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Young's most recent research focuses on the economic integration of former refugees living in Utah. She looks at labor market participation, occupational prestige and mobility, and livable wages for people of refugee background. Key themes in Young's work include contextual impediments to the employment opportunities of refugees, intersectional disadvantage in the labor market, and creative forms of discrimination against "conspicuously foreign" workers. Young also researches social capital and participation in voluntary associations. Key themes include gender imbalances in social capital and voluntarism, as well as qualitative differences in the composition of social capital in countries with different levels of social and economic development.
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Uses a three part concept of social capital that incorporates structural elements, cognitive elements, and collective action, to explore cross-national variation in social capital. Discusses how the forms and levels of social capital can be influenced by individual characteristics, such as gender and education level, and by macrolevel social factors such as polity type, quality of governance, inequality, and corruption.
Explores the influence of political context, individual resources, forms of political awareness and networks of recruitment that shape immigrant political participation, beginning with the first step that immigrants take in their journey toward full integration: the decision to permanently stay in the U.S.
Examines membership in voluntary associations globally and thereby the national characteristics that drive the gender disparity. Argues that two theories researchers have used to explain individual-level memberships—the resource perspective and homophily theory—also apply to contextual influences on joining associations.
Explores the effects of economic context, cultural context, and national security events on immigration policy attitudes. Proposes a theoretical framework incorporating three overarching contextual domains.