Ernesto Castañeda is the Director of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, the Immigration Lab, and the Masters in Sociology, Research, and Practice at American University in Washington, DC. He conducts research on contentious politics, immigration, borders, Latin people, health disparities, and homelessness. He is the author of A Place to Call Home: Immigrant Belonging and Exclusion in New York, Paris, and Barcelona (Stanford University Press 2018); Building Walls: The Exclusion of Latin People in the U.S. (Lexington Books 2019), and with Charles Tilly and Lesley Wood of Social Movements 1768–2018 (Routledge 2020). He is the editor of Immigration and Categorical Inequality: Migration to the City and the Birth of Race and Ethnicity (Routledge 2018); and co-editor with Cathy L. Schneider of Collective Violence, Contentious Politics, and Social Change: A Charles Tilly Reader (Routledge 2017). He has written for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Hill, CityLab, The Conversation, Medium, and NPR, among other outlets. He is a frequent analyst of current events in U.S. and international news programs.
Ernesto Castañeda received a PhD in Sociology from Columbia University and a BA in interdisciplinary studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a visiting scholar at the Sorbonne, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School for Social Research, and the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford. He is also an active member of the Transatlantic Policy Institute, the Center on Health, Risk, and Society, the Anti-Racist Research and Policy Center, the Healthcare Lab, and the Metropolitan Policy Center at American University, in DC where he is an Associate Professor of Sociology.
As immigrants settle in new places, they are faced with endless uncertainties that prevent them from feeling that they belong. From language barriers, to differing social norms, to legal boundaries separating them from established residents, immigrants are constantly navigating shifting and contradictory expectations to both assimilate and to honor their native culture. In his books and multiple articles and chapters, Ernesto Castañeda describes and theorizes about the parallel processes of immigrant integration and exclusion in global and border cities in the United States and Europe, with special emphasis on Latin America and North Africa as places of origin and cultural referents for immigrants.
Castañeda conducts research on migration, urban issues, health disparities, vulnerable populations, and social movements. He compares immigrant integration and ethnic political mobilization in the U.S. and Western Europe. He has conducted surveys and ethnographic fieldwork in the United States, France, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Algeria, and Morocco; and published on remittances and development; integration and transnationalism; hometown associations and diaspora organizations; urban exclusion; the border fence; transnational families and the children of migrants left behind; health disparities within immigrant, public housing, and homeless Hispanic populations.
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