Douglas S. Massey

Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University

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About Douglas

Massey has studied immigration and segregation as basic features of the U.S. system of social stratification, documenting the mechanisms of exclusion and exploitation built into American public policies and private practices in housing and labor markets, with ramifications for American systems of education and health maintenance. He serves as President of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is a Council Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the News

Douglas S. Massey quoted by Richard Kahlenberg, "The Low-Wage Mothers of Color Who Want to Become Suburban Moms" The American Prospect, August 4, 2020.
Douglas S. Massey's research on residential and school segregation discussed by Thomas B. Edsall, "Integration vs. White Intransigence," New York Times, July 17, 2019.
"Today's US-Mexico 'Border Crisis" in 6 Charts," Douglas S. Massey, The Conversation, June 27, 2018.
Douglas S. Massey quoted on population patterns, "The Lemongrass Burrito is the New America. Can Either Party Keep Up?" GANT News, March 6, 2018.
"Trump’s Plan for a Massive Deportation is Cruel, Unjust, and Economic Suicide," Douglas S. Massey, Foreign Policy, January 24, 2017.
"Immigration Reform Led to ‘Illegal Invasion’," Douglas S. Massey, Town Talk, September 28, 2015.
"How a 1965 Immigration Reform Created Illegal Immigration," Douglas S. Massey, The Washington Post, September 25, 2015.
Douglas S. Massey quoted on the Fair Housing Act, "How Segregation Destroys Black Wealth" New York Times, September 15, 2015.
Douglas S. Massey quoted on birthright citizenship by Robin Abcarian, "'Anchor Baby' is a Slur against Mexicans: Trump Should Knock It Off" Los Angeles Times, August 21, 2015.
Douglas S. Massey's research on the decline of hypersegregation discussed by Tanvi Misra, "America Has Half as Many Hypersegregated Metros as It Did in 1970," CityLab, May 21, 2015.
Douglas S. Massey quoted on effective sociological studies by Orlando Patterson The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 1, 2014.
Douglas S. Massey quoted on the real effect of border control: less migration OUT of the U.S., "The GOP's Suicide Pact on Immigration" The Daily Beast, February 5, 2014.
Douglas S. Massey's research on the history of U.S. immigration policy, and the effects of the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border discussed by Ezra Klein, "Everything You Know about Immigration is Wrong," Washington Post, August 10, 2013.
Guest to discuss the bipartisan push on immigration reform on NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook, Douglas S. Massey, April 23, 2013.
"Do-It-Yourself Immigration Reform," Douglas S. Massey (with Jorge G. Castaneda), The Opinion Pages, New York Times, June 1, 2012.
"Isolated, Vulnerable, and Broke," Douglas S. Massey, New York Times, August 4, 2011.
"It's Time for Immigration Reform," Douglas S. Massey, CNN Global Public Square, July 7, 2011.
"Surcharge Doesn’t Erode Tax Base," Douglas S. Massey (with Howard Chernick), Newsday, March 10, 2011.
"Immigrant Art Exhibitions: Insights of Passage," Douglas S. Massey, Interview with Rich Beattie, New York Times, May 19, 2006.
"The Wall that Keeps Illegals In," Douglas S. Massey, New York Times, April 4, 2006.
"Race and the Stunted Growth and Rapid Decline of American Liberalism," Douglas S. Massey, Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture 10, no. 2 (2011), December 31, 1969.
"The Realities of North American Economic Integration," Douglas S. Massey, Boston Review 34, no. 3 (2009): 16, December 31, 1969.
"Caution: NAFTA at Work – How Europe’s Trade Model Could Solve America’s Immigration Problem," Douglas S. Massey, Miller-McCune Magazine, March 4, 2008, December 31, 1969.
"Anchor Babies Aweigh!," Douglas S. Massey, The Nation 291, no. 16 (2010): 1, 26, December 31, 1969.
"Battlefield: El Paso," Douglas S. Massey, The National Interest, July/August 2009: 44-51, December 31, 1969.
"Immigration Today," Douglas S. Massey, The Wilson Quarterly 34, no. 4 (2010): 11-12, December 31, 1969.
"Unsolicited Advice for the New President: Pay More Attention to Our Own Backyard," Douglas S. Massey, Miller-McCune Magazine 2, no. 1 (2009): 39, December 31, 1969.


Brokered Boundaries: Creating Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times (with Magaly Sanchez) (Sage Foundation, 2010).
Shows how anti-immigrant hostility causes negative assimilation – promoting dis-identification with American identity the more time they spend in the U.S. and the more discrimination and exclusion they encounter.
"Racial Segregation and the American Foreclosure Crisis" (with Jacob S. Rugh). American Sociological Review 75, no. 5 (2010): 629-651.
Shows how the mortgage crisis was racially structured, with black and to a lesser extent Hispanic individuals and neighborhoods being explicitly targeted for predatory loans, such that black segregation ended up being the single strongest predictor of the number and rate of foreclosures across metropolitan areas.
"Divergent Streams: Race-Gender Achievement Gaps at Selective Colleges and Universities" The DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race 7, no. 1 (2010): 219-246.
Examines differentials in final college GPA and graduation rates by race-ethnicity and gender. Documents the notably poor performance of black males, followed by black females and Hispanic males. The gaps in graduation rates are strongly related to stereotype threat, racial stigmatization, and racial harassment on campus as well as to exposure to disadvantages stemming from childhood segregation.
Taming the River: Negotiating the Academic, Financial, and Social Currents in America’s Selective Colleges and Universities (with Camille Z. Charles, Mary J. Fischer, and Margarita Mooney) (Princeton University Press, 2009).
Comprehensive analysis examining the roots of minority under-achievement in higher education, showing it can be attributed substantially to a combination of lower parental educational background, the negative effects of school and neighborhood segregation, and vulnerability to stereotype. It is not attributable to the likely receipt of affirmative action consideration by individual minority group members.
"The Fence: Deconstructing America’s ‘Immigration Crisis" in What Matters: The World’s Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time, edited by David Elliot Cohen (Sterling Publishers, 2008), 259-273.
Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Age of Economic Integration (with Jorge Durand and Nolan J. Malone) (Russell Sage Foundation, 2002).
Documents the counterproductive effects of America’s repressive immigration policies, which reduced the rate of return migration, increased net illegal migration, doubled the rate of undocumented population growth, and transformed what had been a circular flow of men going to three states into a settled population of families in 50 states.
American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass (with Nancy A. Denton) (Harvard University Press, 1993).
Documents the unique segregation of African Americans in U.S. cities and showed how segregation contributed forcefully to the perpetuation of urban poverty and black disadvantage in the United States through multiple mechanisms.