Asad L. Asad is a sociologist broadly interested in social stratification; migration and immigrant incorporation; race and ethnicity; and health. His current research examines how immigration law and enforcement contribute to multiple forms of social inequality. Asad joined the Center for the Study of Inequality at Cornell University as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2017. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.
Asad's primary research agenda considers how the enforcement of ostensibly race-neutral immigration laws has racially-unequal consequences, for immigrants and non-immigrants alike. His first book, tentatively titled A Nation of Deportables (under contract with Princeton University Press), draws on in-depth interviews and ethnography with immigrants and their families, as well as immigration officials, to demonstrate how legal systems targeting a particular social group (i.e., immigrants) have ancillary but transformative consequences on populations they are apparently not intended to affect (i.e., non-immigrants). Another project relies on large-scale survey data and examines how patterns of ethno-racial inequality within Mexico shape individuals' opportunities for lawful migration to the U.S. In both endeavors, Asad seeks to uncover the sometimes-unexpected ways that immigration law and enforcement structure individuals' experiences in the U.S.
Asad’s research has appeared in journals such as American Behavioral Scientist, Annual Review of Sociology, Population and Environment, Qualitative Sociology, and Social Science & Medicine. His work has been recognized by a Best Student Paper Award from the American Sociological Association and supported by the National Science Foundation and the Sperry Fund, as well as the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for American Political Studies, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.
Asad earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, where he was affiliated with the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Wisconsin, as well as an A.M. in Sociology from Harvard.