Rubén Rumbaut
University of California, Irvine
Professor, Department of Sociology

Year Elected


Membership status

Rubén G. Rumbaut is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also affiliated with its School of Education; and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the 1980s he conducted several of the principal studies of refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and of their children’s adaptations in U.S. public schools. Subsequent studies examined the educational achievement of immigrant students and language minorities in California. He co-directed the landmark Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, following the trajectories into adulthood of thousands of youth representing dozens of different nationalities, primarily from Latin America and Asia. That study has generated numerous publications, including Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation (with Alejandro Portes), which won the Distinguished Scholarship Award of the American Sociological Association and the Thomas and Znaniecki Award for best book in the immigration field, and was nominated for the Grawemeyer award in education. Since 2002 he has been involved in comparative research on transitions to adulthood with multiethnic samples in field sites across the United States; co-directed the Immigration and Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles study, comparing the educational and socioeconomic progress of 1.5 and second-generation young adults with native-parentage white, African American, and Mexican American peers; and, with a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, worked on two authoritative volumes on the Hispanic population of the United States. He is currently involved in a longitudinal study of educational achievement and adult transitions of youth from the same hometown in Mexico, comparing those who stayed and those who immigrated to California. Among his other books are Immigrant America: A Portrait (with Alejandro Portes); Ethnicities: Children of Immigrants in America (with Portes); On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy (with Richard Settersten and Frank Furstenberg); Immigration Research for a New Century: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (with Nancy Foner and Steven J. Gold); and California’s Immigrant Children: Theory, Research, and Implications for Educational Policy (with Wayne Cornelius).

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