Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Research Cluster

The Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Cluster brings together faculty and graduate students who are interested in the structures and processes that shape patterns of inequality related to race, ethnicity, nationality and citizenship.

This cluster addresses a wide range of theoretical and empirical questions related to these basic forms of social differentiation.

Current research in this cluster engages a set of diverse questions, including: How do historical concepts of race shape contemporary racial identities?How is race manifested in urban and suburban spaces? How do ethnoracial diversity and face-to-face contact affect intergroup relations? What is demographic impact of the black-white disparities in mortality over the course of the 20th century? What social factors affect racial and ethnic disparities in education?

What social conditions encourage the civic and political incorporation of immigrants? What are the social and demographic sources of contemporary international migration? How does climate change affect patterns of migration? How and why does immigrant health change over time? How do policy makers and professionals develop notions of cultural competency when providing services for immigrants? What factors facilitate the adaptation of immigrant youth?

The research in the race, ethnicity, and immigration cluster investigates these and other questions using diverse data and methodological approaches, including ethnography, interviews, archival data and historical comparative methods, and large-scale surveys.

  • Cluster-related graduate courses
  • SOC 230 – Race and Ethnic Relations
    SOC 270 – Social Demography and Population Health
    SOC 295 – International Migration
    SOC 295 – The Ghetto: Origins, History, and Discourse

    Please read the course descriptions for more information. 
  • Alumni
  • Julie Collins-Dogrul (Ph.D., 2007), an assistant professor of sociology at Whittier College. Her expertise is in transnational social problems, health disparities, social determinants of health, US-Mexico Border issues, and inter-organizational cooperation and governance.

    Kim Ebert (Ph.D., 2009), an assistant professor of sociology at North Carolina State University. Kim's research focuses on the maintenance of ethnoracial inequalities and emergent collective action among immigrant newcomers. Kim has published her work in Social Problems and Latino Studies.

    Melanie Jones Gast (Ph.D., 2009), an assistant professor of sociology at DePaul University. Her research focuses on how racial and ethnic minorities navigate mainstream institutions, including educational systems. She has published inSocial Science Research and The Journal of Higher Education.

    Jesus (Jesse) Hernandez (Ph.D., 2012), a lecturer in the UC Davis Department of Sociology. His research examines historical patterns of residential segregation and intensive bank deregulation that led to subprime loans and massive foreclosures in minority neighborhoods in Sacramento, California. His work has recently appeared in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

    Robert Moorehead (Ph.D., 2009), an associate professor in the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. He is a former Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow. His research focuses on the incorporation of Japanese Peruvian immigrants in central Japan.

    Sangha Niyogi (Ph.D., 2010), a lecturer for UC Berkeley Extension. Her research explores ethnic identity and incorporation among first- and second-generation Bengali-Hindus and Punjabi-Sikhs. Her research has been published in Cultural Sociology.

    Sarah Ovink (Ph.D., 2011), an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her research on educational inequality, focusing on race/ethnicity and gender, has appeared in Qualitative Sociology and Research in Higher Education.

    Jesse Rude (Ph.D., 2009), a principal research analyst at NORC at the University of Chicago, where he works in the Education and Child Development Studies department. His work on interracial friendship stability was published in Social Forces.