Asad L. Asad is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Harvard University. His work addresses questions related to im/migration; race and ethnicity; social stratification; urban sociology; and qualitative and mixed methods. His current research considers the potential mediating effects of institutions on various facets of inequality, particularly as they relate to immigrant populations from Latin America.
Guiding Asad’s research projects is a desire to understand contemporary patterns of undocumented immigration from Latin America in spite of unprecedented levels of enforcement at the U.S. border and beyond. His dissertation draws on ethnographic observations and longitudinal interviews with a sample of immigrants living in Dallas, Texas in order to interrogate how exposure to immigration enforcement affects migrants' everyday lives. Another project relies on large-scale survey data from the Mexican Migration Project in order to understand how social stratification in Mexico shapes individuals' opportunities for lawful migration to the United States. In both endeavors, Asad seeks to illuminate previously-overlooked social processes that explain the remarkable persistence of the undocumented immigrant population in the United States across time.
Asad’s research has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as American Behavioral Scientist, Annual Review of Sociology, Population and Environment, Qualitative Sociology, and Social Science & Medicine, among other outlets. His work has been recognized by a Best Student Paper Award from the American Sociological Association and has been supported by the National Science Foundation; the Sperry Fund; as well as the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, the Center for American Political Studies, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He serves as a student advisory editor for Social Problems.
Asad holds a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Wisconsin and an A.M. in Sociology from Harvard University. In addition to his academic work, Asad is Senior Tutor at Mather House, one of Harvard’s undergraduate residential colleges.