Jorge Durand and Douglas Massey

2018 Malinowski.jpgAs the nominators of Professors Massey and Durand note in their letter, neither scholar is a stranger to accolades and either could stand alone in nomination for the Malinowski Award. That being said, however, the nominators argue that as a result of a long collaboration on a topic of international policy concern at this point in human history, it is fitting that they be recognized jointly for their contribution.

Among the many accomplishments of Massey and Durand, the nominators emphasize first the Mexican Migration Project, which they describe as the single most important project ever devised on this topic.

This project combines ethnographic and survey research techniques to collect annual data from a variety of communities, including demographic and migration data for households. The research sample communities range from rural hamlets to urban areas, which vary in local economy and ethnic composition. After surveying households in Mexico and determining where migrants have traveled to in the United States, follow-up interviews are conducted in those U.S. communities to gather additional data. This is truly a unique data-set that is made publicly available to other researchers as well as institutions engaged in the policy debates surrounding migration. The scholarly impact of this project can be gauged by the number of joint publications that Massey and Durand have produced, starting with seven monographs published by major university and foundation presses. In addition, there are literally scores of articles that these two researchers have published describing this important topic, as well as theses, dissertations, articles, and books generated by other investigators drawing on these data. It is a singular resource in the study of migration.

While designing, conducting, and writing from the Mexican Migration Project would be enough for two careers, Professors Massey and Durand are recognized as distinguished scholars and applied social scientists based on their other contributions. Both are members of the National Academy of Sciences, Professor Massey having been elected in 1998 and Professor Durand having been named a Foreign Associate in 2004. Professor Massey is well-known for his research on race and ethnicity in the U.S., with books and articles on racial discrimination and socioeconomic inequality that span two decades. He is also a well-respected methodologist with a focus on survey research.

Professor Durand has had an equally distinguished academic career, both in Mexico and through invited lectures and guest appointments in the U.S. and Europe. He has carried out primary research on iconography and social movements in Mexico in addition to his research on migration. His books examine the history of Mexican migration to the U.S.; the use of the Spanish language in the U.S.; international migration throughout the Americas; the U.S. labor market and guest worker programs; and, transnational families, among other topics.

In detailing their scholarly achievements, it is important not to minimize the applied impact of their research. They have served as advisors in numerous settings where policy, especially regarding issues of migration, is debated and formed. This includes committees of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Research Council, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Urban League, and others.