Immigration, Opportunity, and Belonging
Professor Ali Chaudhary
LSH A215 Livingston Campus
Will Count Towards SAS- Sociology MAJOR
Will Count Towards SAS- Sociology MINOR
This interdisciplinary honors seminar introduces students to the field of international migration and immigration studies in the United States. We will examine economic, demographic, political, and sociological theories used to inform research and policies pertaining to why people immigrate to the United States. We will then turn out attention to concepts and perspectives developed to understand how immigrants assimilate into American society. While the course primarily looks at contemporary immigration in the U.S., we will frequently compare the U.S. immigration experience with other industrialized societies such as Canada, France and the United Kingdom. Using a sociological perspective, we will explore how race, ethnicity, class, and gender shape migration, settlement, and integration processes of immigrants and their U.S. born children. Other questions we will explore over the term include: Why does the United States continue to be the primary destination for so many immigrants across the world? How has the social construction of race shaped past and current immigration? What happens to the children of immigrants and how do they create a sense of belonging in the United States? How does globalization and increased inter-connectivity affect efforts to assimilate into American society? How can immigrants in the United States foster development and social change in their home countries?
The course will be writing intensive and comprised of a combination of short lectures, guest speakers, and student-led discussions. In addition to writing, students will be required to familiarize themselves with the quantitative data used by the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Census to measure the size of immigration populations in any given year. Finally, students will be required to give formal presentations to the class based on their final papers.
About Professor Chaudhary
I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology and currently a faculty associate of the Rutgers Program on South Asian Studies and a Research Associate of the International Migration Institute Network (IMI-n). My primary areas of research are international migration/immigration, race-ethnicity, transnationalism, organizations, popular culture, and the sociology of music. Both my research and teaching center on issues of symbolic boundaries and groups. I am interested in understanding how symbolic boundaries of difference relative to nativity, ethnicity, race, culture, class, and religion, shape social structures, institutions, social processes, and material culture.