America Classifies the Immigrants: From Ellis Island to 2010


4:15 pm - 6:00 pm

Joel Perlmann, Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and Research Professor at Bard College.

Discussant:  Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center

Joel Perlmann is a senior scholar and director of the Institute’s Immigration, Ethnicity, and Social Structure research program. He is the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College, where he teaches courses in history and sociology.

Perlmann guides a research initiative, “Ethnicity and Economy in America—Past and Present,” that focuses on the processes by which immigrants and their descendants are assimilated into US social and economic life. He is currently completing Americans Classify the Immigrants,to be published by Harvard University Press, which deals with the struggles over and ambiguities of ethno-racial classification in federal data collection from the 1890s to the present. This volume continues a long-standing interest in the use of ethnic categories in the collection of US government data, captured in several Levy Institute working papers, a policy brief, and a policy note as well as in the Levy Institute conference on census racial classification and the publication, in 2002, of The New Race Question: How the Census Counts Multiracial Individuals (coedited with Harvard sociologist Mary Waters; copublished with the Russell Sage Foundation).


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