Congratulations to Man Xu, Recipient of Doctoral Fellowship from The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation

Congratulations to Man Xu, who recently received a Doctoral Fellowship from The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. The fellowship offers financial support to doctoral candidates enrolled in an accredited university in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, or South America for writing dissertations in the field of Chinese Studies in the humanities and social sciences. The award amount is US$20,000, for up to one year.

Man Xu is a PhD student at the University of Toronto focusing on migration, transnationalism and Chinese Muslim traders. Her faculty supervisors are Prof. Patricia Landolt and Prof. Ping-Chun Hsiung. Titled “Global Brokerage by Hui Muslims and the Governance of Transnational Trade in Yiwu,” Man’s dissertation examines practices of small-commodity trade businesses between China and the Middle East. Her article on news coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis was published in Current Sociology. She received her BA in Persian Language and Literature at Peking University, China, and her MA in Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University, Sweden.

The abstract of her dissertation project is as follows:

My dissertation project examines a trade brokerage system that plays a central role in the operation and maintenance of Global Trade between China and Global South countries. It offers an ethnographic window into the experiences of Hui Muslims who work as global trade brokers in Yiwu – the world’s largest small commodity market. The brokerage work performed by Hui Muslims helps bridge information and network gaps in transnational markets and serves to manage and control risks underlying informal South-South trade. This project contributes to the theorization of the social mechanism of brokerage by analyzing how the relational labor of minority agents facilitates and sustains economic globalization. My research also extends understanding of how complex interplays between global forces and local dynamics in global markets produce novel techniques of governance and new spaces for upward mobility and identity formation.


Congratulations to Sara Hormozinejad, Recipient of Harney Graduate Research Fellowship in Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies for 2022-2023

Congratulations to Sara Hormozinejad, second year PhD student in sociology, for receiving the R.F. Harney Graduate Research Fellowship in Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Policy. The Harney Fellowship offers funding to advanced graduate students conducting research in areas related to citizenship, migration, and diversity.

Under the supervision of Professor Patricia Landolt, Sara examines the elastic boundaries of membership and belonging associated with international migration and settlement in her research. Her SSHRC-funded dissertation project investigates the puzzling return migration from the Global North to the Global South to shed light on the complexities of the migrant integration process and to reveal nuances in migrants’ experiences of belonging/non-belonging and inclusion/exclusion in socially diverse receiving societies such as Canada. Sara received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Calgary, and her MA in Anthropology from the University of Toronto.

Professor Patricia Landolt on the impact of Covid-19 on non-status migrant workers

Sociology Professor Patricia Landolt recently contributed to a City News story about the impact of Covid-19 on the health and finances of non-status migrant workers. Following Landolt’s survey, conducted in collaboration with a York University Colleague and the FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto, City News reported that because migrant workers, many of whom are essential workers, do not have legal status in Canada, they were without financial supports, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Maintaining jobs, housing, and access to food throughout the pandemic became extremely difficult. Many were pressured by employers to return to work despite being covid positive. The full City News story is available here.  The City News report coverage is based on the following report: Borras, Jana, Luin Goldring and Patricia Landolt. 2021. Pandemic Precarities: Immigration Status, Work, Housing, and Health Among Current and Former Non-status Residents of Toronto. Toronto: FCJ Refugee Centre and CEP Project.

Professor Patricia Landolt in The Conversation: “Suburban monumentalism: do we change Indigenous-settler relations when there are no statues to destroy?”

Professor Patricia Landolt recently co-authored an article titled “Suburban monumentalism: How do we change Indigenous-settler relations when there are no statues to destroy?” on The Conversation. Professor Landolt argues that although suburbs are often overlooked as places of action, they have also played a role in the Indigenous dispossession and settler-colonial violence. She gives the example of suburban monumentalism in Scarborough where “historical plaques erase Indigenous histories and presence on the land.”

Professor Patricia Landolt is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. She studies the production and reproduction systems of social exclusion and inequality associated with global migrations. Her research focuses on specific themes such as refugee-migrant political incorporation, precarious work and income insecurity, non-citizenship and precarious legal status.

We’ve included an excerpt of the article below. You can read the full article here.

Scarborough, a bustling suburban region of Toronto, has key features of suburban monumentalism. Scarborough has been a site of settlement, migration and crossing for thousands of years. It has been a disputed territory for at least 200 years as Indigenous peoples have challenged settlement on unceded land and the duplicity of the treaty process. Indigenous people continue to live and shape the area, as well as fight for return of the land.

All of this complexity and contentious political history is largely absent from Scarborough’s monuments and built environment.

Scarborough’s naming conventions weave a settler-origin story into the land. The Thomson family appears in the naming of David and Mary Thomson Collegiate, Thomson Memorial Park and in the collections of the Scarborough Historical Museum.”

The Hard Labour of Finding Good Work: Prof. Ito Peng and Prof. Patricia Landolt in University of Toronto Magazine

A recent article in University of Toronto Magazine, entitled entitled, “The Hard Labour of Finding Good Work,” highlighted Professor Patricia Landolt’sand Professor Ito Peng’s research. Professor Landolt, Chair of the University of Toronto Scarborough’s sociology department has research expertise in the production and reproduction of systems of social exclusion, as well as the inequality associated with global migrations. Professor Ito Peng, who is the Canada Research Chair in Global Social Policy and Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at the Department of Sociology, and the School of Public Policy and Governance, has expertise in political sociology and social contexts of public policy, specializing in family, gender, and demographic issues, migration, and comparative social policy.

The article, written by author John Lornic, discusses the ways in which migrants face systemic barriers when seeking employment. The full article is available on the University of Toronto Magazine’s website here.

I have posted an excerpt below.

The Hard Labour of Finding Good Work: Migrants are determined to find jobs, but face systemic barriers

Oct. 2, 2019

…The sprawling health-care and long term–care sectors depend on thousands of caregivers – and “the vast majority are women, and a large proportion are immigrant women and women of colour,” observes Prof. Ito Peng of sociology, who oversees the Gender, Migration and the Work of Care project at U of T’s Centre for Global Social Policy.

Many are here on temporary work visas, but she says it’s not uncommon for these “documented migrants to become undocumented when they overstay their visas.” Some have good reason to want to stay on: careworkers and live-in domestics in other countries, including much of the Asia Pacific region, aren’t covered by employment standards laws, says Peng, who is also director of U of T’s Centre for Global Policy.

Landolt’s research also shows that the number of migrants entering Canada on temporary work visas as a proportion of overall immigration has increased dramatically in recent years. Some of these migrants go on to establish lives here and seek permanent resident status – but this drawn-out bureaucratic process can take years, creating uncertainty and a period of “precarious non-citizenship.”

In 2006, Landolt and her team interviewed 300 migrants who had come to Canada from Latin America and the Caribbean. The researchers found that people who had spent any time in precarious status were more likely to find poor quality work and maintain poor quality work instead of advancing through higher-skilled and better-paying positions, as is the more typical trajectory with permanent residents. As she says, “The system is creating a probationary pool of people with one hand tied behind their backs in terms of rights.”…

Read the full article here. 

Working Paper 2019-02

Decentering methodological nationalism to survey the chutes and ladders of precarious legal status trajectories

Patricia Landolt, University of Toronto
Luin Goldring, York University
Paul Pritchard, University of Toronto

UT Sociology Working Paper No. 2019-02

July 2019

Keywords: precarious legal status trajectories, methodological nationalism, survey design, administrative data, frontline epistemologies

Full Article


Methodological nationalism limits the ability of research to document and analyze the complexity of precarious legal status trajectories and their long-term impact on migrant socioeconomic outcomes and social inequality in general. We begin to address these issues by identifying the challenges of methodological nationalism for migration research. These include the sedentary bias that casts suspicion on ‘people on the move,’ and the temporal truncation and socio-spatial bordering that erase or render irrelevant pre-migration trajectories and transnational practices. Using the Canadian case, we argue that administrative data and immigration research examine state defined immigrants and selected, approved, legal status transitions.  However, they exclude precarious status migrants and their temporally indeterminate and potentially multi-directional trajectories.  This produces incomplete evidence and analyses. We detail the ways in which our research design process for studying precarious legal status trajectories has worked to decentre methodological nationalism. The process was characterized by 1) a frontline epistemology in which knowledge is created through engagement, interaction and exchange between academic researchers and other producers of knowledge; and 2) the operationalization of precarious legal status trajectories in a parsimonious survey instrument that is attuned to the directional and temporal indeterminacy of precarious legal status and the work of legal status.

Working Paper 2019-01

Assembling the Politics of Noncitizenship: Local struggles to enforce and extend access to health care

Patricia Landolt, University of Toronto

UT Sociology Working Paper No. 2019-01

January 2019

Keywords: assemblages, boundary work, health care, noncitizenship, political contestation, politics of noncitizenship

Full Article


Shifts in global migration are sparking powerful political clashes over the terms of membership for noncitizens that are characterized by complexity, diversity and multivalence. Local struggles over the rights and entitlements of migrants contribute political, procedural and cultural content to a broader reconceptualization of the boundaries between and content of citizenship and noncitizenship. In this article I draw on documentary evidence, fieldnotes and interviews to examine how a network of individual and collective actors – centred around healthcare professionals, community social service agencies and migrant-rights activists – rewrites the social and symbolic boundaries of noncitizenship as they enforce and extend access to health care for precarious noncitizens in Toronto, Ontario. I propose the concept of noncitizenship assemblages as a framework for understanding the contemporary politics of noncitizenship as multi-actor, multi-scalar contestations that may challenge or subvert the distinctions between citizens and noncitizens. Tracing the components through which health care for precarious noncitizens is assembled in a liberal welfare state expands the empirical base of knowledge on the politics of noncitizenship. The noncitizenship assemblages framework captures the heterogeneous and often incommensurable components of political contestation the produce membership. It motivates consideration of contingency, impermanence and conditionality in the production of the boundaries of noncitizenship.

Professor Patricia Landolt receives Partnership Development Grant

Patricia Landolt

Congratulations to Professor Patricia Landolt, who recently received a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant. The grant provides support to develop research and to design and test new partnership approaches within areas of social sciences and humanities.  With this grant, Professor Landolt will study how precarious noncitizenship affects the experience of migrants in Canada. She will pursue this project with Co-applicants Professor Luin Goldring of York University and Assistant Professor Min Sook Lee, an award winning filmmaker from OCAD University. Her team will also collaborate extensively with six community organizations that interact regularly with precarious noncitizens.

In this project, Professor Landolt and her team build on the concept of “Precarious Noncitizenship” which Landolt and Goldring have written about in their previous work.  Their research discovered that whether they enter on temporary work visas, student visas, tourist visas, as family dependents or as asylum seekers, many migrants in Canada spend an indeterminate amount of time in a state of immigration status precarity. While some eventually become permanent residents, others churn through temporary and unauthorized statuses. Thus, although envisioned by official policy as short-term, precarious immigration status is increasingly becoming a form of or path to de facto settlement in Canada, with precarious-status migrants living in economic vulnerability with limited access to social services and citizenship rights. As such, immigration status has the potential to become a primary fault line of social stratification in Canada, intersecting significantly with racialization, gender, and age.

The three-year Partnership Development Grant will use a community-engaged action research framework to examine how immigration status precarity is transforming experiences of work, social citizenship and belonging in ways that impact society as a whole. Focused on the Greater Toronto Area, Landolt and colleagues will bring together peer researchers with lived-experience of immigration status precarity, community agency partners, and academic researchers to conduct three qualitative case studies of youth, seniors and working women navigating the challenges of immigration status precarity. The project will create a knowledge exchange partnership with peer-researchers and community advocates. It will also extend public knowledge of immigration precarity by hosting a town hall and producing a film on experiences of immigration status precarity. This work will build on a survey project that is already underway and funded separately through a SSHRC Insight Grant ( )

Professor Landolt is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Scarborough campus. Her research interests include social citizenship, politics and policy in the global city, with a focus in refugee-migrant political incorporation.

U of T at the ASA

This year, 22 faculty members and 25 graduate students from Sociology at the University of Toronto are presenting papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociology Association in Montreal. In addition to the people presenting papers, a number of our community are also participating as session organizers, discussants or journal editorial panel members. The meetings happen between August 12th and August 15th. We have listed the papers we’re presenting below in the order of their occurrence, with student presenters shown in italics. Note that some of the papers have unlisted co-authors from other universities. Please refer to the ASA Program for complete information.

Saturday, August 12th

Bill Magee, Optimistic Positivity and Pessimistic Negativity Among American Adults: Effects of Birth-Cohort, Age, Gender, and Race

Jaime Nikolaou, Teen Pregnancy and Doula Care: A Space for Feminist Praxis?

Andrew Nevin, Technological Tethering, Cohort Effects, and the Work-Family Interface

Andreea Mogosanu, Historical Change in Gender Differences in Mastery: The Role of Education and Employment

Ioana Sendroiu and Laura Upenieks, Gender ‘In Practice’: Rethinking the Use of Male Practice Players in NCAA Women’s Basketball

Emine Fidan Elcioglu, The State Effect at the Border: Avoiding Totalizing Theories of Political Power in Migration Studies

Paul Pritchard, A Bifurcated Welcome? Examining the Willingness to Include Seasonal Agricultural Workers in the Host Community

Yukiko Tanaka, Managing Risk, Pursuing Opportunities: Immigration, Citizenship, and Security in Canada

Gordon Brett, Feminist Theory and Embodied Cognition: Bridging the Disciplinary Gap

Mitch McGivor, Inequality in Higher Education: Student Debt, Social Background, and Labour Market Outcomes

Sarah Cappeliez, Wine Nerds and Pleasure-seekers: Understanding Wine Taste Formation and Practice

Katelin Albert, Negotiating State Policy in the Improvised Classroom: An Ethnographic Inquiry into Sexual Health Classrooms

Marie-Lise Drappon-Bisson, Tactical Reproduction in the Pro-Choice Movement in Northern Ireland: Alliance for Choice’s Path Towards Successful Tactics

Milos Brocic, Cultivating Conviction or Negotiating Nuance? Assessing the Impact of Associations on Ideological Polarization

Omar Faruque, Neoliberal Development, Privatizing Nature, and Subaltern Resistance in Bangladesh

Sunday, August 13th

Dan Silver, The Political Order of the City: Neighborhoods and Voting in Toronto, 1997-2014

Andreea Mogosanu and Laura Upenieks, Social Change and the Evolution of Gender Differences in Depression: An Age-Cohort Consideration

Markus Schafer, Religious Attendance Heterogamy and Partnership Quality in Later Life

Atsushi Narisada, Buffering-Resource or Status-Disconfirmation? How Socioeconomic Status Shapes the Relationship between Perceived Under-Reward and Distress

Josee Johnston, On (not) Knowing Where Your Food Comes From: Children, Meat, and Ethical Eating

Ann Mullen, Labored Meanings: Contemporary Artists and the Process and Problems of Producing Artistic Meaning

Lawrence Williams, Dilemmas: Where No Schema Has Gone Before

Patricia Landolt, How Does Multicultural Canada’s Ethnicizing Imperative Shape Latin American Political Incorporation?

Merin Oleschuk, Consuming the Family Meal: News Media Constructions of Home Cooking and Health

Sarah Shah, The Context of Birth Country Gender Inequality on Mental Health Outcomes of Intimate Partner Violence

Louise Birsell-Bauer, Precarious Professionals: Gender Relations in the Academic Profession and the Feminization of Employment Norms

Geoff Wodtke, Regression-based Adjustment for Time-varying Confounders

Monday, August 14th

Markus Schafer, The Role of Health in Late Life Social Inclusion and Exclusion

Kim Pernell, Institutionalized Meaning and Policymaking: Revisiting the Causes of American Financial Deregulation

Cynthia Guzman, Revisiting the Feminist Theory of the State

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Policing Race, Moral Panic and the Growth of Black Prisoners in Canada

David Pettinicchio, Beyond Employment Inequality: Wealth Disparities by Disability Status in Canada and the United States

Yangsook Kim, Good Care in the Elderly Care Sector of South Korea: Gendered Immigration and Ethnic Boundaries

Ioana Sendroiu and Ron Levi, Legality and Exclusion: Discrimination, Legal Cynicism and System Avoidance across the European Roma Experience

Lawrence Williams, Bounded Reflexivity: How Expectations Shape Careers

Irene Boeckmann, Contested Hegemony: Fatherhood Wage Effects across Two U.S. Birth Cohorts

Jennifer Chun and Cynthia Cranford, Becoming Homecare Workers: Chinese Immigrant Women in California’s Oakland Chinatown

Katelin Albert and Steve G. Hoffman, Undone Science and Canadian Health Research

Ronit Dinovitzer, The New Place of Corporate Law Firms in the Structuring of Elite Legal Careers

Melissa Milkie and Scott Schieman, Who Helps with the Homework? Inequity in Parenting Responsibilities and Relationship Quality among Employed Parents

Matthew Parbst, The Impact of Public Opinion on Policy in Cross-National Perspective

Tony Zhang, The Princelings in China: How Do They Benefit from their Red Parents?

Rania Salem, Structural Accommodations of Classic Patriarchy: Women and Workplace Gender Segregation in Qatar

Tuesday, August 15th

Patricia Louie and Blair Wheaton, Revisiting the Black-White Paradox in Mental Disorder in Three Cohorts of Black and White Americans

Jenna Valleriani, Breaking the law for the greater good? Core-stigmatized Organizations and Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Canada

Martin Lukk, What Kind of Writing is Sociology? Literary Form and Theoretical Integration in the Human Sciences

Jerry Flores, Gender on the Run: Wanted Latinas in a southern California Barrio

Jean-Francois Nault, Determinants of Linguistic Retention: The Case of Ontario’s Francophone Official-Language Minorities

Luisa Farah Schwartzmann, Color Violence, Deadly Geographies and the Meanings of “Race” in Brazil

Jonathan Koltai and Scott Schieman, Financial Strain, Mastery, and Psychological Distress: A Comment on Spuriousness in the Stress Process




Professor Patricia Landolt reflects on Precarious Noncitizenship and Canadian Sociology

Patricia LandoltProfessor Patricia Landolt recently provided an article for the International Sociological Association’s newsletter, Global Dialogue. In it, she shows how a sociological lens can change the way we think of new trends in migration in Canada and elsewhere. The entire article is available on the Global Dialogue site; we have pasted an excerpt below.

Sociology remains a crucial voice in public debate because it challenges common-sense understanding of pressing social issues. Consider, for example, migration and immigration. In Canada, and other settler countries, immigration is commonly understood as a permanent move, with the goal of increasing the country’s national population. The sociology of migration shows, however, that temporary migration is increasing, and policies that promote migration are leading to precarious noncitizenship. A sociological lens offers counter-hegemonic interpretations of the current immigration system and its impact on social inequality.

Globally, legal status and citizenship are critical determinants of well-being and mobility. But they also create inequality. In recent years states have responded to increased global migration by creating new legal categories for non-citizens, institutionalizing authorized trajectories of non-citizenship, leading migrants to spend years in an uncertain legal status, and often pushing migrants towards illegalization.

Pathways and access to citizenship are increasingly restricted, while extralegal systems for detaining and deporting migrants have proliferated. This global shift differs from country to country, but in Canada, the changing relationship between temporary and permanent immigration has led to the rise of precarious noncitizenship, expressed in immigration, labor markets and the experience of work.

Precarious noncitizenship refers to temporary or limited legal status and the associated experiences of differential inclusion. Precarious legal status means that a person has only a temporary legal right to be present in a country, with limited or no access to state entitlements. Most importantly, precarious noncitizens are deportable; the state can forcibly detain and remove precarious noncitizens from the national territory.

Read more…