Dr. Abdi Kusow

Professor [SOC S]


Dept:Sociology - LAS
Office:220 East Hall
510 Farm House Ln
Ames IA

Topics of interest: globalization, social transformation and social change, transnational migration


Professor Kusow’s research interests include globalization and transnational migration, the contemporary African diaspora, social transformation and social change in Africa, African immigrants in North America, racial formation, and methodology. His most recent work appeared in flagship journals like Symbolic InteractionEthnic and Racial StudiesJournal of Migration and Ethnic Studies, and in the The New AmericansA Handbook to Immigration Since 1965, edited by Mary Waters and Reed Ueda, Harvard University Press. One of his most recent articles, “Contesting Stigma: On Goffman’s Assumptions of Normative Order,” Symbolic Interaction, 2004 appeared in the top 20 most read articles in Symbolic Interaction from 2005 to 2009. He is also active in local and global social communities.  He is Vice Chair of the Somali Studies International Association (SSIA) and served as Vice Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 10th Triennial Somali Studies Conference held at the Ohio State University in 2007. He participated in several international policy forums on Africa sponsored by the United Nations Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Organization, the United Nations Development Program, Italian NGOs, and Aalborg University in Denmark.

Selected International Keynote Addresses

Kusow, Abdi. Keynote Address, “Towards a Sociological Understanding of Contemporary Ransoming of Commercial Vessels along the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean,” York University, Canada, April 24-26, 2014. http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2014/04/22/conference-looks-at-age-old-problem-of-piracy-kidnapping-and-ransom/


Journal of Somali Studies

Editorial Board Member

History, and Politics, Series Editors: Markus Hoehne & Virginia Luling

Selected Honors and Awards

Listed in the Marquis Who’s Who in America, 2010-present
Member, Distinguished External Reference Group, African Capacity Building Foundation, 2013- Emory Bogardus Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence, Sociology, Iowa State U., 2011

Selected Journal Articles

Kusow, Abdi M., and Mohamed A. Eno. (2015). “Formula Narratives and the Making of Social Stratification and Inequality.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity doi:10.1177/2332649215574362.

Kusow, Abdi M., Sitawa R. Kimuna, and Mamadi Corra. (2014). “Socioeconomic Diversity among African Immigrants in the United States: An Intra African Immigrant Comparison.” Journal of International Migration and Integration. doi: 10.1007/s12134-014-0377-x.

Kusow Abdi, M. (2014) “The Somali Question.” Journal of Somali Studies 1 (1): 91-101. 

Vaughn, Michael G, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Brandy R. Maynard, Zhengmin Qian, LaurenTerzis, Abdi M. Kusow, and Matt Delisi. (2014). “Criminal Epidemiology and the Immigrant Paradox: Intergenerational Discontinuity in Violence Behavior Among Immigrants.” Journal of Criminal Justice 42 (6): 483-490. 

Mohamed, Eno A., Abdi M. Kusow (2014). “Racial and Caste Prejudice in Somalia.” Journal of Somali Studies, 1 (2): 87-114.

Ajrouch, Kristine, and Abdi M. Kusow. (2007). “Racial and Religious Contexts: Situational Identities among Lebanese and Somali Muslim Immigrants in North America.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 30:72-94. 

Kusow, Abdi M.  (2006). “Migration and Racial Formations among Somali Immigrants in North America.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32: 533-551, 2006.

Kusow, Abdi M. (2004). “Contesting Stigma: On Goffman’s Assumptions of Normative Order,”Symbolic Interaction 27:179-197.

Kusow, Abdi. (2003). “Beyond Indigenous Authenticity: Reflections on the Insider/Outsider Debate in Immigration Research,” Symbolic Interaction 26: 591-599.


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