Kevin Thomas

Kevin
Thomas

Professor of Sociology, Demography, and African Studies

Expertise:

  • Health & Medicine
  • Social Sciences

Focus Areas:

  • Global Health
  • Demography
  • Immigration

In The Media:

About

  • Thomas recently published a book about the Ebola crisis and prejudice against certain groups of people associated with it, and can speak to how similar prejudices may occur during the current coronavirus pandemic.
  • His other research interests include migration, racial and ethnic inequality, stigma, and African development and population.

Kevin J.A. Thomas is a professor of sociology, demography and African studies, and a faculty affiliate of the Global and International Studies program and Population Research Institute at Penn State. Thomas’s research focuses on international migration, racial and ethnic inequality, children and families, as well as population and development in Africa. He is also interested in the stigma and blaming of immigrants, immigrants’ responses to stigma, how they cope with bereavement and the death of relatives in countries experiencing epidemics, and the strategies African immigrants used to promote public health in their communities during the Ebola epidemic.

Thomas is director of the Undergraduate Program in Sociology and faculty affiliate of the Global and International Studies program and Population Research Institute. He has written three books: Diverse Pathways: Race and the Socioeconomic Incorporation of Black, White, and Arab-origin Africans in the US; Contract Workers, Risk, and the War in Iraq: Sierra Leonean Labor Migrants at US military bases; and Global Epidemics, Local Implications: African Immigrants and the Ebola crisis in Dallas.

In The Media

"Based on research I conducted for a book about the Ebola crisis and prejudice against certain groups of people associated with it, I fear that Americans might make immigrants the villain instead of the virus during the coronavirus epidemic."

Don’t Blame The Victims Of Coronavirus

from WORT-FM February 17, 2020

That tradition of collaboration continues as the Congressional Black Caucus lobbies to secure citizenship for Haitian evacuees, and the NAACP opposes changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “The bonds of cooperation are still there,” says Kevin J.A. Thomas, associate professor of sociology, demography and African studies at Penn State. “If anything is going to happen, it will make bonds stronger. We are here together. Live together as brothers or perish as fools.”

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