Thomas Soehl

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in International Migration
Thomas Soehl

Stephen Leacock Building, Room 729
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7

Tel.: 514-398-6841
Fax: 514-398-7476
E-mail: thomas.soehl [at]

Office Hours: (Until end of May 2023)
Mondays 11:00 to 12:30;
Please see availability and schedule a time at:
Or by appointment

Research Areas

International Migration, Comparative Race and Ethnicity, Political Attachments of Migrants, Cross-Border Connections, Intergenerational Processes in Migrant Families



PhD in Sociology from the University of California Los Angeles 2014.

Two main themes guide my research: one is the importance of family ties for migrants and the inter-generational transmission of culture, socio-economic characteristics and political attachments in migrant families. A second theme is the political transition that international migration involves, and the multiple and shifting socio-political attachments of migrants. In addition to the literature on immigrant socioeconomic and political incorporation, and migrant transnationalism, my work contributes to research on political socialization, the sociology of the family, the comparative study of ethnicity and race, and the political reproduction of nation-states. I heavily rely on quantitative methods such as multilevel modeling, event-history analysis, item-response theory, structural equation models and Bayesian approaches to statistical inference.
Before embarking on an academic career I worked for three years for the New York City Council as a policy analyst and earned degrees from the University of Kassel (Urban Planning), the Graduate Center at CUNY (MA Political Science) and the Harvard Kennedy School (Public Administration).




Luthra, Renee, Thomas Soehl, and Roger Waldinger (2018) "Origins and Destinations. The Making of the Second Generation." New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Articles and Chapters:

Soehl, Thomas, Dietlind Stolle and Colin Scott (forthcoming) “The Politics Left Behind: How Pre-Migration and Migration Experiences Shape Syrian Refugee’s Interest in Home-Country PoliticsJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies [online first].

Erlich, Aaron, Thomas Soehl, and Annie Y. Chen (2023) "Discriminatory Immigration Bans Elicit Anti-Americanism in Targeted Communities: Evidence from Nigerian Expatriates." Journal of Experimental Political Science: 10:76-87.

Poole, Alicia and Thomas Soehl (2023) “A Citizen Just Like You: The Role of Complex Contagion and Resemblance for Decisions to Naturalize” International Migration Review 57: 1515-1536.

Soehl, Thomas and Ian Van Haren (2023) “The effect of social capital on migrant labor market success: Evidence from refugee sponsorship in Canada” Ethnic and Racial Studies, 46:3224-3248.

Waldinger, Roger, Thomas Soehl, and Renee Reichl Luthra. (2022) "Nationalising foreigners: The making of American national identity." Nations and Nationalism 28: 47-65

Soehl, Thomas, and Sakeef M. Karim (2021) "How legacies of geopolitical trauma shape popular nationalism today." American Sociological Review 86: 406-429.

Armstrong, Caitrin, Ate Poorthuis, Matthew Zook, Derek Ruths, and Thomas Soehl. (2021) "Challenges when identifying migration from geo-located Twitter data.EJP Data Science. 10:1-14.

Soehl, Thomas. (2020) "Mode of Difference and Resource for Resilience: How Religion Shapes Experiences of Discrimination of the Second Generation in FranceInternational Migration Review. 54:796-819.

Soehl, Thomas, Roger Waldinger, and Renee Luthra (2020) "Social politics: the importance of the family for naturalisation decisions of the 1.5 generation." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 46:1240-1260

Luthra, Renee, Thomas Soehl and Roger Waldinger (2019) "Origins and Destination: A Rejoinder" Ethnic and Racial Studies. 42:13, 2302-2309.

Hiers, Wesley, Thomas Soehl and Andreas Wimmer. (2017) “National trauma and the fear of foreigners: How past geopolitical threat heightens anti-immigrant sentiment today.” Social Forces. 96:361-88

Luthra, Renee, Thomas Soehl and Roger Waldinger (2017) “Reconceptualizing Context: A multi-level model of the context of reception and second generation educational attainmentInternational Migration Review [available in early view, open access]

Soehl, Thomas. (2017) "From origins to destinations: acculturation trajectories in migrants’ attitudes towards homosexuality." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43:1831-53

Soehl, Thomas. (2017) "Social Reproduction of Religiosity in the Immigrant Context: The Role of Family Transmission and Family Formation—Evidence from France." International Migration Review 51:999-1030

Soehl, Thomas. (2016) "But do they speak it? The intergenerational transmission of home-country language in migrant families in France." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 1513-1535.

Luthra, Renee Reichl, and Thomas Soehl. (2015) "From Parent to Child? Transmission of Educational Attainment Within Immigrant Families: Methodological Considerations." Demography 52: 543-567.

Wimmer, Andreas and Thomas Soehl. (2014) “Blocked Acculturation: Cultural Heterodoxy among Europe’s Immigrants.” American Journal of Sociology 120:146-186.

Waldinger, Roger and Thomas Soehl. (2013) “The bounded polity: The limits to Mexican emigrant political participation.” Social Forces 91(4):1239-1266.

Soehl, Thomas. (2013) "The ambiguities of political opportunity: Political claims making of Russian-Jewish immigrants in New York City." Ethnic and Racial Studies 36 (12):1977-1996.

Soehl, Thomas and Roger Waldinger. (2012) “Inheriting the homeland? Intergenerational transmission of cross border ties in migrant families.” American Journal of Sociology 118 (3):778-813.

* Winner of the 2013 Reuben Hill Award for Outstanding Paper - National Council on Family Relations

Soehl, Thomas, Rosita Fibbi and Constanza Larrucea. (2012). “Immigrants' daughters and the labor market.” in The Changing Face of World Cities: The second generation in Europe and the United States, edited by John Mollenkopf and Maurice Crul. New York, Russell Sage Foundation.

Waldinger, Roger, Thomas Soehl and Nelson Lim. (2012) “Emigrants and the body politic left behind: Results from the Latino National Survey.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38(5):711-736.

Waldinger, Roger and Thomas Soehl. (2012) “The political sociology of international migration: Borders, boundaries, rights and politics.” The International Handbook of Migration Studies edited by Steve Gold and Stephanie Nawyn. New York, Routledge.

Soehl, Thomas and Jenjira Yahirun. (2011) “Timing of union formation and partner choice in immigrant societies: The United States and Germany.” Advances in Life Course Research 16(4):205-216.

Soehl, Thomas and Roger Waldinger. (2010) “Making the connection: Latino immigrants and their cross-border ties. Ethnic and Racial Studies 33(9):1489-1510.

Media Citation:

"Immigrants will be vital to the future of American Democracy." The Nation, November 20, 2018.


Courses Taught

SOCI 212 International Migration

SOCI 333 Social Stratification

SOCI 400 Comparative Migration and Citizenship

SOCI 504 Quantitative Methods 1

SOCI 520 Migration and Immigrant Groups


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