Application period January 8 - February 29, 2024

Virtual Information Sessions:
February 9 at noon
February 13 at 4:30 pm
February 20 at 7 pm
Visit Handshake to register and to get access to the Zoom links.

Inequality, Identity, and Immigration

Director:  Steve Orvis, Professor of Government
Phone:  315-859-4310
Email: sorvis@hamilton.edu

In 2023, New York City experienced an “immigration crisis,” as numbers of immigrants arriving
in the city, many bussed from Texas and Florida, were unprecedented. The city struggled to find
shelter for them, leaving too many without services and straining the city’s budget and capacity.
This was only the most recent “crisis” in a long history of immigration that has shaped the city
since its founding. This semester we will focus on the closely interrelated topics of immigration,
identity, and inequality. When immigrants enter the US, they enter a social and political context
of growing inequality and ongoing identity conflicts, and in turn they shape that context. How do
inequality and identity influence how immigrants are received? How should they be welcomed
into American society and culture? And how does all this play out now in the largest city in the
country? In addition to the courses below, students will ideally pursue internships with
organizations working on these interrelated issues in some way.

College 395: Inequality, Identity, and Immigration in New York City

Examines the history and current context of immigration into New York City and its relationship to identity-based groups in the city, identity-based political conflicts, and the evolution of socio-economic inequality.  Topics will include: history of immigrant neighborhoods, municipal policies and practices around inclusion of immigrants in urban society, immigrants’ role in city politics, racial politics in the city, criminal justice policies, religious diversity, policies and social changes re: gender and sexual orientation.  Includes guest speakers, visits to organizations in the city working on these issues, and current and former immigrant neighborhoods.  

College 398:  Seminar on  Inequality, Identity, and Immigration

Examines the origins of socio-economic inequality in the US and its relationships to identity, identity-based political conflicts, and immigration.  Key topics include: overall trends in inequality, perceptions and lived experience of inequality, the social construction of identity in the contemporary US, key contemporary identity-based political issues and conflicts (eg: criminal justice issues, housing, education, gender-based harassment, immigrant “assimilation”), immigration policies, philosophical and policy debates over equality and inclusion in a democracy.  

Programs scheduled for the spring term are open to second-semester sophomores, juniors and seniors.

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Contact Name

Maddie Carrera

Director of Experiential Learning

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