Roger Waldinger

Roger Waldinger

Distinguished Professor

Office: 253A Haines Hall


Phone: 310-206-9233

Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae

View All


Roger Waldinger is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UCLA.

Roger Waldinger, Professor (Ph.D. Harvard) 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.  He is the author of over 100 articles and book chapters and seven books, including Still the Promised City?  New Immigrants and African-Americans in Post-Industrial New York (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996) and Ethnic Los Angeles (edited with Mehdi Bozorgmehr, New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 1996), both winners of scholarly prizes.

Waldinger’s latest book, The Cross-Border Connection: Immigrants, Emigrants, and their Homelands, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2015.  The Cross-Border Connection addresses a paradox at the core of the migratory phenomenon: emigrants departing one society become immigrants in another, tying those two societies together. With book, Waldinger 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.

The Cross-Border Connection builds on a series of recent publications, including: “The politics of cross-border engagement: Mexican emigrants and the Mexican state,” Theory and Society (2014);  “Engaging from abroad: The sociology of emigrant politics,” Migration Studies, forthcoming; “Crossing Borders: International Migration in the New Century,” Contemporary Sociology, V42, 3 (2013): 349-63; and “The bounded polity: The limits to Mexican emigrant political participation,” (with Thomas Soehl), Social Forces, V 91, 4 (2013): 1239-1266.

With Renee Reichl Luthra (Research Fellow, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex; UCLA Ph.D 2010 and  Thomas Soehl (Assistant Professor, McGill; UCLA Ph.D. 2014), Waldinger is writing a new book, tentatively entitled Second Generation Trajectories, with support from the Russell Sage Foundation.  This book takes off from previous work with Renee Luthra, including Intergenerational mobility among immigrants and their descendants (in David Card and Steven Raphael, eds. Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Mobility, New York: Russell Sage. 2013) and “Into the Mainstream?  Labor market outcomes of Mexican origin workers,” International Migration Review, 44.4 (2010): 830-868.

Waldinger, in collaboration with the historian, Nancy L. Green, is also completing an edited book, A Century of Transnationalism: Immigrants and their Homeland Connections, to be published by the University of Illinois Press.  Bringing together an international group of sociologists and historians, this book builds on both the contributions and critiques of the transnational perspective in order to shed new light on the cross-border activities of migrants and states over the past century. Showing that shifts in the type, intensity, and form of cross-border connections occurred with different temporalities and across a variety of dimensions and by extending the scope beyond the United States to include the Americas, as well as migrations from and to Europe, the book demonstrates how transnational phenomena take similar form across a variety of contexts, all the while influenced by historically and socially specific factors.  Two related essays, Emigrants and Emigration States: A Historical Perspective and  “Immigrant ‘Transnationalism’ and the Presence of the Past” (Elliott Barkan, et. al., eds. Borders, Boundaries, And Bonds: America And Its Immigrants In Eras Of Globalization, New York: New York University Press, 2008: 267-285), engage with the issues to be raised in this new book.

Waldinger 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. He is also co-organizer of the UCLA Program on International Migration, an interdisciplinary, cross-campus program seeking to focus research and instruction on international migration.

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.

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).

Awards & Grants


John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellow, 2008

1998 Robert E. Park Award, Urban and Community Sociology Section, American Sociological Assocation, for Still the Promised City?

1997 Thomas and Znaniecki Award for the best book (Ethnic Los Angeles), International Migration Section, American Sociological Association
Urban Politics Best Urban Politics Book 1996 Award (for Still the Promised City?), Urban Politics Section, American Political Science Association.

Honorable mention, 1996 book awards competition, Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (for Still the Promised City? African-Americans and New Immigrants in PostIndustrial New York)