Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

The Immigrant Experience in Everyday Life

SOC 19N

The seminar introduces students to major themes connected to the immigrant experience, including identity, education, integration, the economy, labor, connections to the origin country, government policy, citizenship, and intergroup relations. The seminar pays special attention to how these themes play out in the everyday lives of immigrants (and their children). Throughout the quarter, the seminar will emphasize how these everyday experiences link up to the policies, events, and social norms in which they are embedded.  

The seminar will mostly deal with the contemporary immigrant experience in the United States, but it will also include a sampling of readings covering previous waves of immigrants. The seminar will include guest speakers, which may include government officials, activists, and authors of the assigned readings. Student participation will include in-class discussions, short written responses to readings, and short written assignments throughout the quarter. By the end of the quarter, students will be able to identify the social, political, and economic forces that shape the immigrant experience. More importantly, students will understand HOW these forces shape the immigrant experience in everyday life.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Tomas Jimenez

"I'm professor of sociology at Stanford University, director of the Undergraduate Program on Urban Studies, and a core faculty member at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. My research and writing focus on immigration, assimilation, social mobility, and ethnic and racial identity. I've written a few of books on these issues - The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants are Changing American Life (University of California Press, 2017), Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity (University of California Press, 2010), and Immigration and the State of Belonging: How Immigration Policy and Climate Defines Membership in the United States (under review). I’m starting a new impact lab on immigrant integration. The lab will work with non-profits and government agencies to find evidence-based approaches to helping immigrants gain a foothold in the United States. I've provided commentary for various media and news outlets on these issues. I enjoy learning about how the immigrant experience, past and present, shapes the biographies of Stanford students. This my twelfth year at Stanford. I received a BS in sociology from Santa Clara University (just down the El Camino Real), an AM in sociology from Harvard University, and a PhD in sociology from Harvard University. I live in a home on campus with my wife, Nova (who is a lecturer in the music department), and my two sons, Orlando (10) and Marcel (8)."