Jennifer Elrick

Assistant Professor

Stephen Leacock Building, Room 825
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7

Tel.: 514-398-1579
Fax: 514-398-7476
E-mail: jennifer.elrick [at]

Office Hours: Winter 2021
Tuesdays 14:30 - 16:00

Research Areas

Immigration policymaking; immigration bureaucracies and policy implementation; social construction of racial and ethnic categories and classification systems; citizenship; multiculturalism; diversity and social stratification.



(PhD, University of Toronto, Department of Sociology, 2017)

Assistant Professor at McGill University since 2016.

My research centres on migration governance, diversity and social stratification. Drawing theoretically from impulses in political and cultural sociology, I focus on three objects of study: 1) the micro-level social construction processes underlying state classifications of populations in terms of legal status, race/ethnicity, social class, morality, and other social distinctions; 2) the material and symbolic effects of these institutionalized classifications; and 3) how people negotiate “bottom-up” responses to these “top-down” classifications. Most of my research is based on qualitative methods, including interviews, focus groups, and (archival) document analysis. My work is multi-national in scope, focusing on Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.




Elrick, J. (in press). Making Middle-Class Multiculturalism: Immigration Bureaucrats and Policymaking in Postwar Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (

Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications: 

Isaac, M. and J. Elrick (2021). ‘How COVID-19 May Alleviate the Multiple Marginalization of Racialized Migrant Workers.’ Ethnic and Racial Studies. 44(5): 851-863. 

Elrick, J. (2020). ‘Bureaucratic Implementation Practices and the Making of Canada's Merit-Based Immigration Policy.’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1817731

Elrick, J. and Schneiderhan, E. (2018). ‘Using Focus Groups and a Documentary Method to Operationalize Ethnic Identity in Research on Minority Populations.’ SAGE Research Methods Cases. DOI: 10.4135/9781526449764

Elrick, J. and Winter, E. (2018). 'Managing The National Status Group: Immigration Policy in Germany.' International Migration 56(4): 19-32

Elrick, J. (2016). ‘Screening, Skills and Cultural Fit: Theorizing Immigrant Skill Utilization From An Organizational Perspective.’ Journal of International Migration and Integration 17(3): 801-817.

Elrick, J. and N. Lightman (2016). ‘Sorting or Shaping? The Gendered Economic Outcomes of Immigration Policy in Canada.’ International Migration Review 50(2): 352-384.

Elrick, J. and L. Schwartzman (2015). ‘From Statistical Category to Social Category: Organized Politics and Official Categorizations of “Persons with a Migration Background” in Germany.’ Ethnic and Racial Studies. 38(9): 1539-1556.

Elrick, J., Schneiderhan, E. and S. Khan (2014). ‘Talking Like a Generation: The “Documentary” Meaning of Ethnicity for Aging Minority Britons.’ Sociology. 48 (6): 1173-1189.

Reitz, J., Curtis, J. and J. Elrick (2014). ‘Immigrant Skill Utilization: Trends and Policy Issues.’ Journal of International Migration and Integration 15(1): 1-26.

Schneiderhan, E., Khan, S. and J. Elrick (2014). ‘Deliberation and Ethnic Context.’ Sociological Forum 29 (4): 791-807.


Research Grants

2020 - 2021 “Changing the Social Value of Work? The Effects of COVID-19 on Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP).” Internal McGill COVID-19 Rapid Response SSHD & MI4 Emergency COVID-19 Research Funding (ECRF), $19,500

2018-2021 “Immigration Bureaucrats and Immigration Control: Multi-Level Migration Management in Germany, 1955-1965.” FRQSC Research Support for New Academics Grant, $45,000

2017 - 2020 “Determining the Role of Immigration Bureaucrats in Immigration Control: A Historical Case Study of Canada, 1952-1979.” Social Sciences &  Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Development Grant (SSHRC-IDG), $ 61,251


Courses Taught

Graduate Courses

SOCI 595 Immigration Control and The State

Undergraduate Courses

SOCI 210 Sociological Perspectives

SOCI 330 Sociological Theory

SOCI 430 The Sociology of Citizenship


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