Immigration, Law and Society

Course Number: 
25003

Law is everywhere within the social world. It shapes our everyday lives in countless ways by permitting, prohibiting, protecting, and prosecuting native-born citizens and immigrants alike. This course reviews the major theoretical perspectives and social science research on the relationship between law and society, with an empirical focus on immigrants in the United States, primarily from Mexico and Central America. To begin, we explore the permeation of law in everyday life, legal consciousness, and gap between "law on the books" and "law on the ground." The topic of immigration is introduced with readings on the socio-legal construction of immigration status, theories of international migration, and U.S. immigration law at the national and subnational levels. We continue to study the social impact of law on immigrants through the topics of liminal legality; children, families, and romantic partnerships; policing, profiling, and raids; detention and deportation; and immigrants' rights. This course adopts a "law in action" approach centered on the social, political, and cultural contexts of law as it relates to immigration and social change. It is designed to expose you to how social scientists study and think about law, and to give you the analytical skills to examine law, immigration, and social change relationally.

Courses are subject to change at any time. Please check mySSA for the quarters, days, and times that courses will be held, as well as room numbers.