Immigration and Women

Understanding the American Experience

319 pages

May, 2011

ISBN: 9780814767382



Also available in


Susan C. Pearce is Associate Professor of Sociology at East Carolina University and co-editor of Reformulations: Markets, Policy, and Identities in Central and Eastern Europe and Mosaics of Change: The First Decade of Life in the New Eastern Europe.

All books by Susan C. Pearce

Elizabeth Clifford is Professor of Sociology at Towson University, where she is also Director of American Studies and Coordinator of the Baltimore Immigration Summit.

All books by Elizabeth J. Clifford

Reena Tandon teaches South Asian Studies at University of Toronto and is the author of  Contemporary Hindi in Australia. She has been affiliated with Ryerson University to teach at School of Social Work and to integrate Curricular Service Learning in the Faculty of Arts.

All books by Reena Tandon

The popular debate around contemporary U.S. immigration tends to conjure images of men waiting on the side of the road for construction jobs, working in kitchens or delis, driving taxis, and sending money to their wives and families in their home countries, while women are often left out of these pictures. Immigration and Women is a national portrait of immigrant women who live in the United States today, featuring the voices of these women as they describe their contributions to work, culture, and activism.

Through an examination of U.S. Census data and interviews with women across nationalities, we hear the poignant, humorous, hopeful, and defiant words of these women as they describe the often confusing terrain where they are starting new lives, creating architecture firms, building urban high-rises, caring for children, cleaning offices, producing creative works, and organizing for social change. Highlighting the gendered quality of the immigration process, Immigration and Women interrogates how human agency and societal structures interact within the intersecting social locations of gender and migration. The authors recommend changes for public policy to address the constraints these women face, insisting that new policy must be attentive to the diverse profile of today’s immigrating woman: she is both potentially vulnerable to exploitative conditions and forging new avenues of societal leadership.

To learn more about the book, check out the companion site:!



  • "A must read for sociologists, gender scholars, historians, legal scholars, and policy makers interested in issues on immigration and incorporation. Highly recommended."

    —K.K. Hill, Choice

  • "...An engaging read...I would strongly recommend it as a course text."


  • "It contributes a great deal to our deeper understanding of the gendered nature of migration, as well as the ways in which human beings marshal their personal resources to reconstruct their lives. I recommend it."

    Contemporary Sociology