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Richard Alba

Position: Acting Director (2011-12)
Phone: 212-817-8773

Richard Alba (Distinguished Professor of Sociology) was Acting Director of the Center for Urban Research during the 2011-12 school year.

The seeds of Richard Alba’s interest in race, ethnicity and immigration were sown during his childhood in the Bronx of the 1940s and 1950s and nurtured intellectually at Columbia University, where he received his undergraduate and graduate education, completing his Ph.D. in 1974. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Increasingly, his teaching and research have taken on a comparative focus, encompassing the immigration societies of North America and Western Europe. He has carried out research in France and in Germany, with the support of Fulbright grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, and Russell Sage Foundation. In 2003-04, he was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His research has also received grant support from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

His books include:

  • Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America (1990);
  • Italian Americans: Into the Twilight of Ethnicity (1985); and
  • the award-winning Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration (2003), co-written with Victor Nee.

His latest books, Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America and The Next Generation: Immigrant Youth in a Comparative Perspective (co-edited with Mary Waters) appeared in 2009 and 2011, respectively.

He has been elected President of the Eastern Sociological Society (1997-98) and Vice President of the American Sociological Association (2000-01).