Sociologist of Migration and Social Movements

I am a scholar of social movements and migration and currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College and Chair of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and Concentration. My research to date reflects my intellectual and personal interest in understanding how foreign workers, immigrants, and refugees engage in collective action and create new kinds of political spaces. My work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Association of University Women, the American Philosophical Society, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Midwest Sociological Society. I have published my 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. My first book Insurgent Communities: How Protests Create a Filipino Diaspora is forthcoming (Spring 2024) from the University of Chicago Press.

Insurgent Communities

“Insurgent Communities is a book I could not recommend more. It is a brilliant sociological study on the political activism of Filipinos inside and outside of the homeland. A must-read for scholars of migration and social movements, it illustrates how a diaspora is not just a shared identity, but instead a political accomplishment.”

― Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, author of Unfree: Migrant Domestic Work in Arab States

“This is an entertaining and powerful book on Filipinos living in the United States and the Netherlands, full of wonderful conversations, but it also shows how we all put bits and pieces of meaning together from many sources to craft a world and our identity in it. Specifically, Quinsaat shows how immigrants become a self-conscious diaspora through activism, which has never been a more important question than it is today.”

― James M. Jasper, author of The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements

“Joining theories of migration and social movements, Insurgent Communities explores how diasporic identities are politically made and remade. Anti-Marcos insurgents had to convince Filipinos in the United States and the Netherlands that loyalty to the Filipino nation required opposition to the Philippine state, and Sharon Quinsaat’s account of how they did that is compelling.”

― Francesca Polletta, author of Inventing the Ties that Bind: Imagined Relationships in Moral and Political Life