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Syed Ali

Syed Ali

Professor of Sociology

M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia B.A., Binghamton University (SUNY)


Syed Ali grew up in New York City and has been teaching at LIU-Brooklyn since 2003.

Professor Ali is the recipient of two Fulbright fellowships: one in 1997-1998 to conduct research in India and one in 2006 to conduct research in Dubai. He has engaged in ethnographic research among Muslims in Hyderabad, India; among Muslims and South Asians in New York City; and among foreign expatriate workers in Dubai.

Professor Ali was the co-editor of Contexts Magazine ( from 2014-2017, an official publication of the American Sociological Association. From 2012-2014, he was the Viewpoints editor at Contexts Magazine.

Professor Ali is also a potter and Ultimate Frisbee player.

Personal website:

Twitter: @skyedali 


Migration, Ethnicity, Social Inequality



    • Co-editor with Philip N. Cohen, The Contexts Reader, 3rd edition (New York: W.W. Norton, 2018)
    • Author with Douglas Hartmann, Migration, Incorporation, and Change in an Interconnected World (New York: Routledge, 2015)
    • Dubai: Gilded Cage (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010; reprinted by Orient Blackswan, 2010).


    •  with Tineke Fokkema, “The Importance of Peers: Assimilation Patterns among Second-Generation Turkish Immigrants in Western Europe,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2015)
    • “Going and Coming and Going Again: Second-Generation Migrants in Dubai,” Mobilities (2011); reprinted in Links to the Diasporic Homeland: Second Generation and Ancestral 'Return' Mobilities (Routledge, 2014).
    •  “Permanent Impermanence,” Contexts (2010); reprinted in The Contexts Reader, 2nd edition (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011) and The Contexts Reader, 3rd edition (New York: W.W. Norton, 2018).
    •  “Understanding Acculturation among Second-Generation South Asian Muslims in the United States,” Contributions to Indian Sociology (2008).
    •  “‘Go West Young Man: The Culture of Migration Among Muslims in Hyderabad, India,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2007); reprinted in Migration and Culture (2011).
    •  “Why Here, Why Now? Young Muslim Women Wearing Hijab,” Muslim World (2005)
    •  “Collective and Elective Ethnicity: Caste among Urban Muslims in India,” Sociological Forum (2002); reprinted in Modern Indian Culture and Society (New York: Routledge, 2009).


  • Recipient, Fulbright Fellowship (2006)
  • Recipient, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship (1997)

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, American Sociological Association