Cybelle Fox, Professor

Closed (1) Boundaries and Intersectional Meanings of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality among Asian and White American Spouses

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

This qualitative project examines what high rates of interracial marriage between Asian and White Americans indicate about race relations and the assimilation of Asian Americans in the United States. Using in-depth interviews, it explores how boundaries and intersectional meanings of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality are negotiated and reproduced among Asian and White American spouses, across their extended families, and within their child-rearing practices. We will focus our work on interracial desire, attraction, and coupling this semester.

The research apprentice will develop skills and experience editing transcripts, coding, and analyzing interview data, as well as critically reading and reviewing literature to help situate the research project. This is an excellent opportunity to learn and work through different phases of a research project. Required tasks vary from semester to semester depending on what is needed at the time. This semester we will focus on coding and analysis.

Brief weekly to bi-monthly meetings will be held to address questions, and discuss ongoing work and findings with daily supervisor.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Louise Ly, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: Detail-oriented, interest in areas of assimilation, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality, family, intersectionality, and/or interest in transcribing, coding, and analyzing interview data.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: Students can work anywhere with secure internet connection. The research team meetings occur online due to Covid-19.

Closed (2) The Effects of Legal Status on Older Mexican Adults in the U.S. and Mexico

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

Although social scientists have demonstrated that immigration status affects children, young adults, and working-age adults in many aspects of their lives, they have largely ignored the effects of immigration status in older adulthood. Much less is known about the consequences of being undocumented – either for short periods of time or entire lives – for older adult immigrants. Economic security and social support eligibility in older adulthood – such as Social Security pensions, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Medicare – are tied to an individual’s lifetime verifiable employment history, and undocumented older adults are ineligible without a valid Social Security number. Some return to their home country, for social and financial reasons. Yet, those with family in the U.S. fear permanent separation from adult children and grandchildren if they return to Mexico.

This qualitative research project examines three questions:
1. What factors facilitate or hinder how Mexican older adult immigrants access economic, family, medical and psychological support, and the strategies they deploy as they age?
2. How do immigration and social support policies affect how Mexican immigrants experience, make decisions, and understand their quality of life as they get older?
3. How do these processes differ by immigration status, gender, and across countries?

The project draws on semi-structured interviews with Mexican older adult immigrants (50 years and older) in the U.S. (California) and return migrants in Mexico (Jalisco) to provide detailed understanding of immigrant aging experiences.

Students will learn to conduct qualitative data collection and analysis. Required tasks will vary from semester-to-semester depending on the progress of the research project.

Students will be asked:
• to complete the CITI Research Ethics and Compliance Training online and submit certificate(s) to supervisor (;
• to recruit research participants and interview participants (if necessary);
• to prepare interview transcripts for analysis (if necessary);
• to analyze/code interview transcripts for emerging themes;
• to agree to maintain the confidentiality of any and all data they have access to for this study;
• to be in regular contact with supervisor, Isabel García Valdivia, with any issues, questions, and/or concerns;
• to attend brief weekly to bi-monthly meetings to conduct research training, address questions, discuss ongoing work, and review findings with research supervisor; and
• to present findings at end-of-semester research meeting.

Students will develop the following skills:
• learn how to conduct ethical human subjects research;
• learn best practices for gathering empirical data (e.g., recruitment and interviewing); and
• learn to analyze and present interview data (e.g., coding schemes, code manually and using computer-assisted qualitative software, connecting codes to emerging research themes).

Students will be introduced to Professor Fox at the beginning of the semester and will also have the opportunity to discuss project progress, their own research, and/or professional interests with Professor Fox at the end-of-semester meeting (e.g., presentations).

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Isabel García-Valdivia, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: All interviews were conducted in Spanish (some Spanglish), thus students MUST be able to read and comprehend Spanish (remember to describe your fluency with Spanish in your application). Students should be: • detail-oriented, organized, and flexible; • interested in the research areas of immigration, aging, and/or gender; • interested in recruiting research participants and interviewing (if necessary); • interested in learning to code using qualitative software, and analyzing interview data; and/or • able to work independently and collaboratively with the research supervisor and peer researchers. Please mention any experience with: • social science research methods (e.g., recruiting interview participants, conducting interviews, analyzing interviews, methods courses); • computer-assisted qualitative analysis using any program (e.g., ATLAS.ti, Dedoose, MaxQDA); and • Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive/Suite, Box, and Dropbox.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: Students can work anywhere with secure internet connection. The research team meetings will be online due to COVID-19 (unless otherwise discussed).