Richard Alba

Alba headshot
Born in New York City in 1942, Richard D. Alba attended the Bronx High School of Science and earned his BA (1963) and PhD (1974) at Columbia University.

He was a Distinguished Professor at CUNY’s Graduate Center and at SUNY Albany’s Sociology Department where he founded the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis (CSDA). Known for developing assimilation theory to fit the contemporary, multi-racial era of immigration, with studies in America, France and Germany, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2020. His books include
Italian Americans: Into The Twilight of Ethnicity (1985); Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America (1990); Remaking the American Mainstream (with Victor Nee, 2003) which won the Thomas & Znaniecki Award of the American Sociological Association and the Eastern Sociological Society’s Mirra Komarovsky Award; Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America (2009); and The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanded American Mainstream (2020), which garnered the Otis Dudley Duncan Award of the American Sociological Association.

Alba was elected Vice President of the American Sociological Association in 2001. In 1997-98 he was President of the Eastern Sociological Society and in 2012-13, President of the Sociological Research Association. His awards include the Distinguished Career Award from the International Migration section of the American Sociological Association, the Merit Award of the Eastern Sociological Society, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, two Fulbright grants, and fellowships from the German Marshall Fund and the Russell Sage Foundation. He has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute.

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