Prominent Graduate Center Sociologists Recognized by ASA

July 21, 2022

The American Sociological Association honored Philip Kasinitz and Margaret Chin for their influential work in ethnography.

ASA Awards - Margaret Chin and Philip Kasinitz
Professors Philip Kasinitz and Margaret M. Chin are known for their studies of immigration and race relations.

The American Sociological Association (ASA) recently recognized the exceptional work of two Graduate Center professors, both known for their work in ethnography. Presidential Professor Philip Kasinitz (Sociology, International Migration Studies) won the Distinguished Career Award from the International Migration section of ASA. Professor Margaret M. Chin (GC/Hunter, Sociology, International Migration Studies) is a co-winner of the Max Weber Book Award from the Organizations, Occupations, and Work section of ASA for her book Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder

An Influential Immigration Scholar 

The Distinguished Career Award recognizes exceptional achievement and a lifetime of scholarly contribution to the sociology of international migration. Kasinitz, who also directs the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) at the Graduate Center, is an influential scholar of immigration, ethnicity, race relations, urban social life and the nature of contemporary cities. He is the author and editor of several books, including his co-authored book Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age, which won the Eastern Sociological Society’s Mirra Komarovsky Book Award in 2009 and the American Sociological Association Distinguished Scholarly Book Award in 2010. He also won the Thomas and Znaniecki Book Award in 1996 for his book Caribbean New York

He is frequently quoted by the media and has been covered by CNN On Line, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, New York Newsday, Dissent, and Lingua Franca

Kasinitiz served as president of the Eastern Sociological Society from 2007 to 2008 and received the society’s Merritt Award for career contributions in 2015. He is a member of the Historical Advisory Board of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and a former member of the Social Science Research Council’s Committee on International Migration and the Russell Sage Foundation’s Committee to Study the Social Effects of 9-11 on New York City.

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Exposing “Bamboo Ceiling” in Corporate America

The ASA, in announcing Chin’s award, wrote that her book Stuck “provides a compelling window onto corporate America, examining the powerful, yet often invisible, barriers in the workplace that prevent second-generation Asian Americans from achieving the highest level of corporate leadership.” The book, which came out in 2020, has received considerable media attention, yielding interviews and op-eds in The Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, USA Today, and MarketWatch

CUNY Graduate Center · Margaret Chin on The Thought Project - Episode 90

For the book, Chin interviewed 103 Asian Americans who fit the stereotype of the model minority. They are Ivy League graduates who landed prestigious entry-level jobs in the corporate world. Despite their achievements, though, they get mired in mid-level roles. The situation for Asian American women is bleaker, as they contend with sexual harassment and additional prejudice. Chin shows that the “bamboo ceiling” prevents many Asian Americans from accessing corporate leadership positions. “Stuck shines a light,” the ASA writes, “on the continuing significance of race in shaping the lives of Asian American professional elites.”

Chin wrote a portion of Stuck while she was an ARC scholar at the Graduate Center. 

Learn More About the M.A. Program in International Migration Studies

She is also the author of the award-winning Sewing Women: Immigrants and the NYC Garment Industry, an ethnography on the Chinese and Korean garment sectors. Her prior honors include an American Sociological Association Minority Fellows Award, a National Science Foundation (NSF) dissertation grant, a Social Science Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in International Migration, and a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellowship for junior faculty. She was the vice president of the Eastern Sociological Society (2015–2016). She is on the board of the Tenement Museum. Her specialties include immigration, family, work, education, Asian Americans, and children of immigrants. 

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