Roger Waldinger

Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Director, UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration

Roger Waldinger, Distinguished Professor (Ph.D. Harvard, 1983) and Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration works on international migration: its social, political, and economic consequences; the policies and politics emerging in response to its advent; the links between immigrants and the countries and people they have left behind; the trajectories of newcomers and their descendants after migration. He is the author of over 100 articles and book chapters and eight books, most recently, A Century of Transnationalism: Immigrants and their Homeland Connections (edited with Nancy Green; University of Illinois Press, 2016) and The Cross-Border Connection: Immigrants, Emigrants, and their Homelands, (Harvard University Press, 2015).

Waldinger’s most recent books address a paradox at the core of the migratory phenomenon: emigrants departing one society become immigrants in another, tying those two societies together. The Cross-Border Connection explains how interconnections between place of origin and destination are built and maintained and why they eventually fall apart. Newcomers to the developed world find that migration is a good thing and they send some of these benefits back to relatives as remittances. Residing in a democratic state, emigrants mobilize to produce change in the homelands they left, while emigration states extend their influence across boundaries to protect nationals and retain their loyalty. Time, however, proves corrosive, and most immigrants and their descendants become disconnected from their place of origin, reorienting their concerns to their new home. In A Century of Transnationalism, Green, Waldinger and a group of sociologically minded historians and historically minded sociologists take aim at the conviction that the cross-border ties of today’s world of mass migration are unprecedented.  Looking back over the past century and more, A Century of Transnationalism shows that while population movements across states recurrently produce homeland ties, those connections have varied across contexts and from one historical period to another, changing in unpredictable ways. Any number of factors shape the linkages between home and destination, including conditions in the society of immigration, policies of the state of emigration, and geopolitics worldwide.

Waldinger is currently Director of the UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration, an interdisciplinary, cross-campus center seeking to focus research and instruction on the causes and consequences of population movements across borders. Waldinger previously served as Interim Associate Vice-Provost for International Studies, 2010-2012; Chair of the Department of Sociology from 1999-2004; and Director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, UCLA School of Public Affairs from 1995-1998. He is a regular instructor in the year-long graduate, sociology seminar on international migration in comparative perspective. He has taught all three quarters: the first, on theory, history, and policy; the second, on economic and social incorporation; the third, a research seminar.

Waldinger was a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow. He received the Distinguished Career Award, International Migration Section, American Sociological Association in 2012 and, with Thomas Soehl, the 2013 Reuben Hill Award (best research article), National Council on Family Relations. His books have won numerous scholarly awards.

Many of Waldinger’s publications are available for free download from this homepage, as well as from his SelectedWorks page at bepress and the working paper series maintained by the UCLA Program on International Migration.


Ph. D., Harvard University


“Beyond Transnationalism: An Alternative Perspective on Immigrants’ Homeland Connections,” in Mark Rosenblum and Daniel Tichenor, eds. Oxford Handbook of International Relations, forthcoming.

“Making the connection: Latino immigrants and their cross-border ties,” (with Thomas Soehl), Ethnic and Racial Studies, V 33, 9 (2010)

“Home Country Farewell: The Withering of Immigrants’ ‘Transnational’ Ties,” Pp. 253-266 in Gerhard Sonnert and Gerald Holton, eds., Helping Young Refugees and Immigrants Succeed: Public Policy, Aid, and Education, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

“Rethinking Transnationalism,” Empiria: Revista de Metología en Ciencias Sociales, No. 19 (2010): 21-38.

“Forward” to Stephane Dufoix, Diasporas, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007.

“Between “here” and “there”: Immigrant cross-border activities and loyalties,” International Migration Review, Vol. 42 No. 1 Spring 2008.

“Conflict and Contestation in the Cross-Border Community: Hometown Associations Re-assessed,” (co-authored with Eric Popkin and Hector Aquiles Magana), Ethnic and Racial Studies,  V 31 (January): 1-28, 2007

“Strangeness at the Gates: The Peculiar Politics of Immigration,” (co-authored with Nazgol Ghandnoosh) International Migration Review, V. 40, 3 (2006): 719-734.

“Fiddling While the Border Festers: The Dim Prospects for Immigration Reform,” New Labor Forum, V 15, 2 (2006):21-29

“The Bounded Community: Turning Foreigners into Americans in 21st Century Los Angeles,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, V 30, 7 (2007) 341-74.

“Bad jobs, good jobs, no jobs? The employment experience of the “new” second generation,” (with Nelson Lim and David Cort), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, V. 33, 1 (2007): 1-35.

“Did Manufacturing Matter? The experience of yesterday’s second generation: a reassessment”, International Migration Review, V 41, 1 (Spring 2007): 3-39.

“Will the new second generation experience ‘downward assimilation’? Segmented assimilation re-assessed,” (with Cynthia Feliciano) Ethnic and Racial Studies, V 27, 3 (2004): 376-402.

“Transnationalism in Question,” (with David Fitzgerald) American Journal of Sociology, V 109, 5 (2004): 1177-95

“Foreigners Transformed: International Migration and the Making of a Divided People,” Diaspora, (2003): 12, 2: 247-72.

“Transforming foreigners into Americans” pp. 137-48 in Mary Waters and Reed Ueda, eds., The New Americans: A Guide to Immigration since 1965, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

“Immigrant ‘Transnationalism’ and the Presence of the Past,” in Elliott Barkan, et. al., eds. Borders, Boundaries, And Bonds: America And Its Immigrants In Eras Of Globalization, New York: New York University Press, forthcoming.

“The21st Century: An Entirely New Story,” in Tamar Jacoby, ed., Reinventing the Melting Pot: Will Today’s Immigrants Become Americans?, New York: Basic, 2003.

“The Sociology of Immigration: Second Thoughts and Reconsiderations,” in Host Societies and the Reception of Immigrants, edited by Jeffrey G. Reitz. San Diego: Center for Comparative Immigration Research, 2003.

“Networks and Niches: The Continuing Significance of Ethnic Connections” in Glenn Loury, Tariq Modood and Steven Teles, Race, Ethnicity and Social Mobility in the US and UK, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003

“Second Generation Decline? Immigrant Children Past and Present — A Reconsideration” (with Joel Perlmann), International Migration Review, Vol 31, no. 4, 1997.

How the Other Half Works: Immigration and the Social Organization of Labor (with Michael Lichter), Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

Strangers at the Gates: New Immigrants in Urban America 
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Still the Promised City? New Immigrants and African-Americans in Post-Industrial New York 
Harvard University Press, 1996.

Ethnic Los Angeles (co-edited with Mehdi Bozorgmehr), Russell Sage Foundation, 1996.

Ethnic Entrepreneurs: Immigrant Business in Industrial Society (with Howard Aldrich, Robin Ward, and associates; Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990).

Through the Eye of the Needle: Immigrants and Enterprise in New York’s Garment Trades (New York University Press, 1986; paper, 1989).