In the Spotlight

New Orleans hosts the largest population of Vietnamese immigrants of any U.S. city – and members of this ethnic group were the most likely to return after the devastation of Katrina. Despite barriers and inequalities in access to vital services, individuals proved extraordinarily resilient and, as SSNers Mark VanLandingham and Mai Do explain, the community made a remarkable recovery.

Brian G. Southwell
Director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program, RTI International

Internet technology has revolutionized the way information spreads within communities. But increased accessibility does not always mean that citizens are taking advantage of information networks equally or uniformly. Knowing the pitfalls allows leaders pursuing social justice goals to engage broad audiences.

Tom K. Wong
University of California, San Diego

The Obama administration has instituted limited benefits for undocument youth brought to this country as children – but legal battles in Texas have put full implementation on hold. As Wong shows, youth affected by the program are an economic boon to the United States.

Immigration, according to Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal, is reshaping the political identities and attitudes of white Americans – stoking racial tensions and influencing preferences about even apparently unrelated policies. As the 2016 presidential debates begin, Christopher Parker, David Robertson, Katherine Cramer, and Deborah Schildkraut probe the hypothesis that anxieties about immigration are fueling party polarization.

President Obama has just announced his boldest climate initiative, the Clean Power Plan. As states are called upon to reduce global warming pollution, how will the public react? Innovative research by three SSN scholars maps widely varied opinions across the country about climate change and how to cope with it.

July 26th marked the 25-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act – a landmark law that spurred improvements for disabled people and increased awareness of the challenges they face. But as SSN scholar David Pettinicchio explains, many improvements are still needed, including steps to reduce wage discrepancies and new efforts to ensure full enforcement.