IMMIGRATION & TRANSNATIONALISM
Masters-level course, Fall 2017
This course explores some of the many challenges and opportunities associated with the movement of people across national borders. Global migration flows have reached unprecedented levels. About a quarter of a billion people–or 3.3 percent of global population–currently live outside their country of birth. These flows, of course, are not without controversy. In the United States, we are debating how to manage a large undocumented population from Mexico and an increase in undocumented children coming from Central America. Meanwhile, debates rage in Europe about Islam and assimilation while thousands of refugees die in the Mediterranean Sea fleeing conflict and repression in countries like Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Syria. Many communities in developing countries, on the other hand, depend on and are changed by the massive sums of money that migrants send home. What drives trends like these, and what are their political, economic, and social implications? Why do people emigrate, how are people smuggled and trafficked, and to what extent can states control immigration and manage xenophobia? How do immigration policies affect families, children, and communities? What is the relationship between emigration and human development in developing countries? This course explores these and other questions about human mobility in the 21st century.
Undergraduate level course, Spring 2018
This course will introduce you to some of the many ways of doing original social science research. Doing research is a lot like unraveling a mystery. You start with a question. You gather evidence. Then you evaluate the evidence, draw conclusions from it, and communicate your findings. There are countless ways to design a study and collect data. Some social scientists conduct experiments. Others collect survey data. Others analyze quantitative datasets they find online. Still others immerse themselves in situations for long periods of time, make observations and conduct in-depth interviews, and a growing number of social scientists are making videos.
The goal is for you to walk away from this class with a fundamental understanding of how to design an original research project using various techniques and approaches. I also hope you walk away from this class a more critical consumer of the research you read and hear about. Although many of the research techniques we’ll talk about come from political science, what you learn in this course will be applicable to you in a number of other fields and careers. Whether you go to graduate school for political science or onto a career in business, nonprofit work, government, marketing, journalism or a number of other fields, you can use the skills you will develop in this course to become a better, more critical thinker and researcher.