Van C. Tran

Van C. Tran
Assistant Professor of Sociology
606 Knox Hall
Office Hours: 
On Junior Faculty Development Leave till September 2017
OFFICE ADDRESS: 606 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St., New York, NY 10027
Areas of Interest: 
Immigration, Race and Ethnicity, Urban Poverty, Social Inequality, Public Policy, Population Health

Ph.D., Harvard, 2011

Biographical Note: 

Van C. Tran is a sociologist whose primary research focuses on the incorporation of post-1965 immigrants and their children as well as its implications for the future of ethnic and racial inequality in the United States. His other interests include neighborhoods, urban inequality, and population health, with a focus on the Hispanic/Latino population and New York City neighborhoods. Some of his recent work also adopts a comparative approach to the study of migration in the United States, in Europe, and in China.

Tran’s research has been published in Social Forces, International Migration Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, City and Community, Population Health Management, among other interdisciplinary journals. Tran is a recipient of many fellowships and scholarly awards, including the Soros Fellowships for New Americans. His research has been funded by Stanford Center for Poverty and Inequality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Science Foundation’s Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences (TESS), among others. His work has also been recognized with three awards from the American Sociological Association’s sections on International Migration, Latino/a Sociology and Community and Urban Sociology.

Tran is the faculty organizer of the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Workshop which aims to provide an interdisciplinary, intellectual home for doctoral students of race, ethnicity and immigration at Columbia University.  He is also a faculty affiliate of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program, the Columbia Population Research Center, the Columbia Global Migration Networks, and the Urban Studies Program. He teaches courses on immigration, urban poverty, and research methods, including the undergraduate seminar Immigrant New York.

Tran was born in Vietnam and grew up in Thailand before his family was resettled in New York City in 1998. He first developed his interest in immigration and urban neighborhoods as an observer of the city’s diverse communities. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology & Social Policy at Harvard University. He also completed his post-doctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania where he was a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

Tran is currently on academic leave till September 2017. For recent updates, see News.

Courses offered Fall 2016:

Fall 2016: W3980 Immigrant New York

Fall 2016: Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Workshop

Office hours Spring 2017 (PhD students only):

Please sign up here.


Selected Publications

Tran, Van C. 2016. “Beyond the Ballot Box: Age-At-Arrival, Civic Institutions and Political Participation among Latinos.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Tran, Van C. 2016. “Ethnic Culture and Social Mobility among Second-Generation Asian Americans.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 39(13): 2398-2403.

Tran, Van C. and Nicol M. Valdez. 2016. “Second-Generation Decline or Advantage? Latino Assimilation in the Aftermath of the Great Recession.” International Migration Review.

Tran, Van C. 2016 “Social Mobility among Second-Generation Latinos.” Contexts 15(2): 28-33.

Tran, Van C. 2015. “Revisiting the Americano Dream.” Pathways, Spring 2015: 18-23.

Tran, Van C. 2015. “More Than Just Black: Cultural Perils and Opportunities in Inner-City Neighborhoods.” Pp. 252-280 in The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth, Orlando Patterson, Eds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hopkins, Daniel J., Van C. Tran, and Abigail F. Williamson. 2014. “See No Spanish: Language, Local Context, and Attitudes toward Immigration.” Politics, Groups, and Identities 2(1): 35-51. 

Tran, Van C., Corina Graif, Alison D. Jones, Mario L. Small, and Christopher Winship. 2013. "Participation in Context: Neighborhood Diversity and Organizational Involvement in Boston." City & Community 12(3): 187-210.

Tran, Van C.  2012. "Assimilation." In Oxford Bibliographies Online in Sociology. Jeff Manza, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Tran, Van C. 2010. "English Gain vs. Spanish Loss? Language Assimilation among Second-Generation Latinos in Young Adulthood." Social Forces 89(1): 257-284.

Waters, Mary C., Van C. Tran, Philip Kasinitz and John Mollenkopf. 2010. "Segmented Assimilation Revised: Types of Acculturation and Socioeconomic Outcomes in Young Adulthood." Ethnic and Racial Studies 33(7): 1168-1193.