Skip to main content

Central American Children on the US Border Deserve More

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | July 16, 2014

The first plane has landed in Honduras, carrying women and children deported from the US earlier this week. Press coverage notes that “U.S. officials said there would be many more.” The L.A. Times report goes on to note that “More than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have sought permission to remain” in the US. And an editorial … Continue reading »

Putting the children’s migration in context

Beatriz Manz, professor emeritus of geography and ethnic studies | July 11, 2014

The dramatic surge in the number of Central American children and teenagers entering the US has created considerable concern among many in the United States. Already this year, 52,000 children have been apprehended. The latest estimates indicate that almost 90,000 unaccompanied minors — overwhelmingly from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras — will be picked-up by the US Border Patrol through this fiscal year ending in September 2014, almost double last year’s total. For … Continue reading »

From the War on Crime to ‘World War Z’: What the zombie apocalypse can tell us about the current state of our culture of fear

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | January 10, 2014

Zombies are everywhere.  Ok not (yet) on the streets (so far as I know); but in our cultural imaginary they are everywhere.  You can find them (in small groups and hordes) in high budget nail biting thriller movies like Brad Pitt’s World War Z (2013), on television, and all over print and digital reading material, much of … Continue reading »

Mass incarceration, mass deportation: Twin legacies of governing through crime

Jonathan Simon, professor of law | December 23, 2013

One afflicts mostly American citizens, disproportionately those of African American and Latino backgrounds from areas of concentrated poverty, but also many white and middle class citizens who fall into the hands of police and prosecutors.  The other afflicts exclusively non-citizens living in the U.S. without federal authorization or in violation of the terms of their … Continue reading »

Postcard from Paris

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | July 17, 2013

Spending a bit of time in Paris turns your correspondent’s thoughts to America. (It’s an occupational preoccupation). I was particularly struck by these posters in the Metro: The first reads, roughly, “Our ancestors were not all Gauls”; the second, “One French person in four derives from immigration.” Yet another placard shows a 19th-century bricklayer at … Continue reading »

Immigrants and historical amnesia

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 12, 2013

In the debates over social policies, one often hears historical claims roughly along these lines: “Minorities these days want it easy. When my ancestors came they got no help and just did it on their own.” Arguments like this have been raised against programs designed to help African Americans. In his classic 1981 study, A … Continue reading »

Three insights from research about immigrant families

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | April 10, 2013

Everything you think you know about immigrant families is probably wrong. That’s one of the conclusions I took away from the annual meeting of the Council on Contemporary Families, which convenes scholars and writers from around North America to discuss new scientific findings about the family. This year’s conference at the University of Miami focused … Continue reading »

Immigration and political clout

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology |

Two hot-button social issues seem to be moving to some sort of political resolution rather quickly. Their stories tell us something about the nature of attitudes Americans hold on such topics and also about the nature of American politics. One issue is gay marriage. It appears that, whether de jure or de facto, most gays … Continue reading »

Tolerating Americans

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | March 27, 2012

Given all the furor around “culture war” issues such as gay marriage, prayer in schools, affirmative action, funding of contraception, immigration, and bilingual education, you’d think that Americans were increasingly immersed in virulent intergroup hatred. And yet, over the long haul, the amazing trend has been the increasing tolerance Americans have expressed for group differences. … Continue reading »

A Supreme Ruling: more than 41,000 winners

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | June 7, 2011

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a California judge’s ruling last year on a California state policy that treats graduates of California high schools as residents for the purposes of tuition, regardless of their immigration status. The immediate beneficiaries of their order dismissing the appeal, according to the LA Times, … Continue reading »

Immigration and the economy: Everything you believe is wrong

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | September 27, 2010

I am not an economist. As an anthropologist, I have been trying to write about things like cultural difference and the need for mutual respect across differences in our pluralistic nation. So it fascinates me that comments on my posts repeatedly, and often irrelevantly, argue that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans, or … Continue reading »

Fear of the Other: An anti-American position

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | August 23, 2010

Xenophobia: “an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.” Unreasonable. That is the key word here: not “that which is foreign or strange”, particularly at a time when the fear being stoked is of things that are not really foreign or strange. Immigrants to the US … Continue reading »

A fragmenting America? – Pt. 2

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | July 19, 2010

In the Part 1 of this post, I asked whether Americans were increasingly dividing along the “culture wars” battlefront – an impression one would certainly get from media coverage of politics over the last decade or two. The research shows that, while the political class has become more polarized in the last generation, average Americans … Continue reading »

Arizona’s border, all of our civil rights

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | April 28, 2010

How can police in Arizona enforce the newly passed law requiring them to ask anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant for proof of citizenship? I don’t mean this as a moral or ethical question, although 52-year-veteran Pima County Sherriff, Clarence Dupnik, calls the law “disgusting” and says that it is “unwise” and a … Continue reading »