copy (postmarked no later than December 30, 2011) of:

  1. a current curriculum vitae
  2. a letter of application detailing the research project to be undertaken during the fellowship years
  3. a sample of scholarly writing
  4. evidence relating to the quality of teaching (syllabi and teaching evaluations)
  5. three letters of recommendation (including one letter from the dissertation advisor) to

Department of African American Studies
Northwestern University
1860 Campus Drive, Crowe 5-128
Evanston, IL 60208-2210
Attn: Postdoctoral Fellowship Search

All inquiries should be addressed to Suzette Denose at 847-491-5122 or s-denose@northwestern.edu.


August 15, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #4

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of people’s lives, experiences, and issues related to race/ethnicity and immigration.

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. The dissertation records are compiled by Dissertation Abstracts International. Copies of the dissertations can be obtained through your college’s library or by addressing your request to ProQuest, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346. Telephone 800-521-3042, email: disspub@umi.com. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Yamashiro, Jane H. 2011. “Racialized National Identity Construction in the Ancestral Homeland: Japanese American Migrants in Japan.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:1502-1521

  • Abstract: This article examines Japanese Americans in Japan to illuminate how ‘Japanese American’ – an ethnic minority identity in the US – is reconstructed in Japan as a racialized national identity. Based on fifty interviews with American citizens of Japanese ancestry conducted between 2004 and 2007, I demonstrate how interactions with Japanese in Japan shape Japanese Americans’ racial and national understandings of themselves.

    After laying out a theoretical framework for understanding the shifting intersection of race, ethnicity, and nationality, I explore the interactive process of racial categorization and ethnic identity assertion for Japanese American transnationals in Japan. This process leads to what I call racialized national identities – the intersection of racial and national identities in an international context – and suggests that US racial minority identities are constructed not only within the US, but abroad as well.

© Lisa Zador and Images.com/Corbis

Smith, Sandra Susan and Jennifer Anne Meri Jones. 2011. “Intraracial Harassment on Campus: Explaining Between- and Within-Group Differences.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:1567-1593.

  • Abstract: Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF), we examine both between- and within-group differences in the odds of feeling intraracially harassed. Specifically, we investigate the effects of colleges’ and universities’ racial composition as well as the nature of students’ associations with non-group members, including involvement in racially homogeneous campus organizations, ethnoracial diversity of friendship networks, and interracial dating.

    Our findings suggest that although college racial composition appears to have little effect on experiencing intraracial harassment, the nature of students’ involvement with other-race students matters a great deal. For all groups, interracial dating increased odds of harassment. Among black and white students, more diverse friendship networks did as well. And among Asian and Latino students, involvement in any racially homogeneous campus organization was associated with increases in reports of intraracial harassment. Thus, we propose a baseline theoretical model of intraracial harassment that highlights the nature of students’ associations with outgroups.

Sakamoto, Arthur, Isao Takei & Hyeyoung Woo. 2011. “Socioeconomic Differentials among Single-Race and Multi-Race Japanese Americans.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:445-1465.

  • Abstract: Using data from the 2000 US Census, this study investigates various groups of single-race and multi-race Japanese Americans in terms of their schooling and wages. The results indicate that all categories of Japanese Americans tend to have higher schooling than whites. Single-race Japanese Americans tend to have higher schooling than multi-race Japanese Americans, and 1.5-generation Japanese Americans tend to have higher schooling than native-born Japanese Americans.

    With the exception of foreign-educated, immigrant Japanese Americans, most of the wage differentials are explained by schooling and a few other demographic characteristics. These results are rather inconsistent with traditional assimilation theory which posits rising socioeconomic attainments with increasing acculturation. Instead, the findings suggest a reverse pattern by which the groups that are more closely related to Japan tend to have higher levels of educational attainment which then become translated into higher wages.

Khattab, Nabil, Ron Johnston, Tariq Modood, and Ibrahim Sirkeci. 2011. “Economic Activity in the South-Asian Population in Britain: The Impact of Ethnicity, Religion, and Class.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. 34:9:1466-1481.

  • Abstract: This paper expands the existing literature on ethnicity and economic activity in Britain by studying the impact of religion and class. It argues that while the class location of the different South-Asian groups is important in determining their labour market outcomes, it does not operate independently from ethnicity; rather it is highly influenced by ethnicity in the process of determining the labour market participation of these groups.

    We use data obtained from the 2001 UK Census on Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi men and women aged between twenty and twenty nine. Our findings confirm that class structure of the South-Asian groups is highly ethnicized, in that the ethno-religious background and class are interwoven to the extent that the separation between them is not easy, if not impossible.

Massey, Douglas and and Monica Espinoza Higginsa. 2011. “The Effect of Immigration on Religious Belief and Practice: A Theologizing or Alienating Experience?” Social Science Research. 40:5:1371-1389.

  • Abstract: Using data from the New Immigrant Survey, we examine the religious beliefs and practices of new legal immigrants to the United States. We find that Christian immigrants are more Catholic, more Orthodox, and less Protestant than American Christians, and that those immigrants who are Protestant are more likely to be evangelical. In addition to being more Catholic and more Orthodox than American Christians, the new immigrants are also paradoxically less Christian, with a fifth reporting some other faith.

    Detailed analysis of reported church attendance at places of origin and in the United States suggest that immigration is a disruptive event that alienates immigrants from religious practice rather than “theologizing” them. In addition, our models clearly show that people who join congregations in the United States are highly selected and unrepresentative of the broader population of immigrants in any faith. In general, congregational members were more observant both before and after emigration, were more educated, had more cumulative experience in the United States, and were more likely to have children present in the household and be homeowners and therefore yield biased representations of all adherents to any faith. The degree of selectivity and hence bias also varies markedly both by religion and nationality.

Jasso, Guillermina. 2011. “Migration and stratification.” Social Science Research. 40:5:1292-1336.

  • Abstract: Migration and stratification are increasingly intertwined. One day soon it will be impossible to understand one without the other. Both focus on life chances. Stratification is about differential life chances – who gets what and why – and migration is about improving life chances – getting more of the good things of life.

    To examine the interconnections of migration and stratification, we address a mix of old and new questions, carrying out analyses newly enabled by a unique new data set on recent legal immigrants to the United States (the New Immigrant Survey). We look at immigrant processing and lost documents, depression due to the visa process, presentation of self, the race-ethnic composition of an immigrant cohort (made possible by the data for the first time since 1961), black immigration from Africa and the Americas, skin color diversity among couples formed by US citizen sponsors and immigrant spouses, and English fluency among children age 8–12 and their immigrant parents.

    We find, inter alia, that children of previously illegal parents are especially more likely to be fluent in English, that native-born US citizen women tend to marry darker, that immigrant applicants who go through the visa process while already in the United States are more likely to have their documents lost and to suffer visa depression, and that immigration, by introducing accomplished black immigrants from Africa (notably via the visa lottery), threatens to overturn racial and skin color associations with skill. Our analyses show the mutual embeddedness of migration and stratification in the unfolding of the immigrants’ and their children’s life chances and the impacts on the stratification structure of the United States.

Hersch, Joni. 2011. “The Persistence of Skin Color Discrimination for Immigrants. Social Science Research. 40:5:1337-1349.

  • Abstract: Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination in employment on the basis of color is prohibited, and color is a protected basis independent from race. Using data from the spouses of the main respondents to the New Immigrant Survey 2003, this paper shows that immigrants with the lightest skin color earn on average 16–23% more than comparable immigrants with the darkest skin color.

    These estimates control for years of legal permanent residence in the US, education, English language proficiency, occupation in source country, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, race, country of birth, as well as for extensive current labor market characteristics that may be themselves influenced by discrimination. Furthermore, the skin color penalty does not diminish over time. These results are consistent with persistent skin color discrimination affecting legal immigrants to the United States.

Akresh, Ilana Redstone. 2011. “Wealth Accumulation among U.S. Immigrants: A Study of Assimilation and Differentials.” Social Science Research. 40:5:1390-1401.

  • Abstract: Data from the New Immigrant Survey are used to study wealth differentials among U.S. legal permanent residents. This study is unique in its ability to account for wealth held in the U.S. and that held abroad and yields several key findings. First, relative to immigrants from Western Europe, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand (who have median wealth similar to native born non-Hispanic whites), other immigrant groups have lower levels of total wealth even after accounting for permanent income and life course characteristics.

    Second, time in the U.S. is positively associated with the wealth of married immigrants, yet this relationship is not statistically significant for single immigrants. Third, differences in the means of measured characteristics between Western European immigrants and those from most other origin regions account for more than 75 percent of observed wealth disparities. However, for immigrants from Asia and from the Indian subcontinent, much of the wealth differential remains unexplained by these factors.

Lin, Ken-Hou. 2011. “Do Less-Skilled Immigrants Work More? Examining the Work Time of Mexican Immigrant Men in the United States.” Social Science Research. 40:5:1402-1418.

  • Abstract: Using data from the US Current Population Surveys 2006–2008, I examine the weekly work hours of Mexican immigrants. Mexican immigrant workers on average work 2–4 h less than non-Hispanic whites per week, which contradicts the popular portrait of long immigrant work hours. Four mechanisms to explain this gap are proposed and examined.

    Results show that the work time disparity between non-Hispanic white and Mexican immigrant workers is explained by differences in human capital, ethnic concentration in the labor market, and selection process into employment. English proficiency has limited effect on work time after location in labor market is specified, while the effect of citizenship status remains robust.


August 3, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #3

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of people’s lives, experiences, and issues related to race/ethnicity and immigration.

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. The dissertation records are compiled by Dissertation Abstracts International. Copies of the dissertations can be obtained through your college’s library or by addressing your request to ProQuest, 789 E. Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346. Telephone 800-521-3042, email: disspub@umi.com. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Yasuike, Akiko. 2011. “Economic Opportunities and the Division of Labor among Japanese Immigrant Couples in Southern California.” Sociological Inquiry 81:353-376.

  • Abstract: Based on 36 in-depth interviews conducted with 18 Japanese couples who live in Southern California, this study examines the impact of differential economic opportunities on the division of labor among Japanese immigrant couples. Three main factors facilitate Japanese professional and businessmen’s mobility to and settlement in Southern California: (1) the gender-based stratification of the workplace in Japan; (2) U.S. immigration policies that favor foreign nationals with strong corporate ties and business experience; and (3) the strong presence of Japanese corporations in Southern California.

    Whereas these conditions enable men to maintain their earning power, they do not benefit women in employment opportunities. The difference in economic opportunities encourages Japanese couples to preserve a breadwinner and homemaker division of labor, and women continue to do a bulk of housework and childcare even when women reenter the labor force later in their lives.

© Lisa Zador and Images.com/Corbis

Xiea, Yu, and Emily Greenman. 2011. “The Social Context of Assimilation: Testing Implications of Segmented Assimilation Theory.” Social Science Research 40:965-984.

  • Abstract: Segmented assimilation theory has been a popular explanation for the diverse experiences of assimilation among new waves of immigrants and their children. While the theory has been interpreted in many different ways, we emphasize its implications for the important role of social context: both processes and consequences of assimilation should depend on the local social context in which immigrants are embedded. We derive empirically falsifiable hypotheses about the interaction effects between social context and assimilation on immigrant children’s well-being.

    We then test the hypotheses using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Our empirical analyses yield two main findings. First, for immigrant adolescents living in non-poverty neighborhoods, we find assimilation to be positively associated with educational achievement and psychological well-being but also positively associated with at-risk behavior. Second, there is little empirical evidence supporting our hypotheses derived from segmented assimilation theory. We interpret these results to mean that future research would be more fruitful focusing on differential processes of assimilation rather than differential consequences of assimilation.

Thomas, Kevin J. A. 2011. “What Explains the Increasing Trend in African Emigration to the U.S.?” International Migration Review 45:3-28.

  • Abstract: In this study, data from the U.S. State Department on visas issued abroad and information from other sources are used to examine trends in African emigration to the U.S. The results suggest that, on average, moderate increases in African Gross Domestic Product between 1992 and 2007 had a buffering effect on emigration trends. Yet, emigration to the U.S. increased much faster from the poorest than wealthiest countries in Africa. Contrary to expectations, larger emigration increases were found in Africa’s non-English than English-speaking countries.

    Despite the increasing overall trend, however, critical differences were observed in the impacts of specific types of flows. For example, overall trends were driven by increases in Diversity Visa migration, refugee movements, and the migration of immediate relatives. However, significant declines were observed in employment-related emigration from Africa to the U.S. The results further suggest that impact of trends in African fertility, urbanization, and phone use are circumscribed to specific contexts and types of migration flows. The findings, therefore, provide an empirical basis for concluding that the dynamics of African migration to the U.S. are becoming increasingly more complex.

Taylor, Marylee C., and Peter J. Mateyka. 2011. “Commuity Influences on White Racial Attitudes: What Matters and Why?” Sociological Quarterly 52:220-243.

  • Abstract: Tracing the roots of racial attitudes in historical events and individual biographies has been a long-standing goal of race relations scholars. Recent years have seen a new development in racial attitude research: Local community context has entered the spotlight as a potential influence on racial views. The race composition of the locality has been the most common focus; evidence from earlier decades suggests that white Americans are more likely to hold anti-black attitudes if they live in areas where the African-American population is relatively large.

    However, an influential 2000 article argued that the socioeconomic composition of the white community is a more powerful influence on white attitudes: In low-socioeconomic status (SES) locales, “stress-inducing” deprivations and hardships in whites’ own lives purportedly lead them to disparage blacks. The study reported here reassesses this “scapegoating” claim, using data from the 1998 to 2002 General Social Surveys linked to 2000 census information about communities. Across many dimensions of racial attitudes, there is pronounced influence of both local racial proportions and college completion rates among white residents. However, the economic dimension of SES exerts negligible influence on white racial attitudes, suggesting that local processes other than scapegoating must be at work.

Son, Deborah, and J. Nicole Shelton. 2011. “Stigma Consciousness Among Asian Americans: Impact of Positive Stereotypes in Interracial Roommate Relationships.” Asian American Journal of Psychology 2:51-60.

  • Abstract: The present research examined the intrapersonal consequences that Asian Americans experience as a result of their concerns about appearing highly intelligent, a positive stereotype associated with their racial group. A daily diary study of Asian-American college students (N = 47) revealed that higher levels of stigma consciousness were associated with greater anxiety, contact avoidance, perceived need to change to fit in with a roommate, and concerns about being viewed as intelligent for Asian Americans living with a European-American (vs. racial minority) roommate.

    Further, among Asian Americans with a European-American roommate, concerns about appearing intelligent partially mediated the relationships between stigma consciousness and the outcomes of anxiety and perceived need to change to fit in. In sum, these findings demonstrate that positive stereotypes about the group—not just negative stereotypes—may lead to undesirable intrapersonal outcomes.

Ruzek, Nicole A., Dao Q. Nguyen, and David C. Herzog. 2011. “Acculturation, Enculturation, Psychological Distress and Help-Seeking Preferences among Asian American College Students.” Asian American Journal of Psychology July 4, 2001.

  • Abstract: We examined the relationship between Asian American college students’ levels of acculturation, enculturation, and psychological distress. We also explored the methods Asian American college students prefer when seeking help for psychological concerns. The sample included 601 Asian American students from a large public university in Southern California. Respondents completed an online questionnaire, which included instruments assessing acculturation and enculturation levels as well as psychological distress and help-seeking preferences.

    Regression analyses indicated that when Asian American students hold a greater degree of European values they are less likely to experience psychological distress. A repeated-measures ANOVA found that Asian American students prefer more covert approaches to mental health treatment. These findings both compliment and contradict previous studies of acculturation, enculturation, psychological distress and help-seeking among the Asian American college student population.

Hunt, Geoffrey, Molly Moloney, and Kristin Evans. 2011. “‘How Asian Am I?’ Asian American Youth Cultures, Drug Use, and Ethnic Identity Construction.” Youth & Society 43:274-304.

  • Abstract: This article analyzes the construction of ethnic identity in the narratives of 100 young Asian Americans in a dance club/rave scene. Authors examine how illicit drug use and other consuming practices shape their understanding of Asian American identities, finding three distinct patterns. The first presents a disjuncture between Asian American ethnicity and drug use, seeing their own consumption as exceptional. The second argues their drug consumption is a natural outgrowth of their Asian American identity, allowing them to navigate the liminal space they occupy in American society.

    The final group presents Asian American drug use as normalized and constructs identity through taste and lifestyle boundary markers within social contexts of the dance scenes. These three narratives share a sense of ethnicity as dynamic, provisional, and constructed, allowing one to go beyond the static, essentialist models of ethnic identity that underlie much previous research on ethnicity, immigration, and substance use.

Howard, Tiffiany O. 2011. “The Perceptions of Self and Others: Examining the Effect Identity Adoption has on Immigrant Attitudes toward Affirmative Action Policies in the United States.” Immigrants & Minorities 29:86-109.

  • Abstract: While there exist several studies devoted to evaluating the political attitudes of US citizens, very little has been done to distinguish between the political attitudes of immigrants and citizens of the same racial or ethnic group. Using data from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality, 1992-94, this study evaluates the role identity adoption plays in highlighting the distinctions which exist between the political attitudes of immigrants and those of US citizens from the same racial/ethnic group.

    The results reveal that despite pronounced cultural distinctions between immigrants and US citizens, in many cases race and ethnicity are important unifiers on opinions regarding public policy issues, specifically that of affirmative action. This is an important finding because it suggests that there is some homogeneity of attitudes and public


March 21, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Recent Articles on Asian Americans #1

To highlight the continuing growth and vitality of Asian American Studies, the following is a list of recent articles published in academic journals from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of the Asian American population.”

These academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Cheng, Yen-hsin Alice and Nancy S. Landale. 2011. “Adolescent Precursors of Early Union Formation Among Asian American and White Young Adults.” Journal of Family Issues 32:209-236.

  • Abstract: Using a framework that emphasizes independent versus interdependent self-construals, this study investigates the relatively low rates of early marriage and cohabitation among Asian Americans compared with Whites. Data from Waves 1 and 3 of Add Health are used to test five hypotheses that focus on family value socialization and other precursors measured in adolescence. Analyses of early marriage indicate that the Asian-White difference is driven primarily by differences in adolescent sexual and romantic relationship experiences and that several measures of family values play a stronger role among Asian Americans than Whites. Asian-White differences in cohabitation persist net of socioeconomic status and other adolescent precursors, but differences are attenuated when parental value socialization, intimate relationship experiences, and educational investments are controlled. These results are interpreted within a culturally sensitive conceptual framework that emphasizes interdependent construals of the self among Asian Americans.
© TongRo Image Stock/Corbis

Greenman, Emily. 2011. “Asian American-White Differences in the Effect of Motherhood on Career Outcomes.” Work and Occupations 38:37-67.

  • Abstract: U.S.-born Asian Americans are unique among American minority groups in that they lack earnings disadvantages relative to Whites with similar education levels. Controlling for education and age, there is little difference in the earnings of U.S.-born Asian and White men, but Asian women have higher earnings than comparable White women. Using data from SESTAT, this study tests the hypothesis that Asian American women’s high earnings may result from adjusting their labor supply less than White women in response to parenthood, leading to greater work experience over time. Findings show that Asian American women are less likely than White women to reduce labor supply in response to parenthood and that their resulting greater work experience explains their high rate of earnings growth.

Tamaki, Emi. 2011. “Transnational Home Engagement among Latino and Asian Americans: Resources and Motivation.” International Migration Review 45:148-173.

  • Abstract: Is immigrant groups’ assimilation to host society at odds with their engagement with the country of ancestral origin? This study divides the concept of assimilation into socioeconomic resources and attachment to host society, and argues that assimilation and transnational perspectives are coexisting paradigms. Analyses using the nationally representative samples of Latino and Asian Americans indicate that higher-order generations reduce the odds of home country engagement, i.e., frequent return visits; attachment to American society does not discourage return visits; socioeconomic resources increase frequent visits; and the country of origin is a significant predictor of home country visits.

Greenman, Emily. 2011. “Assimilation Choices Among Immigrant Families: Does School Context Matter?” International Migration Review 45:29-67.

  • Abstract: This article explores the relationship between social context, measured in terms of school characteristics, and the assimilation of immigrant adolescents. First, it develops a measure of assimilation based on comparing immigrant adolescents to native peers within the same school. Second, it investigates whether immigrant adolescents’ degree of assimilation varies systematically according to school socioeconomic status (SES). Third, it explores the role of parental and adolescent behavior in creating such variation. Results show that both Asian and Hispanic immigrant youth are less assimilated to native youths’ substance use and delinquency patterns in lower-SES schools. This association can be explained by parenting behaviors and adolescent friendship choices for Asian youth, but not Hispanic youth.

Kim, Chigon and Pyong Gap Min. 2010. “Marital Patterns and Use of Mother Tongue at Home among Native-Born Asian Americans.” Social Forces 89:233-256.

  • Abstract: This article examines marital patterns and use of mother tongue at home among native-born Asian Americans using the 2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Public Use Microdata Sample. There are variations in mother-tongue use across Asian ethnic groups, but variations among different types of marriage are even greater. Those who marry within their ethnicity (in-married) have a greater likelihood of mother-tongue use at home than those who intermarry. Among the in-married, those having 1.5- and first-generation co-ethnic spouses are far more likely to use a mother tongue than those having native-born, co-ethnic partners. Results of logistic regression analyses indicate that marital patterns are the strongest predictor of mother-tongue use at home, and that ethnic variations in mother-tongue use are significantly reduced when marital patterns are taken into account.

Chhuon, Vichet and Cynthia Hudley. 2010. “Asian American Ethnic Options: How Cambodian Students Negotiate Ethnic Identities in a U.S. Urban School.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 41:341-359.

  • Abstract: Research suggests that Cambodian students often endure conflicting ethnic stereotypes from larger society and their school and communities. We examine the ways in which Cambodian youth negotiated their ethnic identities in response to these stereotypes and argue that Cambodian students adopted, rejected, and affirmed certain ethnic identities in relation to perceived advantages associated with different labels across varying school contexts.

Cheng, Wendy. 2010. “‘Diversity’ on Main Street? Branding Race and Place in the New ‘Majority-Minority’ Suburbs.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 17:458-486.

  • Abstract: The emergence in the United States of an increasing number of spaces across the socioeconomic spectrum with majority nonwhite populations merits close attention because of these spaces’ potential in reconfiguring historical and contemporary claims to place. In an era in which the neoliberalization of urban development has spurred local governments toward more active involvement in defining relationships between race, ethnicity, consumption, and space, ‘majority-minority’ suburbs are particularly important sites of study. In the late 2000s, two branding campaigns in majority-Asian American and Latina/o municipalities in Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley-a densely populated region popularly known as a ‘suburban Chinatown’-put forth specific discourses of race, ethnicity, and culture in attempts to actualize specific visions and claims to place, identity, and history. In doing so, these campaigns illuminated and reinforced larger racial, geographic, and ideological divides. ‘Diversity’ on Main Street embraced pluralist multicultural discourses of the nation, while the ‘Golden Mile’ proposal sought to showcase the transformation of a central thoroughfare by ethnic Chinese capital and immigration. A close examination and comparison of these two campaigns shows how struggles over race, geography, and history are intertwined in the contemporary identities of places and integral to the shaping of civic landscapes.

Kim, ChangHwan and Arthur Sakamoto. 2010. “Have Asian American Men Achieved Labor Market Parity with White Men?” American Sociological Review 75:934-957.

  • Abstract: The emergence in the United States of an increasing number of spaces across the socioeconomic spectrum with majority nonwhite populations merits close attention because of these spaces’ potential in reconfiguring historical and contemporary claims to place. In an era in which the neoliberalization of urban development has spurred local governments toward more active involvement in defining relationships between race, ethnicity, consumption, and space, ‘majority-minority’ suburbs are particularly important sites of study. In the late 2000s, two branding campaigns in majority-Asian American and Latina/o municipalities in Los Angeles’s San Gabriel Valley-a densely populated region popularly known as a ‘suburban Chinatown’-put forth specific discourses of race, ethnicity, and culture in attempts to actualize specific visions and claims to place, identity, and history. In doing so, these campaigns illuminated and reinforced larger racial, geographic, and ideological divides. ‘Diversity’ on Main Street embraced pluralist multicultural discourses of the nation, while the ‘Golden Mile’ proposal sought to showcase the transformation of a central thoroughfare by ethnic Chinese capital and immigration. A close examination and comparison of these two campaigns shows how struggles over race, geography, and history are intertwined in the contemporary identities of places and integral to the shaping of civic landscapes.

Chang, Esther S., Jutta Heckhausen, Ellen Greenberger, and Chuansheng Chen. 2010. “Shared Agency with Parents for Educational Goals: Ethnic Differences and Implications for College Adjustment.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 39:1293-1304.

  • Abstract: This study proposed and confirmed three ways in which college students can perceive shared agency and two ways in which they can perceive non-shared agency with parents when pursuing educational goals in college. Differences and similarities were examined among participants from four ethnic backgrounds (N = 515; 67% female): East Asian American, Southeast Asian American, Filipino/Pacific Islander American, and European American. Results indicated that Asian American youth reported higher levels of non-shared agency with parents (i.e., parental directing and noninvolvement), lower levels of shared agency (i.e., parental accommodation, support, or collaboration), and poorer college adjustment compared to European Americans. However, ethnic similarities were found whereby perceived shared agency in education with parents was associated with college adjustment. Multiple mediation analyses also indicated that our model of shared and non-shared agency with parents explained differences in college adjustment between Asian and European Americans, though more strongly for comparisons between European and East Asian Americans. Our results suggest that parents continue to be important in the education of older youth but that continued directing of youth’s education in college can be maladaptive.

Abrams, Jessica R. 2010. “Asian American Television Activity: Is it Related to Outgroup Vitality?” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 34:541-550.

  • Abstract: Applying a uses and gratifications and social identity gratifications approach, the present study explores Asian American television viewing. Specifically, Asian Americans report on the quantity of television they watch, what shows they watch, why they watch, and whether their uses are related to their perceptions of Caucasian vitality. The data reveal that using television for entertainment and to escape/relieve boredom were the most important television uses for this group of Asian Americans. At the same time, these two uses were significant predictors of how vital Asian Americans perceived Caucasians. Although selecting and avoiding television for ethnic identity gratifications were not important relative to other gratifications, television selection for identity gratifications was important to Asian Americans who highly identify with their ethnic group.

Haines, David A. and Karen E. Rosenblum. 2010. “Perfectly American: Constructing the Refugee Experience.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36:391-406.

  • Abstract: Over the last 60 years, the United States has accepted some two million refugees for resettlement. Standard opinion polls suggest that the American response to these refugees has been mixed. Yet, despite much ambivalence about particular refugees and where they may belong in the grid of American social and cultural categories, the notion of refuge and the imperative toward support and welcome to refugees endure. As an extended example, this paper considers press treatment of refugees in Richmond, Virginia during the last quarter of the twentieth century—before security concerns and surging numbers of illegal immigrants irrevocably changed the nature of American immigration. Unlike the ambivalent response that emerges in national opinion polls and some other venues, in this case the construction of refugees is neither negative nor ambivalent, but is instead solidly positive. This positive construction extends across a broad range of racial and national-origin groups and is conditioned by a peculiarly American notion of how refugees relate to broader American categories, particularly that of ‘immigrant’. In this local story from the United States lies a broader tale of how refugees are woven into the existing social and cultural categories of the countries in which they resettle.

Hwang, Sean-Shong, Juan Xi, and Yue Cao. 2010. “The Conditional Relationship Between English Language Proficiency and Earnings Among U.S. Immigrants.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 33:1620-1647.

  • Abstract: Using the 2000 US census data for immigrants of twenty language groups resided in metropolitan areas, we test the hypothesis that the rate of returns (in earnings) to English proficiency is not constant but varies with the language environment (as defined by group size, segregation, linguistic heterogeneity and inequality) in which immigrants are embedded. Results from our hierarchical model indicate that while an increase in the size and segregation of the language group diminishes returns to English proficiency, a rise in linguistic heterogeneity and inequality in the metropolitan area has the opposite effects. This study expands the scope of the previous studies by identifying conditions under which returns to English proficiency among immigrants are modified by a set of contextual factors often overlooked.

Kim, Wooksoo and Robert H. Keefe. 2010. “Barriers to Healthcare Among Asian Americans.” Social Work in Public Health 25:286-295.

  • Abstract: The myth of the well-adjusted Asian American resulted from sample-biased research studies that concluded that Asian Americans are physically healthier and financially better off than Caucasians. The myth has been perpetuated by researchers who have often categorized Asian Americans as a single, undifferentiated group rather than as distinct ethnic groups. Consequently, data analysis techniques do not reveal distinctions that may exist had the researchers controlled for ethnic group variation. The authors discussed four major barriers–language and culture, health literacy, health insurance, and immigrant status–to healthcare that may influence within-group disparities among Asian Americans that may go unreported. The authors argue that healthcare policy makers and researchers should consider Asian Americans as members of discrete ethnic groups with unique healthcare needs. Recommendations for health policies and future research are provided.

July 26, 2010

Written by C.N.

Job Postings #1

The following are announcements about jobs for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Job Opportunity: Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies, The Claremont Colleges

The Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies at the Claremont Colleges and the Asian American Studies field group at Pitzer College invite applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Asian American Studies, to begin 1 July 2011.

The successful candidate should, by the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester, have a Ph.D. in ethnic studies, American Studies, or other disciplines or interdisciplinary studies appropriate to this subject. Candidates should have the ability to teach a community-based learning course and Asian American History. The department has identified a need for research and teaching expertise in Filipino, Muslim, Pacific Islander, South Asian, or Southeast Asian communities. We especially encourage candidates whose work takes place within frameworks of transnationalism and globalization.

Pitzer College, a member of the Claremont Colleges, has a strong institutional commitment to the principles of diversity in all areas and strongly encourages candidates from underrepresented social groups. We favor candidates who can contribute to the College’s distinctive educational objectives, which promote interdisciplinary perspectives, intercultural understanding, and concern with social responsibility and the ethical implications of knowledge and action. Pitzer College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. For the successful applicant with the relevant interests, affiliations are possible with the intercollegiate departments of Africana Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, and/or Women’s Studies.

To apply, send letter of application, curriculum vitae, selected evidence of excellence in teaching and research, statement of teaching philosophy, statement on social responsibility, a statement of research, and three letters of recommendation (at least one (1) of which addresses your teaching effectiveness) via email to “idaas_search@pitzer.edu.” Electronic documents should be sent in PDF format. Applications will be considered beginning September 17, 2010, until the position is filled.

Assistant Professor in Sociology, Univ. of Hawai’i West O’ahu

This position is responsible for teaching sociology courses in the Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences program. The teaching assignment is three courses per semester, including day, evening, and distance education courses. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to teaching a variety of sociology courses in areas consistent with personal interests and program needs. The successful candidate is also expected to engage in scholarly research and publication, committee service, student academic advising, and to participate in faculty governance.

Minimum qualifications: PhD from an accredited college or university in Sociology. (ABD candidates are eligible to apply, but must complete all degree requirements prior to the appointment.) Candidates must have a broad knowledge of sociology and a commitment to teaching excellence.

Desirable qualifications: Areas of specialization are open, but preference will be given to applicants prepared to teach at least two of the following: introductory sociology, social stratification, sociology of aging, medical sociology, sociological theory, writing-intensive courses, and demonstrated ability to teach using distance education technology.

To apply: Send a letter of application, curriculum vita, copies of transcripts (originals required at time of hire) and the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least three professional references. All items become the property of the University of Hawai’i – West O’ahu. Application materials may also be e-mailed as an MS Word file attachment to delucchi@hawaii.edu. Closing date: Continuous – application review begins October 15, 2010.

Address:
University of Hawaii – West Oahu
Sociology Search Committee
96-129 Ala Ike
Pearl City, HI 96782

Inquiries: Dr. Michael Delucchi (phone: 808-454-4718, email: delucchi@hawaii.edu)

Lecturer in Asian American Studies, Univ. of California, Irvine

The Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California Irvine invites applications for a part-time Non Senate Faculty position with primary responsibility in teaching an upper division interdisciplinary course in Asian American Studies for 2010-11. Minimum base salary per course is $5579. The appointment dates would be as follows: Winter Quarter 2011 1/01/11-03/31/11 or Spring Quarter 2011 4/1/11 to 6/30/11.

We are looking for applicants who can teach the “Vietnamese American Experience” course.

Applicants with a Ph.D. preferred. Applicants who are ABD or have a M.A.; M.F.A. or equivalent will be considered. UC graduate students must have filed their dissertation or have a degree in hand by mid- December 2011 to be eligible to teach in Winter Quarter 2011 and by mid-March 2011 to be eligible to teach in Spring Quarter 2011.

Send materials via e-mail attachment to Jim Lee at jkl@uci.edu, followed by a hard copy of your application materials:

Cover letter

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Teaching evaluation summaries (no raw data needed)
  • Two letters of recommendations sent directly from the recommender
  • Complete sample syllabus of the course you are proposing
  • Indicate quarters available (Winter/Spring)

Applications will be accepted until positions are filled. However, to ensure fullest consideration, all applications materials should be submitted by August 31, 2010 to:

Jim Lee, Chair
Department of Asian American Studies
3000 Humanities Gateway
University of California Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-6900

Program Coordinators of Multicultural Affairs, Duke Univ.

The Duke Center for Multicultural Affairs has launched a search for two Program Coordinator positions for our office. Each Program Coordinator will be expected to be knowledgeable of the histories, cultural and developmental issues of Native American, African American, Latino-American, South Asian American, East Asian American and South East Asian American ethnic communities.

In addition the Program Coordinator will be expected to provide a comprehensive program of services in the areas of community engagement, multicultural education and leadership development to empower students and their organizations to create an inclusive multicultural student community. This individual will also offer student club/organization advising, design experiential training in diversity education and multicultural competency to prepare students to participate in a complex global community.

Interested applicants should apply online through the Duke Human Resources website and find job requisition # 400413331. Please also find the position description below.

Specific Duties:
Program Development

  • Develop and implement programs that support academic persistence
  • Create and implement programs that promote skill development in diversity education and multicultural competency
  • Design programs that enhance knowledge and understanding of principles of social justice, activism and advocacy
  • Deliver educational presentations and other co-curricular programming such as informal and formal discussions in and outside of the classroom, house courses, film series, etc. on the issues pertaining to multicultural competency and social justice education
  • Evaluate and assess programmatic effectiveness through regular qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis such as focus groups, pre- and post-surveys, benchmark tracking, or other performance or outcome data

Student and Student Organization Advising

  • Hire, train and supervise undergraduate, graduate and professional student staff, interns and volunteers who work in the CMA
  • Advise multicultural student clubs and organizations
  • Develop a leadership curriculum that prepares students to lead their multicultural student organizations
  • Promote student group cross-cultural communication, inter/intra-group interaction and program collaboration

Administration

  • Complete all administrative duties including but not limited to financial paperwork in accordance with University policy and reports as assigned by the Assistant Director
  • Participate on the Campus Life Program Coordinator Group
  • Develop and maintain relationships with campus, community and alumni organizations that support the mission of the Center for Multicultural Affairs
  • Attend appropriate department, Division, and University meetings that support the goals of the Center for Multicultural Affairs
  • Participate in the design and implementation of short and long-term strategic planning and annual budgeting for the Center for Multicultural Affairs

General Qualifications:
Minimum educational requirement: Master’s Degree in relevant field. Strongly prefer 2-3 years experience as multicultural educator in a higher education setting.

Specific Skills and Competencies:
Position requires knowledge and understanding of American ethnic student communities in higher educational settings and ability to work with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members. Candidate must have excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills, with a proven ability to work in a team environment. Outstanding organizational skills with ability to handle multiple projects/priorities and meet deadlines are required.

Policy Analyst, Citizenship & Immigration Services, Dept. of Homeland Security

Position: Policy Analyst (Research & Evaluation Division)
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Citizenship and Immigration Services
Job Announcement Number: CIS-PJN-359063-OPP
Salary Range: $89,033.00 – $136,771.00 /year
Open Period: Wednesday, July 07, 2010 to Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Series & Grade: GS-0301-13/14
Position Information: Full Time Career/Career Conditional
Promotion Potential: 14
Duty Location: Washington DC
Who May Be Considered: United States Citizens

Job Summary: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration.

General Responsibilities of Policy Analysts:

  • Analyze, develop and review a variety of technical reports
  • Draft and review proposed legislation
  • Ensure effective coordination and integration of recommended policy

You will provide expert advice, analysis, and services on complex and sensitive issues related to the agency’s immigration policies and programs. Your duties will include the following:

  • Developing and managing quantitative and qualitative studies related to various immigration programs, policies, and petition types.
  • Analyzing, developing and reviewing a variety of technical reports and assessment instruments for use within the Agency.
  • Conducting and leading comprehensive studies on new and proposed policy initiatives, providing balanced information and analyses of the issues.
  • Preparing written analyses based on quantitative or qualitative findings of immigration program/policy studies.
  • Isolating and defining Agency conditions; developing study approaches, methods, techniques and hypotheses. Conducting and managing projects that may impact existing Agency processes, practices, or policy.
  • Identifying and evaluating the advantages and disadvantages, risks and benefits, or strengths and weaknesses of particular policy proposals.
  • Assessing the political and institutional environment in which decisions are made and implemented.
  • Ensuring effective coordination and integration of study findings in support of recommended policy changes or agency strategic plans.
  • Reviewing proposed legislation and drafting research reports and policy papers on research needs and study findings.
  • Representing the agency in dealings with interested groups and organizations regarding sponsored research and evaluations.
  • Participating with top agency officials and stakeholders in meetings, conferences, and symposia.

Sociology Professor, College of William and Mary

The College of William & Mary invites applicants for a tenure-eligible position to begin August 2011. Ph.D. in sociology or related field required. We seek a candidate with research and teaching expertise in the fields of race, ethnicity, or immigration studies. The successful candidate will assist in strengthening the department’s links with other programs in the College such as Africana Studies (including Black Studies) or Latin American/Latino Studies. Candidates with a comparative or international focus are encouraged to apply.

Application materials must be submitted electronically at the College’s online site at https://jobs.wm.edu. The following items are required, preferably in a PDF format: a curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing the candidate’s scholarship, teaching, and how these would enhance campus diversity, and three letters of reference (Applicants should submit the email addresses of recommenders via the online system). Review will begin October 1, 2010 and will continue until the position is filled.


June 10, 2010

Written by C.N.

New Book: Interactions in New York City Korean Nail Salons

Today’s new book announcement is a little different from previous ones. The book I would like to profile is entitled The Managed Hand: Race, Gender and the Body in Beauty Service Work and it takes an individual- and institutional-level look at the recent proliferation of Korean American-owned nail salons in New York City and the interactions inside them between the owners, workers, and customers across racial, social class, and immigrant identities. The book’s description:

Two women, virtual strangers, sit hand-in-hand across a narrow table, both intent on the same thing-achieving the perfect manicure. Encounters like this occur thousands of times across the United States in nail salons increasingly owned and operated by Asian immigrants. This study looks closely for the first time at these intimate encounters, focusing on New York City, where such nail salons have become ubiquitous. Drawing from rich and compelling interviews, Miliann Kang takes us inside the nail industry, asking such questions as: Why have nail salons become so popular? Why do so many Asian women, and Korean women in particular, provide these services?

Kang discovers multiple motivations for the manicure-from the pampering of white middle class women to the artistic self-expression of working class African American women to the mass consumption of body-related services. Contrary to notions of beauty service establishments as spaces for building community among women, The Managed Hand finds that while tentative and fragile solidarities can emerge across the manicure table, they generally give way to even more powerful divisions of race, class, and immigration.

The Managed Hand by Miliann Kang

The book is written by Miliann Kang, recently-promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As it turns out, Miliann also happens to be my wife. On a personal level, I am extremely thrilled and proud of my wife and the hard work that she’s put into her life and her career and this excellence is particularly evident in her book and so it deserves to be profiled here.

But this is more than her proud husband going on and on about his wife — Miliann’s book is published by the University of California Press (widely considered the most prestigious academic press in the social sciences). Secondly, The Managed Hand recently received the Sara Whaley Book Prize from the National Women’s Studies Association. Finally, her book has been acclaimed by nationally-recognized scholars around the country as “a must read for women’s studies and sociology classes on labor, migration and gender,” “a significant contribution to the existing literature on Asian-American women, gender relations, service workers, beauty and the body,” an “innovative and compelling ethnography,” and finally, “a wonderful example of what sociology does best.”

I was also fortunate to land an exclusive interview with Miliann and asked her the following questions about her work and her book:

  • What initially motivated you to start researching Korean-owned nail salons in New York City?

    I was a graduate student in Sociology at New York University and I was interested in doing research on Asian immigrant women and work, and nail salons happened to be one of the largest niches in which they were employed. I was also working with an Asian American community organization at the time and we started offering English language workplace literacy classes in one salon. I quickly realized what a rich and revealing research site these salons were for exploring the microinteractions of service exchanges between women of diverse backgrounds. In addition, by exploring both the processes inside and outside of these salons, I could contextualize them within large social shifts such as the emergence of new kinds of services, especially those involving commercialized work on the body, and the influx of new immigrants into filling these jobs.

  • There’s been a lot of debate about the nature of Korean-Black relations in large cities such as NYC. What contributes to such tensions on both sides? Ultimately, are such tensions exaggerated by the media?

    I think the media has at times misrepresented these tensions, framing them in racial terms rather than focusing on issues such as poverty, lack of jobs and cuts in government programs that have led to tensions in inner-city neighborhoods. At the same time, there is a history of tensions– including the Red Apple boycott in Brooklyn and the Los Angeles uprising following the Rodney King verdict – that has produced animosities between black communities and Korean small businesses. What struck me in the nail salons was that many of the very positive interactions between these groups go under the radar, as people for the most part negotiate smooth if not cordial relations despite language and cultural differences.

  • Your book goes into a lot of detail about the intersections of gender, social class, race/ethnicity, and immigrant status among the workers and customers. In a nutshell, which of these forms of identity would you say is the most significant in the interactions inside these nail salons?

    Rather than trying to isolate forms of difference and their impacts, I was more interested in seeing how they operate simultaneously, and how they shift in different situations. So in upscale salons in mostly white, upper and middle class neighborhoods, I focused on how manicuring services mirrored racial and class privileges outside of the salons. In nail art salons servicing mostly black and Latino working class customers, the interactions revealed how minority groups negotiate hierarchies and differences among themselves. Discount nail salons serving a mixed racial and class clientele showed how women’s consumption of generic beauty services created a sense of equality, but also resulted in misunderstandings around rushed or botched exchanges.

  • It seems that in most other cities around the country, nail salons are most disproportionately owned and staffed by Vietnamese women. Is this true and if so, why is it that Koreans predominate in NYC?

    This is a complicated question. The short answer is that immigrants tend to cluster in particular niches, and new immigrants follow their ethnic networks and end up in the same jobs. So in New York, Koreans went into the nail business because it required little capital or English language skills and at the time was not highly regulated. In other places like California and Texas, Vietnamese were the first to make inroads and they continued to dominate. The longer answer has to do with shifting patterns of service provision and consumption in the global economy and how Asian immigrant women fit into these.

    This is how I sum it up in the book: “The lifestyle that many urban residents take for granted in cities such as New York is only possible because of the influx of new immigrants and their willingness to work long, arduous hours for minimal pay in jobs that many native-born Americans view as beneath them. Furthermore, the availability and skills of immigrant women to fill these feminized jobs is also a crucial component. While immigrant women from specific ethnic groups are not the sole creators of these jobs or the terms under which they perform them, they contribute to job creation in these specialized niches by capitalizing on the limited choices available to them within the opportunity structure of the global service economy.”

  • What’s your most significant or poignant memory when you were working, hanging out, and conducting research in these nail salons?

    What stands out for me are the many mundane, daily occurrences in these sites where people from all walks of life find themselves thrown together in intimate physical and emotional contact, and they somehow manage to figure things out. While in the book I focus on the inequalities and differences between customers and manicurists, I also hold onto a sense of awe and hope in people’s ability to connect as human beings through the simplest of acts, such as sharing stories about their kids or work, or just treating each other with dignity.

  • If the Korean women in your study could tell your readers one thing about their work or their lives, what do you think it would be?

    I think it would be very similar to what most of us would say – that we work hard to contribute something to society and to support ourselves and our families, and that we want to be treated with respect for the work we do. This quote from one manicurist I think says it well:

    We have to get very close to the customers, like this (holding her hands together) so we try best to get along with them. If you don’t like someone and you have to do this – hold their hand and talk to them face to face – it can be very difficult. This is service work – so you know you have to act a certain way. Of course I don’t like doing the pedicures, having to kneel down, and the foot smell. But I just think of it as part of giving the service… I try very hard to ask them about their families and how they feel. It would be nice if once in a while they asked me, too.

    In other words, manicurists may not be particularly enthralled with their work, but they adjust and find meaning and purpose in it, and the relations that they have with their customers can either enhance or undermine their sense of worth in performing this work.


August 12, 2009

Written by C.N.

New Books: White Privilege

As part of this blog’s mission of making academic research and data more easily accessible, understandable, and applicable to a wider audience and to practical, everyday social issues, I highlight new sociological books about Asian Americans and other racial/ethnic groups as I hear about them.

This time, I mention three books that focus on the issue of White privilege, an emotional but often misunderstood issue, particularly as it relates to White Americans, many (i.e., a large number but not all) of whom feel that when the topic is mentioned, they are being personally accused of being racist. As the following books describe in detail, it’s much more complicated than that and in fact, White privilege is rooted at the institutional level.

The White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing and Counter-Framing, by Joe Feagin (Routledge)

The White Racial Frame by Joe Feagin

In this book Joe R. Feagin extends the systemic racism framework in previous Routledge books by developing an innovative new concept, the white racial frame. Now four centuries-old, this white racial frame encompasses not only the stereotyping, bigotry, and racist ideology accented in other theories of “race,” but also the visual images, array of emotions, sounds of language, interlinking interpretations, and inclinations to discriminate that are still central to the frame’s everyday operation.

Deeply embedded in American minds and institutions, this white racial frame has for centuries functioned as a broad worldview, one essential to the routine legitimation, scripting, and maintenance of systemic racism in the United States. Here Feagin examines how and why this white racial frame emerged in North America, how and why it has evolved socially over time, which racial groups are framed within it, how it has operated in the past and in the present for both white Americans and Americans of color, and how the latter have long responded with strategies of resistance that include enduring counter-frames.

Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama, by Tim Wise (City Lights Publishers)

Between Barack and a Hard Place by Tim Wise

Wise, a white anti-racism activist and scholar (and author of White Like Me), pushes plenty of buttons in this methodical breakdown of racism’s place in the wake of Barack Obama’s victory. In the first of two essays, the author obliterates the canard of the US as a post-racial society; bigotry and institutionalized discrimination, he contends, have simply morphed into “Racism 2.0,” in which successful minorities are celebrated “as having ‘transcended’ their blackness in some way.”

While racial disparities in employment and income, housing, education and other areas persist, Obama has become an amiable sitcom dad like Bill Cosby, putting whites at ease by speaking, looking and acting “a certain way”-not to mention avoiding discussion of race. In his second, more incendiary essay, Wise concludes that whites must take responsibility for racism.

What the majority of whites fail to grasp, he says, is that they continue to benefit from a system of “entrenched privileges” centuries in the making, and that racism remains a serious obstacle for millions of African Americans. There’s no sugar coating here for whites, nor are there any news flashes for Americans of color, but Wise bravely enumerates the unpalatable truths of a nation still struggling to understand its legacy of racist oppression.

Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide, by Barbara Trepagnier (Paradigm Publishers)

Silent Racism by Barbara Trepagnier

Vivid and engaging, Silent Racism persuasively demonstrates that silent racism – racism by people who classify themselves as not racist – is instrumental in the production of institutional racism. Trepagnier argues that heightened race awareness is more important in changing racial inequality than judging whether individuals are racist. The collective voices and confessions of non-racist; white women heard in this book help reveal that all individuals harbor some racist thoughts and feelings.

Trepagnier uses vivid focus group interviews to argue that the oppositional categories of racist/not racist are outdated. The oppositional categories should be replaced in contemporary thought with a continuum model that more accurately portrays today’s racial reality in the United States. A shift to a continuum model can raise the race awareness of well-meaning white people and improve race relations. Offering a fresh approach, Silent Racism is an essential resource for teaching and thinking about racism in the twenty-first century.

White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism, by Paula S. Rothenberg (Worth Publishers)

White Privilege by Paula Rothenberg

Studies of racism often focus on its devastating effects on the victims of prejudice. But no discussion of race is complete without exploring the other side—the ways in which some people or groups actually benefit, deliberately or inadvertently, from racial bias. This is the subject of Paula Rothenberg’s groundbreaking anthology, White Privilege.

The new edition of White Privilege once again challenges readers to explore ideas for using the power and the concept of white privilege to help combat racism in their own lives, and includes key essays and articles by Peggy McIntosh, Richard Dyer, bell hooks, Robert Jensen, Allan G. Johnson, and others. Three additional essays add new levels of complexity to our understanding of the paradoxical nature of white privilege and the politics and economics that lie behind the social construction of whiteness, making this edition an even better choice for educators.

Brief, inexpensive, and easily integrated with other texts, this interdisciplinary collection of commonsense, non-rhetorical readings lets educators incorporate discussions of whiteness and white privilege into a variety of disciplines, including sociology, English composition, psychology, social work, women’s studies, political science, and American studies.