Sociologist Portes wins Du Bois career award

Alejandro Portes, Princeton's Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology, is the 2010 recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association. A major honor in the field, the Du Bois award recognizes "outstanding commitment to the profession of sociology" and cumulative work that has "contributed in important ways to the advancement of the discipline."

Portes, an immigration scholar who joined the University in 1997, will accept the award at the association's annual meeting this August in Atlanta. The Du Bois award committee cited Portes' work, which has expanded to include children of immigrants, for its pioneering and wide-ranging nature. The committee also commended Portes for working collaboratively with senior and junior researchers in the international settings he studied.

"Alejandro Portes is a world-renowned scholar of international migration, who, in the process of advancing the sociology of immigration, has forged numerous conceptual and methodological innovations," said the award statement from committee chair Robin Wagner-Pacifici, the Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College. "Further, Portes' scholarship has ranged across several major domains of sociology, from economic and political sociology to national development, urbanization, the informal economy, Latin American politics and class structures, and U.S.-Cuba relations."

Portes' current research projects include studies on Latin American institutions and development; immigration and the U.S. health care system; and assimilation models in Spain. From 1999 to 2007, he served as the director of Princeton's Center for Migration and Development, and he chaired the sociology department from 2003 to 2006.

Portes is a prolific researcher, with more than 250 articles and book chapters to his name. Of his many books, "Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation" (2001) received the Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award and the William I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki Distinguished Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association; and "City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami" (1993) won the Anthony Leeds Award for best book on urban anthropology from the American Anthropological Association and the Robert E. Park Award for best book in urban sociology from the American Sociological Association.

Portes is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also served as the president of the American Sociological Association in 1998-99.

Born in Cuba, Portes studied at the University of Havana and Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires before receiving his B.A. summa cum laude from Creighton University. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to numerous visiting professorships, Portes has served on the faculty at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, the University of Texas-Austin, Duke University and Johns Hopkins University.