Miller Center

Alethia Jones

Political Science, Yale University

Bootstraps and Beltways: The State's Role in Immigrant Self-Help

Jones photo

Alethia Jones is Director of Education and Leadership Development at 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

Jones' research and teaching fields are urban studies and community development; the public policy process; race, ethnicity and politics; and, historical political science.

Jones' dissertation examined the politics surrounding informal immigrant financial practices to understand the relationship between state power and self-help in immigrant incorporation. The three cases Jones studied come from the two periods of highest immigration and permit us to see continuities from the past as well as account for different racial and political contexts. She additionally added an institutional dimension to the story of how politics affects the incorporation of immigrants. Unlike other studies that reinforce the classic "up by their bootstraps" immigrant, self-help story, this project specified the structure of the relationship between informal and formal institutions and the state.

Fellowship year: 2004

Mentor: Mark Stern, University of Pennsylvania

Selected Recent Publications

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith, ed. with Virginia Eubanks (SUNY Press, 2014).

"Identity Politics: Part of a Reinvigorated Class Politics.New Labor Forum, November 5, 2010.

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