Sharon M. Quinsaat is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Grinnell College, with affiliations in American Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. She is a 2017 Young Southeast Asia Fellow of the Southeast Asia Research Group (SEAREG). She studies collective behavior and social movements, migration, and race and ethnicity from a global and transnational perspective. Methodologically, she is interested in interpretive qualitative design to understand people’s meaning-making processes.
Sharon has published her research in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Mobilization, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Mass Communication and Society, Sociology Compass, and Asian Survey. Her book project, tentatively titled The Active Diaspora: How Protest Forges Transnational Filipino Communities, argues that diasporas are outcomes, rather than causes or agents, of transnational mobilization. She has received grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society to complete her project.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Sharon was a child during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. She spent her adolescence trying to understand the overwhelming support of her ethnolinguistic group (Ilocanos) for Marcos and her young adulthood participating in social movements that focus on anti-corruption, human rights, and press freedom. Sharon is also a daughter of a Filipino domestic worker in Italy, and her family lived experience has shaped her research and activism on migrants issues. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She remained there as researcher with the Third World Studies Center for seven years, where she was involved in projects investigating the global justice movement in Southeast Asia. Afterwards, she received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in social sciences, with emphasis on demographic and social analysis at the University of California, Irvine. She received her PhD in Sociology, with Certificate in Cultural Studies, from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016.
Sharon is fluent in English and two Philippine languages (Tagalog and Ilocano), and currently studying Spanish. Apart from her professional activities, she loves to travel, often to places off the beaten path.