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Katharine M. Donato

Professor of Sociology
Affiliated Faculty, Political Science; Affiliated Faculty, Women and Gender Studies

How does international migration affect origin and host societies?

I have examined many research questions related to migration, especially between Mexico and the United States. These include the consequences of U.S. immigration policy; health consequences of Mexico-U.S. migration; immigrant parent involvement in schools in New York, Chicago, and Nashville; deportation and its effects for immigrants; the great recession and its consequences for Mexican workers; and gender and migration. My recent publication, Gender and International Migration: From Slavery to Present, published by the Russell Sage Foundation (with Donna Gabaccia at the University of Toronto). Recent articles and co-edited special issues have appeared in the International Migration Review and the American Behavioral Scientist. Other work in progress focuses on children; it examines children's cumulative life chances of migrating from Mexico to the United States and shifts in the ways that children and adolescents cross the Mexico-U.S. border.

Currently, I am also co-Principal Investigator on two externally funded projects. Together with colleagues from VU’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and from the University of Colorado—Boulder, the first project examines how environmental stressors affect migration from communities in southwestern Bangladesh. As part of the project, we developed the Bangladesh Environment and Migration Survey and collected data from approximately 2,000 households in 10 communities. The second project focuses on using data from the Vanderbilt Inpatient Cohort Study to understand how social support affects the health of patients admitted to the hospital with coronary heart disease at the time of hospitalization and after discharge.