Grad Students

Tahseen Shams

Contact Information

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The overarching question that guides all my research pursuits is how transnational, global forms of inequality intersect with race as a system of oppression to affect immigrant groups, particularly those coming from Muslim-majority developing countries to the United States.

Specifically, I study how global politics shapes Muslims’ identity formation—not just in terms of how others see Muslims, but also how Muslims see themselves. My current and future projects challenge the dyadic homeland-hostland paradigm in the international migration and transnationalism scholarship, which largely studies immigrants' ties only between the immigrant sending and receiving countries. Using South Asian Muslim immigrants and their offspring, I instead contend that immigrants’ identification is shaped by global politics encompassing not just the homeland or hostland, but also those places lying beyond both sending and receiving countries, and which I conceptualize as “elsewhere.”  

Although I began my projects before the rise of what is now popularly referred to as the “Trump phenomenon,” my research has now become extremely relevant in light of the recent political developments not only in the U.S. but also around the world by showing how global politics becomes salient and shapes Muslim immigrants’ identity-making processes. My research has benefitted from an array of fellowships and grants, most notably the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and has produced several sole-authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, such as Sociological ForumEthnic and Racial Studies, Cultural Dynamics, and Journal of Black Studies.

Please visit my website,, to learn more about my research.

Fields of Study

Globalization, Transnationalism, International Migration, Race and Ethnicity, Nationalism, Religion, Gender, Qualitative Methods, Muslim Americans, Asian Americans, South Asia



(2018) Shams, Tahseen. "Visibility as Resistance by Muslim Americans in a Surveillance and Security Atmosphere." Sociological Forum 33(1): n.d.

(2017) Shams, Tahseen. “Mirrored Boundaries: How Ongoing Homeland-Hostland Contexts Shape Bangladeshi Immigrant Collective Identity Formation.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 40(4): 713-731.

(2015) Shams, Tahseen. "Bangladeshi Muslims in Mississippi: Impression Management Based on the Intersectionality of Religion, Ethnicity, and Gender." Cultural Dynamics 27(3): 379-397.

(2015) Shams, Tahseen. “The Declining Significance of Race or the Persistent Racialization of Blacks?: A Conceptual, Empirical, and Methodological Review of Today’s Race Debate in America.” Journal of Black Studies 46(3): 282-296.

(2013) Reid, Julie, and Tahseen Shams. "Gender and Multigenerational Global Human Development." Sociology Compass 7/8: 612-629. 


(2017) Shams, Tahseen. "The Homeland, Hostland, and Elsewhere: A Multicentered Relational Framework for Immigrant Identity Formation." (Under Review)


(2017) “Muslim American Panethnicity Based on Global Geopolitical Contexts” (post-Ph.D. project; preliminary fieldwork completed)

(2017) “The Effects of Homeland, Hostland, and Global Politics on Muslims in the United States and Canada: A Comparison” (second post-Ph.D. project; fieldwork in the U.S. completed)

Grants and Awards

UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

UCLA Institute of American Cultures Graduate/Predoctoral Fellowship

UCLA Graduate Division University Fellowship

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Grant

UCLA Department of Sociology Summer Conference Travel Grant 

Conference Presentations

(2014) "Mirrorred Boundaries: The Intersection of Ongoing Homeland-Hostland Contexts in Bangladeshi Immigrants' Boundary-Work in Los Angeles." American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

(2012) "Being Muslim in Mississippi: An Exploratory Study of the Intersectionality of Religion, Race, Gender, and Nationality of First Generation Bangladeshi Muslims in Mississippi." Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

(2012) "Representation of Food in Korean Dramas." Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.


Doctoral Committee: Roger Waldinger and Rubén Hernández-León (Co-Chairs), Rogers Brubaker, Nile Green (UCLA History)


(2015) C. Phil., Sociology, UCLA

(2014) M.A., Sociology, UCLA

(2012) B.S., Sociology (Summa Cum Laude), The University of Southern Mississippi