Research and Publications

Publications

These essays analyze how race affects people's lives and relationships in all settings, from the United States to Great Britain and from Hawaiʻi to Chinese Central Asia. They contemplate the racial positions in various societies of people called Black and people called White, of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and especially of those people whose racial ancestries and identifications are multiple. Here for the first time are Spickard's trenchant analyses of the creation of race in the South Pacific, of DNA testing for racial ancestry, and of the meaning of multiplicity in the age of Barack Obama.

In Entitled to Nothing, Lisa Sun-Hee Park investigates how the politics of immigration, health care, and welfare are intertwined. Documenting the formal return of the immigrant as a public charge, or a burden upon the State, the author shows how the concept has been revived as states adopt punitive policies targeting immigrants of colour and require them to pay back benefits for which they are legally eligible during a time of intense debate regarding welfare reform. In this book, Park delves into one of the front lines of the battle over the boundaries of citizenship and nation and the meaning of social rights. Park argues that the notions of public charge and public burden were reinvigorated in the 1990s to target immigrant women of reproductive age for deportation and as part of a larger project of disciplining immigrants. 

Immigration Law and Society makes sense of the political history and the social impacts of immigration law, showing how legislation has reflected both domestic concerns and wider foreign policy. John S. W. Park examines how immigration law reforms have inspired radically different responses across all levels of government, from cooperation to outright disobedience, and how they continue to fracture broader political debates. He concludes with an overview of how significant, on-going challenges in our interconnected world, including "failed states" and climate change, will shape American migrations for many decades to come.

Drawing upon a personal collection of more than 300 letters exchanged between her parents and other family members across the U.S.-Mexico border, Miroslava Chávez-García recreates and gives meaning to the hope, fear, and longing migrants experienced in their everyday lives both "here" and "there" ("aquí y allá"). As private sources of communication hidden from public consumption and historical research, the letters provide a rare glimpse into the deeply emotional, personal, and social lives of ordinary Mexican men and women as recorded in their immediate, firsthand accounts. Chávez-García demonstrates not only how migrants struggled to maintain their sense of humanity in "El Norte" but also how those remaining at home made sense of their changing identities in response to the loss of loved ones who sometimes left for weeks, months, or years at a time, or simply never returned

Illegal. Unamerican. Disposable. In a nation with an unprecedented history of immigration, the prevailing image of those who cross our borders in search of equal opportunity is that of a drain. Grace Chang's vital account of immigrant women—who work as nannies, domestic workers, janitors, nursing aides, and homecare workers—proves just the opposite: the women who perform our least desirable jobs are the most crucial to our economy and society. Disposable Domestics highlights the unrewarded work immigrant women perform as caregivers, cleaners, and servers and shows how these women are actively resisting the exploitation they face.

The Other California is the story of working-class communities and how they constituted the racially and ethnically diverse landscape of Baja California. Packed with new and transformative stories, the book examines the interplay of land reform and migratory labor on the peninsula from 1850 to 1954, as governments, foreign investors, and local communities shaped a vibrant and dynamic borderland alongside the booming cities of Tijuana, Mexicali, and Santa Rosalia. Migration and intermarriage between Mexican women and men from Asia, Europe, and the United States transformed Baja California into a multicultural society. Mixed-race families extended across national borders, forging new local communities, labor relations, and border politics.

In Starving for Justice, Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval uses interviews and archival material to examine people’s willingness to make the extreme sacrifice and give their lives in order to create a more just society.

Investigating the cultural and political history of U.S. Spanish-language broadcasts throughout the twentieth century, Sounds of Belonging reveals how these changes have helped Spanish-language radio secure its dominance in the major U.S. radio markets. Bringing together theories on the immigration experience with sound and radio studies, Dolores Inés Casillas documents how Latinos form listening relationships with Spanish-language radio programming. Using a vast array of sources, from print culture and industry journals to sound archives of radio programming, she reflects on institutional growth, the evolution of programming genres, and reception by the radio industry and listeners to map the trajectory of Spanish-language radio, from its grassroots origins to the current corporate-sponsored business it has become. Casillas focuses on Latinos’ use of Spanish-language radio to help navigate their immigrant experiences with U.S. institutions, for example in broadcasting discussions about immigration policies while providing anonymity for a legally vulnerable listenership. Sounds of Belonging proposes that debates of citizenship are not always formal personal appeals but a collective experience heard loudly through broadcast radio.

In Edwidge Danticat: The Haitian Diasporic Imaginary, Nadège T. Clitandre offers a comprehensive analysis of Danticat’s exploration of the dialogic relationship between nation and diaspora. Clitandre argues that Danticat―moving between novels, short stories, and essays―articulates a diasporic consciousness that acts as a form of social, political, and cultural transformation at the local and global level.

"Pigmentocracies--the fruit of the multiyear Project on Ethnicity and Race in Latin America (PERLA)--is a richly revealing analysis of contemporary attitudes toward ethnicity and race in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, four of Latin America's most populous nations... ​

In The Ethnic Project, Bashi Treitler considers the ethnic history of the United States from the arrival of the English in North America through to the present day. Tracing the histories of immigrant and indigenous groups―Irish, Chinese, Italians, Jews, Native Americans, Mexicans, Afro-Caribbeans, and African Americans―she shows how each negotiates America's racial hierarchy, aiming to distance themselves from the bottom and align with the groups already at the top...

UCSB Migration Scholars At Work!

Jean Beaman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was previously on the faculty at Purdue University and has held visiting fellowships at Duke University and the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). Her research is ethnographic in nature and focuses on race/ethnicity, racism, international migration, and state-sponsored violence in both France and the United States. She is author of Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France (University of California Press, 2017), as well as numerous articles and chapters. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. She is also an Editor of H-Net Black Europe, an Associate Editor of the journal, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, and Corresponding Editor for the journal Metropolitics/Metropolitiques.

 

 

Liz Ackert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include racial/ethnic inequality,  immigration, education, health disparities, urban geography, and quantitative methods. Her individual and collaborative work examines explanations for why  racial/ethnic and immigrant-origin groups are unequally distributed across contexts–including schools, neighborhoods, and immigrant destinations–and evaluates  the consequences of this contextual inequality for disparities in outcomes in domains such as education, residential mobility, and health. She is particularly interested in understanding how the attributes of immigrant-receiving contexts, including states, communities, neighborhoods, and schools, influence the educational and health outcomes of children and adolescents of Mexican origin.

 

Featured Migration Research

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung's "The Atlas of Migration: Facts and figures about people on the move"

This atlas aims to change attitudes towards migration and migrants. The facts and figures on these pages show that while migration takes place in all parts of the world, it poses a threat neither to the destination countries nor to the countries of origin. Quite the opposite: it enriches societies across the globe not just culturally but also often in economic terms.

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