Alejandro Portes, Ph.D.

Office Phone
179 Wallace Hall

Alejandro Portes is Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology at Princeton University.  He is the author of 250 articles and chapters on national development, international migration, Latin American and Caribbean urbanization, and economic sociology. He has published 30 books and special issues. His books include City on the Edge – the Transformation of Miami(California 1993), co-authored with Alex Stepick and winner of the Robert Park Award for best book in urban sociology and the Anthony Leeds Award for best book in urban anthropology in 1995; and Immigrant America: A Portrait, 3rd edition, (California 2006), designated as a Centennial Publication by the University of California Press in 1996. His current research is on the adaptation process of the immigrant second generation in comparative perspective, the role of institutions on national development, and immigration and the American health system.

How Are The Children Of Immigrants Adapting To The U.S. And What Ties Do They Maintain With Their Homelands?

Children of immigrants comprise one-in-five of Americans under age 18 and the proportion is growing rapidly. One of my projects deals with their adaptation and the forces impinging on it. A second study focuses on the transnational organizations created by immigrants to the United States and their impact on the development of sending countries. A third pertains to Latin American large cities and their evolution during the last decades under the influence of neo-liberal adjustment policies. A fourth, just started, deals with the concept of "institutions" as currently used in economics and the ways in which sociological theory can improve and refine its uses in the field of development and others.

Selected Publications


2005 (with William Haller) "The Informal Economy." In N. Smelser and R. Swedberg (eds.) HANDBOOK OF ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY, 2nd edition, New York: Russell Sage Foundation (forthcoming).


2004 (with Lingxin Hao) "The Schooling of Children of Immigrants: Contextual Effects on the Educational Attainment of the Second Generation." PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES 101 (August): 11920-11927.


2003 (with Kelly Hoffman) "Latin American Class Structures: Their Composition and Change during the Neoliberal Era." LATIN AMERICAN RESEARCH REVIEW 38 (February): 41-82.


2003 (with Luis E. Guarnizo and William Haller) "Assimilation and Transnationalism: Determinants of Transnational Political Action among Contemporary Migrants."AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY 108 (May): 1211-1248.


2003 "Theoretical Convergencies and Empirical Evidence in the Study of Immigrant Transnationalism." INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION REVIEW 37 (Fall): 814-892.