Bio


Asad L. Asad is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stanford University and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. His scholarly interests encompass social stratification, migration and immigrant incorporation, race/ethnicity, and health. Asad's current research agenda considers how institutions—particularly U.S. immigration policy and practice—mediate various facets of inequality.

Academic Appointments


  • Assistant Professor, Sociology

Professional Education


  • PhD, Harvard University, Sociology
  • AM, Harvard University, Sociology
  • BA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Political Science & Spanish

2019-20 Courses


All Publications


  • Indigenous Places and the Making of Undocumented Status in Mexico-US Migration INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION REVIEW Asad, A. L., Hwang, J. 2019; 53 (4): 1032–77
  • Hiding within racial hierarchies: how undocumented immigrants make residential decisions in an American city JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES Asad, A. L., Rosen, E. 2019; 45 (11): 1857–82
  • Deportation Decisions: Judicial Decision-Making in an American Immigration Court AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST Asad, A. L. 2019; 63 (9): 1221–49
  • Migration to the United States from Indigenous Communities in Mexico ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Asad, A. L., Hwang, J. 2019; 684 (1): 120–45
  • Mexico-US Migration in Time: From Economic to Social Mechanisms ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF POLITICAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCE Asad, A. L., Garip, F. 2019; 684 (1): 60–84
  • Racialized legal status as a social determinant of health SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE Asad, A. L., Clair, M. 2018; 199: 19–28

    Abstract

    This article advances the concept of racialized legal status (RLS) as an overlooked dimension of social stratification with implications for racial/ethnic health disparities. We define RLS as a social position based on an ostensibly race-neutral legal classification that disproportionately impacts racial/ethnic minorities. To illustrate the implications of RLS for health and health disparities in the United States, we spotlight existing research on two cases: criminal status and immigration status. We offer a conceptual framework that outlines how RLS shapes disparities through (1) primary effects on those who hold a legal status and (2) spillover effects on racial/ethnic in-group members, regardless of these individuals' own legal status. Primary effects of RLS operate by marking an individual for material and symbolic exclusion. Spillover effects result from the vicarious experiences of those with social proximity to marked individuals, as well as the discredited meanings that RLS constructs around racial/ethnic group members. We conclude by suggesting multiple avenues for future research that considers RLS as a mechanism of social inequality with fundamental effects on health.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.03.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000429514500002

    View details for PubMedID 28359580

  • Association of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms With Migraine and Headache After a Natural Disaster HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY Arcaya, M. C., Lowe, S. R., Asad, A. L., Subramanian, S. V., Waters, M. C., Rhodes, J. 2017; 36 (5): 411–18

    Abstract

    Previous research shows that migraine and general headache symptoms increase after traumatic events. Questions remain about whether posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) produces migraine/headache symptoms, or if individuals afflicted by migraine/headache are especially likely to develop PTSD. We test whether PTSD symptoms following a natural disaster are associated with higher odds of reporting frequent headaches/migraines postdisaster. We decompose PTSD into intrusion, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptom clusters to examine which, if any, are uniquely related to headache/migraine postdisaster.We use prospectively collected pre- and postdisaster data to explore whether overall PTSD symptoms and symptom clusters are associated with migraine/headache in a sample of Hurricane Katrina survivors. We account for severity of hurricane exposure and control for baseline migraine and headache problems to reduce the probability that heightened PTSD susceptibility among those who already suffered from the conditions could explain observed associations.PTSD symptoms were associated with higher odds of experiencing frequent headaches or migraines with a standard deviation change in PTSD score corresponding to over twice the odds (95% confidence interval [1.64, 2.68]) of having trouble with frequent headaches or migraines in the post-Katrina period. Each additional point on the intrusion subscale (sample M [SD] = 1.6 [1.1]) was associated with 55% higher odds of reporting frequent headache/migraine (95% confidence interval [1.03, 2.33]), but we found no association with avoidance or hyperarousal symptoms.Clinicians and disaster planners should be aware that disaster survivors might be at heightened risk of migraine/headache episodes, and those experiencing intrusive reminders may be most affected. (PsycINFO Database Record

    View details for DOI 10.1037/hea0000433

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399744300001

    View details for PubMedID 27929328

  • Network Effects in Mexico-US Migration: Disentangling the Underlying Social Mechanisms AMERICAN BEHAVIORAL SCIENTIST Garip, F., Asad, A. L. 2016; 60 (10): 1168–93
  • Toward a multidimensional understanding of culture for health interventions SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE Asad, A. L., Kay, T. 2015; 144: 79–87

    Abstract

    Although a substantial literature examines the relationship between culture and health in myriad individual contexts, a lack of comparative data across settings has resulted in disparate and imprecise conceptualizations of the concept for scholars and practitioners alike. This article examines scholars and practitioners' understandings of culture in relation to health interventions. Drawing on 169 interviews with officials from three different nongovernmental organizations working on health issues in multiple countries-Partners in Health, Oxfam America, and Sesame Workshop-we examine how these respondents' interpretations of culture converge or diverge with recent developments in the study of the concept, as well as how these understandings influence health interventions at three different stages-design, implementation, and evaluation-of a project. Based on these analyses, a tripartite definition of culture is built-as knowledge, practice, and change-and these distinct conceptualizations are linked to the success or failure of a project at each stage of an intervention. In so doing, the study provides a descriptive and analytical starting point for scholars interested in understanding the theoretical and empirical relevance of culture for health interventions, and sets forth concrete recommendations for practitioners working to achieve robust improvements in health outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.09.013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000364268600010

    View details for PubMedID 26397866

  • Contexts of reception, post-disaster migration, and socioeconomic mobility POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT Asad, A. L. 2015; 36 (3): 279–310
  • Theorizing the relationship between NGOs and the state in medical humanitarian development projects SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE Asad, A. L., Kay, T. 2014; 120: 325–33

    Abstract

    Social scientists have fiercely debated the relationship between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the state in NGO-led development projects. However, this research often carries an implicit, and often explicit, anti-state bias, suggesting that when NGOs collaborate with states, they cease to be a progressive force. This literature thus fails to recognize the state as a complex, heterogeneous, and fragmented entity. In particular, the unique political context within which an NGO operates is likely to influence how it carries out its work. In this article, we ask: how do NGOs work and build relationships with different types of states and--of particular relevance to practitioners--what kinds of relationship building lead to more successful development outcomes on the ground? Drawing on 29 in-depth interviews with members of Partners in Health and Oxfam America conducted between September 2010 and February 2014, we argue that NGOs and their medical humanitarian projects are more likely to succeed when they adjust how they interact with different types of states through processes of interest harmonization and negotiation. We offer a theoretical model for understanding how these processes occur across organizational fields. Specifically, we utilize field overlap theory to illuminate how successful outcomes depend on NGOs' ability to leverage resources--alliances and networks; political, financial, and cultural resources; and frames--across state and non-state fields. By identifying how NGOs can increase the likelihood of project success, our research should be of interest to activists, practitioners, and scholars.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.04.045

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345180600037

    View details for PubMedID 24852816

  • Who donates their bodies to science? The combined role of gender and migration status among California whole-body donors SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE Asad, A. L., Anteby, M., Garip, F. 2014; 106: 53–58

    Abstract

    The number of human cadavers available for medical research and training, as well as organ transplantation, is limited. Researchers disagree about how to increase the number of whole-body bequeathals, citing a shortage of donations from the one group perceived as most likely to donate from attitudinal survey data - educated white males over 65. This focus on survey data, however, suffers from two main limitations: First, it reveals little about individuals' actual registration or donation behavior. Second, past studies' reliance on average survey measures may have concealed variation within the donor population. To address these shortcomings, we employ cluster analysis on all whole-body donors' data from the Universities of California at Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Two donor groups emerge from the analyses: One is made of slightly younger, educated, married individuals, an overwhelming portion of whom are U.S.-born and have U.S.-born parents, while the second includes mostly older, separated women with some college education, a relatively higher share of whom are foreign-born and have foreign-born parents. Our results demonstrate the presence of additional donor groups within and beyond the group of educated and elderly white males previously assumed to be most likely to donate. More broadly, our results suggest how the intersectional nature of donors' demographics - in particular, gender and migration status - shapes the configuration of the donor pool, signaling new ways to possibly increase donations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.01.041

    View details for Web of Science ID 000334482100007

    View details for PubMedID 24534732

  • Winning to Learn, Learning to Win: Evaluative Frames and Practices in Urban Debate QUALITATIVE SOCIOLOGY Asad, A. L., Bell, M. C. 2014; 37 (1): 1–26
  • Immigrants and African Americans ANNUAL REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY, VOL 40 Waters, M. C., Kasinitz, P., Asad, A. L., Cook, K. S., Massey, D. S. 2014; 40: 369–90