Book: The Opportunity Trap (NYU Press)

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(Original cover designed by Santanu Dutta)


Silver Medalist, 2024 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY Award), Non-Fiction Category, Canada (West)

Honorable Mention, 2024 Social Science Category Book Awards, given by the Association for Asian American Studies

WINNER, 2023 Asia, and Asian America Section Best Book Award, awarded by the American Sociological Association

Honorable Mention, 2022 Betty and McClung Lee Book Award, given by the Association for Humanist Sociology

Reviewed by Social Forces, Gender and Society, Work and Occupations, Labour/Le Travail, Canadian Ethnic Studies. Sociological Forum, Journal of Family Studies and more. 


Dr. Pallavi Banerjee's award-winning monograph is entitled The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families and the Failures of the Dependent Visa Program, (New York University Press, 2022).  

An overview of the book, in Pallavi's voice: In my forthcoming book, The Opportunity Trap (NYU Press), I build on my dissertation data to comparatively explore the effects of U.S. visa policies on the experiences of Indian professional migrant families that are male-led with those that are female-led. Specifically, I focus on how visa policies intersect with gendered migrations to shape the everyday lives of the migrant families in the private and public spheres. I study families of both male high-tech workers and female nurses who migrate to the United States on skilled workers visas (H1-B), visas that are tied to their employment status in the U.S. The spouses and children of these professional workers migrate on dependent visas (H-4). I argue that while the dependent visa policy uses gender-neutral language, the policy is framed by gendered assumptions that view work and family as two separate and binary spheres: the male provider and the female homemaker/caregiver. 

Available online and on the NYU Press site