Welcome to the home page of SUZANNE MODEL, Professor Emerita in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Although I retired in 2008, I continue to do
research on immigration. I am especially interested in why people
emigrate, the consequences of choosing one destination over another,
and why some immigrants return home. In exploring these questions, I
focus primarily on people from Taiwan and from the Caribbean. I
gather infomation by conducting personal interviews and analyzing
large data sets like censuses and surveys.
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS: 1. Emigration and
(with links to the text of
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS:
1. Emigration and Return
In early 2010, funded by a Fulbright Grant, I spent several months at Academia Sinica in Taipei studying these issues. I obtained life histories from Taiwanese who never emigrated and from emigrants who returned to the Island from America. I also spoke with key informants like government officials, educators and emigration agents. In addition, with the help of Dr. Ji-Ping Lin, I obtained access to a panel study of Taiwanese in America sponsored by the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission.
In the summer of 2010, I returned to the US and began obtaining life histories of Taiwanese in America, an undertaking in which I am still engaged. I am also analyzing the data in the OCAC panel study; it explores why participants left Taiwan, how they are adjusting to American life, and whether they are considering a return to their homeland.
2. Destination Effects
I would like better to understand the consequences of settling in one country versus another. To pursue this question, I have a contract with Routledge press for a book series: Routledge Studies of Diasporic Peoples. Each volume in the series will compare the integration of an immigrant group across several destinations. At minimum, the series is projected to include volumes that examine West Indian Blacks, Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Turks, and Asian Indians. If you are interested in contributing a volume to the series, please contact me at email@example.com
Thus, another project I am now working on is authoring the first volume, The West Indian Diaspora. This book examines the integration of immigrants from the English, Dutch and French-speaking West Indies in the US, UK, Canada, France and the Netherlands.
3. Cape Verdean Immigrants
Cape Verde is a small island nation off the coast of Africa. Once colonized by the Portuguese, it was both a slave society and a way station for slaves on their journey to the New World. Because of extensive racial mixing, nearly all its nationals have some African ancestry. In Cape Verde, racial identity is considered a continuum from light to dark. As in much of Latin America, physical attributes are not the only determinants of "race", social and economic characteristics matter too. Over the last century, thousands of Cape Verdeans have emigrated to Europe and North America. In the United States, they are viewed as "Black", a characterization many dispute.
The circumstances of Cape Verdean Americans prompt me to ask: what factors are associated with their racial identity? Is their racial identity associated with their socio-economic well-being? That is to say, do the labor market outcomes of Cape Verdeans who identify as "Black" differ from those who identify as "White" or from those who choose some other response? My colleague Gene Fisher and I are using US Census data to answer these questions.