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Irene BrowneAssociate ProfessorDirector of Graduate Studies


  • PhD in Sociology, University of Arizona, 1991
  • MA in Sociology, Queens College, City University of New York, 1987
  • BA in Psychology, University of California at Santa Cruz, 1979


My areas of expertise include race and ethnic relations; race/class/gender intersectionality; public policy; and immigration.

My forthcoming book investigates social mobility strategies among middle class Mexican and Dominican immigrant parents in the Atlanta metro area. I am also collaborating on three additional projects that interrogate the relation between race, social class, and immigration. First, in a project funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, Natalie Delia Deckard and I are conducting interviews to learn how middle-class Latinx immigrants have navigated the political and economic climate since Trump assumed office and through the pandemic. Second, Prof. Beth Reingold and I are engaged in an NSF-sponsored major project on Black Elites and the Racial Politics of Immigration. Building on our 2018 Social Forces article, we examine how Black political elites have been responding to and engaging in immigration politics in the American states. We compare patterns of voting on immigration legislation among Black and White state legislators, and we analyze newspaper coverage of immigration issues.

Finally, I have a set of papers focusing on the question of whether and how restrictive immigration policies spill over to affect labor market outcomes among individuals who are not the explicit target of those policies – Latinx citizens and African Americans. My work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social ForcesSocial Problems, Annual Review of Sociology, and other journals and edited volumes. I typically teach undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods and in gender. 

Research Topics: labor market inequality; intersections of race, gender and class; discrimination and Latino immigration in Georgia.