Tomás Roberto Jiménez

Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of Graduate Studies in Sociology, Director of the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Undergraduate Program, Stanford University
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN, California SSN
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About Tomás

Jiménez has expertise in the integration of immigrant populations, and the Mexican-origin population in particular. His research has focused on how immigrants and subsequent U.S.-born generations adapt to American society. He has also done research on how long-standing, established populations in the United States adapt to immigration-driven change. In addition to his academic positions, he has been a Fellow at the New America Foundation and he was the American Sociological Association Congressional Fellow in the office of Michael Honda.

In the News

Tomás Roberto Jiménez quoted on the process of accepting new immigrants into U.S. communities by Damien Cave, "On Immigration, the Hard Lines Start to Blur" New York Times, June 20, 2014.
"Mexican American Mobility," Tomás Roberto Jiménez (with Helen Marrow), Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2013.
Guest to discuss changes to the U.S. census form on race and ethnicity on KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny, Tomás Roberto Jiménez, August 14, 2012.
"Loyal Ties Questioned amid Mexico Drug War," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, Interview with Lynn Neary, NPR’s Tell Me More, March 2, 2010.
"Commentary: Mexican-Americans Have Deep U.S. Ties," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, CNN.com, October 6, 2009.
"Illegal Crossings are Down, but Not Because of Border Fence," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, San José Mercury News, July 28, 2009.
"Mexican-American Assimilation," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, KQED Radio’s Perspectives, March 18, 2009.
"We Came from Someplace Else," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, KQED Radio’s Perspectives, March 11, 2009.
"Changes in Attitudes toward Race Change Slowly Despite Obama," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, The San José Mercury News, December 1, 2008.
Guest to discuss how and why many illegal immigrants leave the U.S. on ABC-7 San Francisco Evening News, Tomás Roberto Jiménez, November 21, 2008.
Guest to discuss how the U.S. economy affects U.S.-Mexico border crossing rates on The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Tomás Roberto Jiménez, June 24, 2008.
"Should We Continue Birthright Citizenship? Yes: Ending It Won't Stop Illegal Immigration," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 13, 2008.
Guest to discuss student walk-outs and the history of the Chicano student movement on KPBS’s These Days with Tom Fudge, Tomás Roberto Jiménez, April 13, 2008.
Guest to discuss the economics of immigration on Lou Dobbs Tonight, Tomás Roberto Jiménez, March 21, 2008.
Guest to discuss Mexican-Americans, assimilation, and race on KPCC's The Patt Morrison Show, Tomás Roberto Jiménez, March 18, 2008.
"Needed Now – An Immigrant Policy," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, San Francisco Chronicle, January 23, 2008.
"Immigrants and What’s Good for Society," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, The San Diego Union-Tribune, December 7, 2007.
"The Next Americans: Immigrants Don’t Destroy Our National Identity, They Renew It," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2006.
"Immigration Reform and the Latino Vote," Tomás Roberto Jiménez, The San Diego Union-Tribune, November 4, 2005.
"Dust-Up: Immigration ’08," Tomás Roberto Jiménez (with Mark Krikorian), Debate, Los Angeles Times, February 4-8, 2008.


"When White is Just Alright: How Immigrants Redefine Achievement and Reconfigure the Ethnoracial Hierarchy" (with Adam L. Horowitz). American Sociological Review 78, no. 5 (2013): 849-871.

Shows how the settlement of a large number of high-skilled Asian immigrants can reconfigure the ethnoracial hierarchy. In important areas of life, like education, this immigrant presence can change the meaning and status of ethnoracial categories: “white” comes to stand for academic mediocrity, while “Asian” represents high achievement.

"The New Third Generation: Post-1965 Immigration and the Next Chapter in the Long Story of Assimilation" (with Julie Park and Juan Pedroza). International Migration Review (Forthcoming ).

Compares the household characteristics of post-1965, second-generation Latino and Asian children in 1980 to a “new third-generation” in 2010, a generation later. Works to inform a larger research agenda for studying the new third generation.

"Fade to Black: Multiple Symbolic Boundaries in 'Black/Brown' Contact" DuBois Review 13, no. 1 (2016): 159-180.

Draws on fieldwork among African Americans in East Palo Alto, California, a Black-majority-turned-Latino-majority city, to examine how African Americans construct multiple symbolic boundaries in the context of a Latino-immigrant settlement. Discusses how the ability to speak English and long-time residence in the neighborhood are important factors facilitating ties and cooperation across ethnoracial boundaries. 

The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants are Changing American Life (University of California Press, 2017).

Explains how established Americans undergo their own assimilation in response to profound immigration-driven ethnic, racial, political, economic, and cultural shifts. Illuminates how established Americans make sense of their experiences in immigrant-rich environments, in work, school, public interactions, romantic life, and leisure activities. Reveals how immigration not only changes the American cityscape but also reshapes the United States by altering the outlooks and identities of its most established citizens. 

"Mexican Americans as a Paradigm for Contemporary Intragroup Heterogeneity" (with Richard Alba and Helen Marrow). Ethnic and Racial Studies 37, no. 3 (2014): 446-466.

Examines theories of racialization and assimilation in regards to the position of immigrant-origin populations in American society – and finds reason to think that heterogeneity, for Mexican Americans at least, is increasing in the twenty-first century.

Replenished Ethnicity: Mexican Americans, Immigration, and Identity (University of California Press, 2010).
Demonstrates how the ongoing nature of Mexican immigration presents both costs and benefits for the later-generation descendants of the earliest Mexican immigrants. Mexican Americans exhibit significant signs of assimilation. But the long history of Mexican immigrants and the current presence of a large Mexican immigrant population mean that even Mexican Americans who are several generations removed from the immigrant experience face challenges that come with being a member of America’s largest immigrant group, while also experiencing the benefits of influence accruing to their membership in America’s largest ethnic group.
"Contexts for Bilingualism among U.S.-Born Latinos" (with April Linton). Ethnic and Racial Studies 32, no. 6 (2009): 967-995.
Shows how U.S.-born Latinos learn English across generations, but levels of bilingualism in U.S.-metro areas grow among the U.S.-born where there has been a growth of a Latino-immigrant population.
"Mexican Assimilation: A Temporal and Spatial Reorientation" (with David Fitzgerald). Du Bois Review 4, no. 2 (2007): 337-354.
Demonstrates that assessments of Mexican-origin assimilation depend upon the comparison population chosen to gauge socioeconomic progress. Shows how various intergenerational as well as cross-national comparisons shape conclusions reached about the level of Mexican-origin integration.