Irene Bloemraad



  • Senior Fellow
  • Successful Societies


  • University of California Berkeley
Department of Sociology


  • United States


PhD (Sociology), Harvard University
MA (Sociology), McGill University
BA (Political Science), McGill University


Irene Bloemraad is a political sociologist who studies the nexus between immigration, politics and national identities.

Her 2006 book, Becoming a Citizen, compares immigrants’ acquisition of citizenship and political participation in the United States and Canada, finding that government settlement and multiculturalism policies have influenced newcomers’ practice and understanding of citizenship such that immigrants in Canada show greater political incorporation than those in the United States.

Her current projects examine the link between immigration-driven diversity and public-minded engagement, the visibility and influence of immigrant organizations, and the political socialization of immigrants and their native-born children. Bloemraad has published on these and related topics in a variety of sociology and immigration journals. She also regularly presents her work to policy-makers, academics and the general public.


Best Article Award (shared with co-author), Migration and Citizenship section, American Political Science Association, 2013

American Cultures Innovation in Teaching Prize, University of California, Berkeley, 2013

Social Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Letters and Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2012

Thomas Garden Barnes Chair of Canadian Studies, University of California, 2012

Honorable Mention, Thomas & Znaniecki Best Book Award, International Migration section, American Sociological Association, 2008


Relevant Publications

Bloemraad, I., H. Sarabia, and A. Fillingim. "‘Staying out of Trouble’ and Doing what is 'Right’: Citizenship Acts, Citizenship Ideals and the Effects of Legal Status on Second-Generation Youth." American Behavioral Scientist 60, no. 13 (2016): 1534–1552.

Bloemraad, I., and V. Terriquez. "Cultures of Engagement: The Organizational Foundations of Advancing Health in Low-Income Communities of Color." Social Science and Medicine 165 (2016): 214–22.

Bloemraad, I., F. Silva, and K. Voss. "Rights, Economics or Family? Frame Resonance, Political Ideology and the Immigrant Rights Movement." Social Forces 94, no. 4 (2016): 1647–1674.

Bloemraad, I., and M. Wright. "Utter Failure or Unity out of Diversity? Debating and Evaluating Policies of Multiculturalism." Int. Migr. Rev. 48, no. S1 (fall 2014): S292–S334.

Bloemraad, I. "Being American/Becoming American: Birthright Citizenship and Immigrants’ Membership in the United States." Studies in Law, Politics and Society 60 (2013): 55–84.

BoVoss, K., and I. Bloemraad, eds. Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.

Ramakrishnan, S.K., and I. Bloemraad, eds. Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations, and Political Engagement. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2008.

Bloemraad, I. Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.


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