Asad L. Asad is a sociologist broadly interested in social stratification; migration and immigrant incorporation; race and ethnicity; and health. His current research projects examine how immigration law and enforcement reproduce social inequality. Asad joined the Center for the Study of Inequality at Cornell University as a postdoctoral fellow in July 2017, prior to his appointment as Assistant Professor of Sociology and (by courtesy) Public Policy at the University of Michigan (beginning fall 2019). He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.
Asad's primary research agenda interrogates how recent changes to the enforcement of American immigration law contribute to multiple forms of social inequality, usually with a focus on the experiences of Hispanic-origin immigrants. His in-progress book manuscript draws on in-depth interviews with undocumented and documented immigrants to characterize the diverse ways they respond to the threat of deportation. Another project relies on large-scale survey data in order to understand how patterns of inequality within Mexico shape individuals' opportunities for lawful migration to the U.S. In both endeavors, Asad seeks to demonstrate the sometimes-unexpected ways that the enforcement of immigration law shapes immigrants' everyday lives.
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; 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 a Graduate Student Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, and a Graduate Student Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He is a first-generation college graduate and 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.