David R. Hayworth College of Arts and Sciences
Sociology & Anthropology

Research – Dr. Emily Estrada


My research illuminates how Latinx immigrants, and by extension Latinxs more broadly, fit into America’s racial hierarchy. This area of scholarship makes several significant contributions to sociological discussions on race and immigration. First, my work contributes to a burgeoning area that seeks to merge two largely separate fields of scholarship—race and immigration—by examining how Latinx immigrants and the Latinx community more broadly are set apart from other groups in society and then come to be associated with positive or negative traits. In other words, the research I engage in centers the racialization of Latinxs. Second, by focusing on cultural processes instead of racial outcomes, my work investigates an aspect of social life that is often taken-for-granted. That is, my work interrogates the foundation of racial outcomes by examining the ways in which racialized boundaries are created, reproduced, and challenged. Third, many of my projects focus not only on explicit cultural processes, but also those that are implicit. Although overtly xenophobic discourses draw clear racialized boundaries between dominant and Latino immigrant groups, narratives that are seemingly neutral and even positive can also engage in boundary-work that reproduces a racial hierarchy.

I currently have several projects underway that examine the cultural processes related to the racialization of Latinx immigrants. I am continuing to investigate the legitimation process associated with the privatization of immigration management and will soon begin to explore how this process relates to institutional outcomes such as state-level crimmigration legislation. I am also currently updating an original dataset of 587 newspapers articles on immigration across four different newspaper outlets published between 2000 and 2012 to include more recent data (2013 – 2017) which will allow for an extended longitudinal analysis of the frames contained with the articles, an important contribution given the changing atmosphere surrounding immigration politics. Lastly, I am working on a project that explores how news viewership may affect interpersonal interactions between different racial groups.


2016Estrada, Emily P., Kim Ebert, Michelle Halla Lore. “Apathy and Antipathy: Media Coverage of Restrictive Immigration Legislation and the Maintenance of Symbolic Boundaries.” Sociological Forum 31 (3): 555 – 576.
2014Ebert, Kim, Emily P. Estrada, Michelle H. Lore. “When Organizations Matter: Threatening Demographics, Supportive Politics, and Immigration Lawmaking.” DuBois Review 11 (2): 387 – 417.
2008Estrada, Emily P., Yung-Mei Tsai, Charles R. Chandler. “Assimilation and Discriminatory Perception and Experiences: The Case of Hispanics in the U.S.” The Social Science Journal 45: 673 -681.


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