Faculty Associate, Osher LifeLong Learning Institute
Research Interests and Selected Publications
Brian Gratton studies immigration and ethnicity in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Dr. Gratton received his Ph.D. in 1980 from Boston University and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University from 1981 to 1983. He began as an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University in 1983, became Associate Professor in 1987 and Full Professor in 1994. He retired in 2014. His initial research, summarized in Old Age and the Search for Security, focused on social security, retirement and the circumstances of the American elderly. His principal emphasis is now in immigration and migration, particularly among Hispanics, and on family structure among immigrant groups. He worked on these subjects while a Fulbright Fellow in Spain (1996) and in Ecuador (2002). In 1996-8, he served as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Senior Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin, and, in 2003 and 2004, as a Fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York.
While an NIH Fellow at the University of Texas, Dr. Gratton and his colleagues began to develop a new series of representative samples of Hispanic and other immigrant-origin groups in the United States Censuses. Their samples became the Hispanic subsample of the integrated public use samples of the censuses housed at the University of Minnesota. This project led in 1999 to a two-year research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study assimilation trajectories in Mexican-American families. With support from the National Institute on Aging in 2003-2007, he extended this research to historical analysis of elderly immigrants.
His publications on ethnicity, immigration, and family structure in the United States, Ecuador and Europe include articles in the International Migration Review, Journal of Policy History, Social Science History, Population and Development Review, The History of the Family, Journal of American Ethnic History, Professional Geographer, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Historical Statistics of the United States and the Journal of Interdisciplinary History. The article “La Raza,” in the Journal of Policy History, co-authored by Emily Merchant, won the James Madison Prize given by the Society for History in the Federal Government. His latest work examines 400 years of immigration to what is now the United States, a broad consideration of demography, popular reaction and public policy.
His teaching reflected these research interests, including undergraduate and graduate courses on US immigration history and ethnicity. He has also been the Director or Co-Director of four Teaching American History projects funded by the Department of Education, which linked professors in the Department of History to public school teachers in various districts in Maricopa County. Since his retirement, he has served as a Faculty Associate for the Osher Institute, giving lectures on the history of immigration and on the historical development of the Southwest.
Immigration, ethnicity and immigration policy in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Mexican Aemrican Geography and Settlement. Family and Demography
Current regular presentations
400 Years of Immigration to the United States, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Creation of the American Southwest, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Evolution and History, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Selected Academic Presentations
Invited Paper. “The Failure of States: Mexican Immigration, Mexico, and the United States, 1920 to 1950,” with E. Merchant. Workshop: Migration during Economic Downturns—from the Great Depression to the Great Recession. April 2014
“Immigrant, Repatriate, Guest Worker, Deportee: Mexican Workers and the State, 1920 to 1950,” Social Science History Association Meetings, November 2013
“Teaching Immigration History,” Social Science History Association Meetings, November 2013
Immigration and Repatriation: Mexico and the United States, 1900-1950,” “Children, Women and Families: Migration in Historical Perspective.” University of Salzburg, September 2012
“Introduction: Book Session on The Comanche Empire by Pekka Hämäläinen,” Social Science History Association Meetings, November 2011
“Henry Cabot Lodge and the Success of Immigration Restriction,” Boston Immigration and Urban History Seminar, Massachusetts Historical Society, November 2011
“Living with Her Children: The Changing Co-residence Experience of Older Mothers, 1880-2000”, with E. Merchant and M. Gutmann, Social Science History Association Meetings, November 2010
“Race and Ethnicity in the new Evolutionary Sciences,” Social Science History Association Meetings, November 2010
James Madison Prize of the Society for History in the Federal Government.