American Journal of Sociology Reviews RSF Books

July 11, 2017

The July 2017 issue of the American Journal of Sociology contains reviews of RSF books Gender and International Migration by Katharine M. Donato and Donna Gabaccia; Race, Class, and Affirmative Action by Sigal Alon; and Parents Without Papers by Frank D. Bean, Susan K. Brown, and James D. Bachmeier.

Reviewer Linda McDowell (Oxford University) calls Gender and International Migration “exemplary” and writes, “Donato and Gabaccia’s wide-ranging book is the only one, to my knowledge, to address the very long term in international migration, ranging across space and time.” In their book, Donato and Gabaccia evaluate the historical evidence to show that, despite some policymakers’ claims that migration is undergoing new “feminization,” women have been a significant part of migration flows for centuries. As the first scholarly analysis of gender and migration over the centuries, Gender and International Migration demonstrates that variation in the gender composition of migration reflects not only the movements of women relative to men, but larger shifts in immigration policies and gender relations in the changing global economy. McDowell concludes, “In only 184 pages of text, this book is a tour de force. Its reach and range are staggering, across time, methods, and theories.”

In the same issue, Daniel Klasis (George Washington University) reviews Sigal Alon’s Race, Class, and Affirmative Action and praises the book as a “timely and thoughtful addition to contemporary debates about postsecondary diversity and admissions priorities.” In her study, Alon compares race-based affirmative action policies in the United States to the class-based affirmative action policies in Israel and evaluates how these different policies foster campus diversity and socioeconomic mobility. She finds that affirmative action at elite institutions in both countries is a key vehicle of mobility for disenfranchised students, whether they are racial and ethnic minorities or socioeconomically disadvantaged. Kasis notes, “Race, Class, and Affirmative Action is a valuable resource for anyone who cares about the diversity of selective colleges and universities. Alon’s writing is engaging and clear.”

Helen B. Marrow (Tufts University), an incoming RSF visiting researcher, calls Parents Without Papers “a tour de force, one of the most comprehensive contributions to the literature on Mexican American integration to date.” The book, which won the 2016 Otis Dudley Duncan Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Social Demography, documents the extent to which the outsider status of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. inflicts multiple hardships on their children and grandchildren. The authors draw upon unique retrospective data to shed light on three generations of immigrant integration and show that the “membership exclusion” experienced by unauthorized Mexican immigrants—that is, their fear of deportation, lack of civil rights, and poor access to good jobs—hinders the education of their children, even those who are U.S.-born. As Marrow writes, “They argue it is important to consider theoretically how unauthorized status…not only stigmatize[s] immigrants upon arrival but also trickle[s] down to hamper the socioeconomic progress of their descendants.”

Read the reviews in full from the American Journal of Sociology.

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