Richard D. Alba is distinguished professor of sociology and public policy at the State University of New York at Albany. His teaching and research focus on race and ethnicity and on international migration. He is the author, with Victor G. Nee of Cornell University, of Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration, published by Harvard University Press in the spring of 2003.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Alba will be investigating the situation of the second generation—the children of immigrants—in different countries, including the United States, France, and Germany. His particular focus is on large, socially disadvantaged immigration groups, such as Mexicans in the United States, North Africans in France, and Turks in Germany. A major question is whether the position of their second generations differs in the various receiving societies according to their distinctive conceptions of the inclusion of “ethnic others.”
Alba was educated at Columbia University, where he received his undergraduate and graduate education, completing his PhD in 1974. He has previously received two Fulbright awards and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States in support of his research. He has also been elected president of the Eastern Sociological Society (1997–1998) and vice president of the American Sociological Association (2000–2001).