Jake Watson

PhD Candidate


Jake Watson is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Boston University. He holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Warwick and an MA in Migration Studies from Sussex University. Broadly, Jake is interested in the social origins and outcomes of categories in immigration politics. Previously, he’s examined the production of the family in mid-twentieth century British and US politics and how this led to divergent family reunification policies. An article from this project was published in Ethnic and Racial Studies and received the Best Student Paper Award from the ASA’s Global and Transnational Sociology Section. His dissertation shifts from the family to refugee policies, examining how the category of the refugee is produced across the transnational chain of the US refugee resettlement program. He examines how these processes of social production impact who gets selected for resettlement and refugees’ experiences once they arrive in the US. He employs a mixed methods approach, including interviews, participant observation, archival research, and quantitative analysis of previously unreleased administrative data. Preliminary findings from his dissertation are featured in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Other projects addressing questions in global and transnational sociology, political sociology, and the sociology of race have appeared in European Journal of Sociology, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. Jake also brings professional experience in the migration sector, having worked for the UNHCR in South Africa and a migrants’ rights organization in London, UK.

Curriculum Vitae