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Strangers all Around: Immigration and the Transformation of the Individual American

It is often said that immigration is changing America, a statement that follows from observations of the linguistic, culinary, artistic, economic, political and ethnoracial imprint of immigrants.  How do the three quarters of people in the United States who are not immigrants or the children of immigrants adjust to all of these changes?  Flipping the assimilation equation around, I examine how people who are US-born of US-born parents - the “third-plus-generation” - experience and make sense of immigration-driven change. Drawing on interviews with an ethnoracial and class diverse set of individuals from East Palo Alto, Cupertino, and Berryessa (San José), I show how the settlements of immigrants upends what it means to be white, and reifies what it means to be black, Latino, and Asian.  Ultimately, these interviews point toward a relational process of assimilation, where small adjustments made by immigrant “guests” and US-born “hosts” add up to a changed mainstream.
Tomás Jiménez is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Stanford University. He is part of the core faculty at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity where he serves as Director of Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies.  His research and writing focus on immigration, assimilation, social mobility, and ethnic and racial identity. His book, Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity, was awarded the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Latinos/as Section Distinguished Book Award. Professor Jiménez has also published this research in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, and the Annual Review of Sociology.
Professor Jiménez has taught at the University of California, San Diego. He has also been a Fellow at the New America Foundation and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.  He has written editorials in several major news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times,, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the San Diego Union-Tribune.



Thursday, April 9, 2015. 12:00 PM


Terrace Room, 4th floor, Margaret Jacks Hall, Bldg. 460


Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity


Open to all Stanford faculty, graduate students, and CCSRE affiliates. Lunch will be served. RSVP on this link