After Civil Rights by John D. Skrentny: Winner of Princeton University’s 2014 Richard A. Lester Award for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations and Winner of 2015 Western Social Science Association Distinguished Book Award

AfterCivilRightsPic2By John D. Skrentny
Published 2013, 416 pages, hardcover

Purchase After Civil Rights »

What role should racial difference play in the American workplace? As a nation, we rely on civil rights law to address this question, and the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964 seemingly answered it: race must not be a factor in workplace decisions. In After Civil Rights, John Skrentny contends that after decades of mass immigration, many employers, Democratic and Republican political leaders, and advocates have adopted a new strategy to manage race and work. Race is now relevant not only in negative cases of discrimination, but in more positive ways as well. In today’s workplace, employers routinely practice “racial realism,” where they view race as real–as a job qualification. Many believe employee racial differences, and sometimes immigrant status, correspond to unique abilities or evoke desirable reactions from clients or citizens. They also see racial diversity as a way to increase workplace dynamism. The problem is that when employers see race as useful for organizational effectiveness, they are often in violation of civil rights law.

After Civil Rights examines this emerging strategy in a wide range of employment situations, including the low-skilled sector, professional and white-collar jobs, and entertainment and media. In this important book, Skrentny urges us to acknowledge the racial realism already occurring, and lays out a series of reforms that, if enacted, would bring the law and lived experience more in line, yet still remain respectful of the need to protect the civil rights of all workers.

Culling the Masses is a finalist for the 2015 Theodore Saloutos Book Prize of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (for the best book in U.S. immigration history published in 2014)

cullingthemassesCulling the Masses questions the widely held view that in the long run democracy and racism cannot coexist. David Scott FitzGerald and David Cook-Martín show that democracies were the first countries in the Americas to select immigrants by race, and undemocratic states the first to outlaw discrimination. Through analysis of legal records from twenty-two countries between 1790 and 2010, the authors present a history of the rise and fall of racial selection in the Western Hemisphere.

The United States led the way in using legal means to exclude “inferior” ethnic groups. Starting in 1790, Congress began passing nationality and immigration laws that prevented Africans and Asians from becoming citizens, on the grounds that they were inherently incapable of self-government. Similar policies were soon adopted by the self-governing colonies and dominions of the British Empire, eventually spreading across Latin America as well.

Undemocratic regimes in Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Cuba reversed their discriminatory laws in the 1930s and 1940s, decades ahead of the United States and Canada. The conventional claim that racism and democracy are antithetical–because democracy depends on ideals of equality and fairness, which are incompatible with the notion of racial inferiority–cannot explain why liberal democracies were leaders in promoting racist policies and laggards in eliminating them. Ultimately, the authors argue, the changed racial geopolitics of World War II and the Cold War was necessary to convince North American countries to reform their immigration and citizenship laws.

May 7: Gaming Refugee Status for Central Americans? Decision Rules, Application and the Refugee Status Determination Process of U.S. Hearing Officers

CCIS Seeking Asylum in North America Joint Speaker Series

Gaming Refugee Status for Central Americans? Decision Rules, Application and the Refugee Status Determination Process of U.S. Hearing Officers

In the absence of sufficient transparency at the border regarding how credible fear determinations are made, it is often difficult to assess how accurate are decisions made by border control agents increasingly responsible for issuing credible fear determinations. Drawing upon an in depth case study of the American Immigration Lawyers Association-American Immigration Council Artesia Pro Bono Galya_Ruffer_ArtesiaProject for Central American women and children, the study examines the process of seeking asylum through irregular entry across the United States national border and argues that, through the use of discretion and informal administrative processes, the asylum system, intended to protect human rights, is “gamed” by decision makers such that it has turn into a deterrence system in violation of our own commitment to asylum and human rights. The research seeks to inform how policy change concerning the “Central American migration crisis” differentially plays out on the ground and advance understandings of how the legal process (starting at the border and ending with a final determination), as an overtly executive infused process, engages with legal aid and advocacy organizations and decision makers across the process that exercise discretion as they juggle the competing demands of technical rationality and quests for justice in their operation.

Galya Ruffer, Director of International Studies and the founding Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University

Thursday, May 7, 4:00pm 
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building 
Conference Room 115, First Floor
 Ruffer-168x210Galya Ruffer is the Director of International Studies and the founding Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Her work centers on refugee rights and protection, regional understandings of the root causes of conflict and refugee crises, rule of law and the process of international justice with a particular focus on the Great Lakes Region of Africa. She has published on the role of experts in the refugee status determination process, testimony and justice in the DR Congo, asylum law and policy, human rights litigation in transnational courts and immigrant incorporation and integration in Europe. Her new research focuses on refugee protection outside of the international legal framework. Aside from her academic work, she has worked as an immigration attorney representing political asylum claimants both as a solo-practitioner and as a pro-bono attorney.
For arrangements to accommodate a disability, contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at or (858) 534-9709 (TTY).

IICAS SSN CA school of law

April 28-29: International Migration Politics in Europe and the US

Traduction simultanée Anglais-Français

Simultaneous translation French-English

Le Centre de recherche METICES de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), l’Institut Wallon de l’Évaluation, de la Prospective et de la Statistique (IWEPS) et le Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) de l’Université de Californie, San Diego, USA ont le plaisir de vous annoncer la tenue du colloque international.

“Migrations internationales: les politiques migratoires en Europe et aux États-Unis dans une perspective de genre et de classe”

Bruxelles, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Institut de sociologie, 28-29 avril 2015

L’accès au colloque est gratuit mais l’inscription est obligatoire via le lien ci-dessou:

Le Centre de recherche METICES de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), l’Institut Wallon de l’Évaluation, de la Prospective et de la Statistique (IWEPS) and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) at the University of California, San Diego are delighted to announce the holding of the international conference.

“International Migration Politics and  Policies in Europe and the U.S.: Gender and Class Perspectives”

Brussels, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Institut de sociologie, April 28-29, 2015

Free access but compulsory registration through the link:

Vous trouverez ci-joint l’affiche ainsi que le programme du colloque en français et en anglais. Toutes les informations se trouvent sur le site du centre Metices: en Français:
N’hésitez pas à diffuser cette annonce! Au plaisir de vous y retrouver!
Pour le Comité d’organisation…
Click here for the poster and the program of the conference in French and English. All information about the conference are available on the METICES website: in English:
Don’t hesitate to disseminate the information! See you soon!
For the organizing committee…

Abdeslam Marfouk,  Nouria Ouali, David FitzGerald, IWEPS, Centre METICES, CCIS

Organisé en partenariat avec l’ABSFA (Association Belge Francophone de Sociologie et d’Antropologie) et avec le soutien de:


“White Backlash”: New Book from Marisa Abrajano & Zoltan Hajnal

UCSD Professors and CCIS Affiliates Marisa Abrajano & Zoltan Hajnal have published a new work – White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics. 

White Backlash provides an authoritative assessment of how immigration is reshaping the politics of the nation. Using an array of data and analysis, Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal show that fears about immigration fundamentally influence white Americans’ core political identities, policy preferences, and electoral choices, and that these concerns are at the heart of a large-scale defection of whites from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

Abrajano and Hajnal demonstrate that this political backlash has disquieting implications for the future of race relations in America. White Americans’ concerns about Latinos and immigration have led to support for policies that are less generous and more punitive and that conflict with the preferences of much of the immigrant population. America’s growing racial and ethnic diversity is leading to a greater racial divide in politics. As whites move to the right of the political spectrum, racial and ethnic minorities generally support the left. Racial divisions in partisanship and voting, as the authors indicate, now outweigh divisions by class, age, gender, and other demographic measures.

White Backlash raises critical questions and concerns about how political beliefs and future elections will change the fate of America’s immigrants and minorities, and their relationship with the rest of the nation.

New “California Immigration Research Initiative”

US, Mexico flagsA new research collaboration at five University of California campuses will help policymakers, non-governmental organizations and the public better understand immigration and its impacts on California, and plan more effectively for the state’s future.

The project complements systemwide efforts of the UC-Mexico Initiative, a partnership between the university and Mexican institutions. Launched by UC President Janet Napolitano last year, the UC-Mexico Initiative includes research and scholarly activity that addresses and advances knowledge on issues of mutual importance, such as immigration.

Read about it here:

March 11: Ethnic Dating and Mate Selection with Cynthia Feliciano & Kevin Lewis

CCIS Spring Seminar Series

Ethnic Dating & Mate Selection

Cynthia Feliciano, Associate Professor of Sociology & Chicano/Latino Studies, UC Irvine
Kevin Lewis, Assistant Professor of Sociology, UC San Diego

Wednesday, March 11, 12:00pm 
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building 
Conference Room 115, First Floor

Lunch will be provided

In this panel, Prof. Feliciano and Prof. Lewis present overviews of their work using data from online dating websites to examine racial and ethnic preferences in dating. Feliciano will discuss her research using data on stated racial preferences to examine what they reveal about racial hierarchies, the incorporation of Asians and Latinos into the U.S. racial structure, and the heterogeneity among Latinos and multiracial groups. In his presentation, Lewis will draw from data on user behaviors in order to disentangle competing theories of attraction, document how preferences vary at different stages of interaction, and understand the strategies pursued by site users from different backgrounds.The panelists will comment on each other’s work; discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by using this type of data for research; and use this conversation as a springboard for a broader dialogue with the audience.

Cynthia Feliciano is Associate Professor of Sociology and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research investigates the development and consequences of group boundaries and inequalities based on race, ethnicity, class, and gender. This work primarily, but not exclusively, focuses on how descendants of Latin American and Asian immigrants are incorporated in the United States, a question at the center of prominent theoretical debates, and of great practical importance given current demographic trends.

She pursues these issues through two main strands of research: 1) determinants of educational inequality and 2) ethnic and racial boundary-making and relations. Professor Feliciano is the author of Unequal Origins: Immigrant Selection and the Education of the Second Generation (LFB Scholarly 2006), and numerous articles in journals including Social Problems, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Demography, and Social Science Quarterly. She received her B.A. from Boston University and her Ph.D. from UCLA, and has been a fellow of the Ford Foundation, the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Program and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.

Kevin Lewis is Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC San Diego. He received his BA in sociology and philosophy (mathematics minor) from UC San Diego and his MA and PhD in sociology from Harvard University. His research focuses on the formation and evolution of social networks, and addresses three general questions. First, what underlying micro-mechanisms give rise to observed network patterns? Second, what is the role of culture, and especially of cultural tastes, in social network dynamics? Third, what are the implications of these processes for the genesis and reproduction of inequality?

To answer these questions, he has analyzed a number of large-scale network datasets—spanning topics from online dating to internet activism to college students’ behavior on Facebook—and his work has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, the Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesSociological Science, and Social Networks. Lewis is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

For arrangements to accommodate a disability, contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at or (858) 534-9709 (TTY).