Qualitative Research Lab: Immigration, Citizenship, and Belonging




What does citizenship mean to the millions of people who immigrate to the United States? How do immigrants and their families experience the process, the complexities, and the challenges of immigration, integration, and naturalization? And how do undocumented and DACAmented immigrants describe the paradoxes of being a vital part of US society while being excluded from many formal categories of citizenship and belonging?
In this course, you’ll learn how to approach those categories, processes, and complexities using qualitative research methods. You’ll develop a research project and use content analysis to explore what citizenship means to different communities and how immigrants move between and among categories of belonging. You’ll think through the implications that those intersecting and sometimes paradoxical narrative frames have for immigrant integration – the two-way process by which immigrants and their communities of settlement interact and adjust to one another.
In this course, we’ll break down the process of research design, data collection, and analysis into understandable and manageable parts. We’ll be guided by ethical obligations of care and caution when doing research on immigration and immigrant communities, we’ll learn how to balance practical and visionary approaches to research design, and we’ll explore how to keep yourself afloat in the face of challenging and distressing data and stories. We’ll also stay grounded in the field of sociology, by incorporating key themes including race and ethnicity, inequality, gender and sexuality, and human capital into all of our discussions and analyses.
By the end of the semester, you’ll have experience collecting and analyzing qualitative data from immigrants and their family members, community groups, and the media. You’ll turn this data into preliminary findings, and develop a clear plan for how to advance your research in a junior tutorial, senior thesis, or graduate program.
I welcome anyone interested in doing meaningful research on immigration into this course, and first generation and bilingual/multilingual students are especially encouraged to enroll.
Additional Information:
Faculty: Leah Muse-Orlinoff
Semester: Full Fall Term
Time: Tuesday, 12:00 - 2:00 pm