Silvia Pedraza is Professor of Sociology and American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was born and raised in Cuba, from where she immigrated with her family at the age of 12. Her research interests include the sociology of immigration, race, and ethnicity in America, and the sociology of Cuba's revolution and exodus. She places particular stress on comparative studies, both historical and contemporary. Her research seeks to understand the causes and consequences of immigration as a historical process that forms and transforms nations.
In the American Sociological Association Dr. Pedraza has just been elected Chair of the International Migration Section. In the past, Dr. Pedraza was elected to several offices: member of its Council; Chair of the Section on Latinos in the United States; Chair of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities; and member of its Committee on Nominations. Most recently, the Latino/a Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association gave her a major award: the Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award. At the University of Michigan, she has been an elected member of the Curriculum Committee of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, as well as of the University's Senate Assembly and the Senate’s Executive Committee (SACUA), for which she was also elected Vice-Chair. Dr. Pedraza is also a two-time winner of the Excellence in Education Award, and most recently she was awarded the President and Provost’s Award for Service to the University of Michigan. She was also named as a Faculty Fellow of the Honors Program.
Dr. Pedraza holds a B.A. and a Master's in Teaching from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. She is the author of three books and numerous articles. Some of her publications include: Political Disaffection in Cuba's Revolution and Exodus (Cambridge University Press, 2007); “Assimilation or Transnationalism? Conceptual Models of the Immigrant Experience,” in The Cultural Psychology of Immigrants, edited by Ram Mahalingham (Lawrence Earlbaum, 2006); and “Women and Migration: the Social Consequences of Gender,” Annual Review of Sociology (1991). She is also a frequent contributor to the news media, both in the US and other countries.
She is currently working on two research projects. One will be a book called Exporting Health: From Cuba to Venezuela to the US based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with Cuban doctors who worked overseas in internationalist missions and then deserted (in progress); the other is based on the National Latino Survey (2006), a comparative study of the assimilation or transnationalism of immigrants from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and South America who arrived in the US from 1958 to 2005.