Public Sociology

Watch this fireside chat with Dr. Pallavi Banerjee on the occasion of International Women's Day, 2021 speaking about the impact of COVID-19 on new immigrant women in Canada.


Who is a Public Sociologist?

Herbert Gans defines a public sociologist as “a public intellectual who applies sociological ideas and findings to social (defined broadly) issues about which sociology (also defined broadly) has something to say.”

Michael Buroway contends that “as mirror and conscience of society, sociology must define, promote and inform public debate about deepening class and racial inequalities, new gender regimes, environmental degradation, market fundamentalism, state and non-state violence…Finally, the critical imagination, exposing the gap between what is and what could be, infuses values into public sociology to remind us that the world could be different.”

Public Sociology @ CGIM

As sociologists, we need to make our research available to the public as a way to introduce sociological lenses into the public discourse. Here are some ways in which we attempt to do public sociology.

Direct Policy Implications of Dr. Banerjee's work on H4 Visa holders in the US: Op-ed on effects of H-4 visas archived by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: Executive Office of the President of the United States of America - see Handout 1.

Published Op-Eds/ Invited Articles/Blogs

Hamilton, Leah and Banerjee, Pallavi. 2022. “‘I am back to square one’: How COVID-19 impacted recently resettled Yazidi and Syrian refugees.” The Conversation. February 22, 2022.


Banerjee, Pallavi and Fandino, Isabel, 2020. “Canada’s International Graduate Students and COVID-19: Beyond the Rhetoric of Welcome.” Canadian Dimension. August 6, 2020.

Banerjee, Pallavi and Sengupta Pratim, 2020. “Trump’s suspension of H-1B visas is a racist attack on immigrants — and a bad move for the economy.” The Conversation, June 29, 2020.

Reprinted in: AlterNet; The Raw Story; MENAFN and Philippine Canadian Inquirer

Kristen Myers and Pallavi Banerjee, Invited Blog for Gender and Society Blog, Benefits of Peer Reviewing in Academia. March 11, 2020

Banerjee Pallavi. “White Paper on H-4 EAD.” Submitted to Office of Budget and Management, The White House, United States Government, March 11, 2019.

Invited to submit a white paper by the Skilled Immigrants In America, who submitted documentation to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs officials (OIRA) on International Women’s Day, 2019 and presented a strong case against the proposed repeal of H4-EAD. This white paper was included as part of the documented evidences of research, real-life examples, testimonies of contributions of visa holders to the US communities and economy that was submitted to OMB and OIRA.

Banerjee, Pallavi. “Housewife Visas and Highly Skilled Immigrant Families in the U.S.” Council on Contemporary Families Symposium Paper, in The Society Pages, Oct 23, 2018

Banerjee, Pallavi. “Trump’s war against immigrant workers and their spousesThe Conversation, May 10, 2018.

Reprinted in: The National Post and Weekly Voice

Banerjee, Pallavi. “Trump’s racialized immigration policy is a threat to Indians the US” Invited editorial in World is One News (WION), January 20, 2018

Banerjee, Pallavi. “March of the millions: Reflections on global women’s march against Trumpism.” Invited editorial in World is One News (WION), January 31, 2017.

Banerjee, Pallavi. “No Country for Brown Flyers: How Civil Aviation has Changed after 9/11.” Invited editorial in World is One News (WION), December 7, 2016.

Banerjee, Pallavi. “Racial profiling at airports adds a colour-coded cost when I fly on business.“ Editorial in The Globe and Mail national edition, July 20, 2016

Banerjee, Pallavi. ”New Visa Policy Allows Immigrant Spouses to Hold Jobs.“ Op-Ed based on dissertation research on the US immigration policy was published in the Ms Magazine Blog, March 5, 2015.

Banerjee, Pallavi. “Crisis of Dependent Visas: A Reality Check.” Invited op-ed based on research on the US immigration policy was published in the weekly transnational newspaper India Abroad Blog, June 13, 2014 issue.

Banerjee, Pallavi. “Proposed Rule Change for High-Tech Migrant Workers’ Spouses Isn’t Enough”. Op-Ed based on my research on the US immigration policy was published in the Ms Magazine Blog, May 20, 2014. (Reprinted on Free Speech TV.)

Banerjee, Pallavi. “Dodging the Chores? Indian Men and Household Work”. Invited Blog post in the Gender & Society Blog in response to Atlantic article about men and housework, March 24, 2014 (Invited)

Banerjee, Pallavi. “An Immigrant Wife’s Place? In the Home, According to Visa Policy”. Op-Ed based on dissertation research on the US immigration policy was published in the Ms Magazine Blog (Reposted in The Gender and Society Blog and Girl w/Pen), June 19, 2013.

In the Media/Public Talks

Interviewed by Britanny Gervais on International Women's Day on the topic of Calgary organizations renew efforts to support women in workforce post-COVID, Calgary Herald, March 8, 2022


Interviewed for both TV and Online Print by Dr. Henna Saaed, Women vs Men Vaccination Disparity, CTV, 660News, May 7, 2021.


Interviewed for International Women’s Day at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business highlighting Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, March 8, 2021.


Interviewed for both TV and Online Print by Kathy Le, Gender gap: Women still fall short of men in the workforce and health care system, CTV, March 8, 2021.


Interviewed on The Chronicle Herald. By Olivia Condon. “Researchers say racist, angry outbursts part of a bigger problem as hate crime in Calgary increases.” Sep 22, 2020.


NUTV University of Calgary, Interviewed for the program Extra Credit on Intersectionality and Subversive Self-Employment. Feb 14, 2019.

Invited to comment on TV Asia, New York City, Center Stage Talk Show’s season premiere panel discussion on the topic of gender equality and South Asian career woman, Aired on Jan 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m. (EST).

Interviewed at the Danielle Smith Talk Show on CHQR 770 AM (Calgary) to discuss the UN Immigration Pact. Nov 13, 2018

Quoted in The MEL Magazine, in a feature entitled: ”In 1976, More than 6 Million Men in India were Coerced into Sterilization“, by C. Brian Smith, May 1, 2018.

Quoted in The Economic Times (print and online), in the article entitled: ”There’s still hope for H-4 visa holders. Here’s why”, by Ishani Duttagupta, Apr 29, 2018.

Quoted in the Calgary Herald. Nearly 30 years later, Family Day celebrated by an increasingly diverse society.” by Valerie Fortney, Feb 16, 2018.

Quoted in the Public Radio International. The children of H-1B visa holders are growing up - and still waiting for green cards.” by Sonia Paul, Feb 13, 2018.

Quoted in The Economic Times (print and online), in the article entitled: “Indo-American families face uncertainties as Trump admin plans to rollback H4 spouse visa” by Ishani Duttagupta, Jan 7, 2018.

Quoted in Mary Review Magazine (print and online) in the article entitled: “Life Inside the Golden Cage” by Julianne Hing, August 2017.

Featured in the University of Calgary, Faculty of Arts Newsroom in an article entitled: Studying US Policy that Affects Highly Skilled South Asian Workers.

Quoted in The Economic Times, in the article entitled: “Why children of H-1B workers may now have to leave America” by Ishani Dattagupta, Oct 22, 2017.

Quoted in The Calgary Herald, in the article entitled:, entitled: “Calgary bucking national trend of couples with fewer kids, census data” by Alana Smith, August 2, 2017

Interviewed by The Council on Contemporary Families, entitled: “Immigration/Politics/Talk” published in The Society Pages, December 20, 2016.

Quoted in The CBCnews Calgary in the article, entitled: Women make up vast majority of those leaving Alberta, Statistics Canada data suggests, Sep 29, 2016.

Quoted in The Calgary Metro in article, entitled: Hate graffiti on Calgary school a danger to refugee and non-refugee students, Feb 21, 2016

Part of the panel: Braver Spaces - Feminism In the Classroom, a podcast by CJSW 90.9 FM, Nov 24, 2015.

Quoted in The Economic Times Blog, entitled: Punjabi Canadians won 18 seats in the recent election in Canada, Oct 25, 2015

Research cited and quoted in The Economic Times Blog, entitled: For H-1B visa holders, double income will be a reality soon. July 13, 2015

Research cited and quoted in The Huffington Post Blog, entitled: Work Permits For Spouses of H1-B Visa Holders Will Help Families, Economy. July 7, 2015.

Interviewed by the Uptown Radio, New York City:The End of Trailing Spouses?” By Adelie Pontay, April 17, 2015

Research cited and quoted in The Economic Times Blog, entitled: US Visa: Spouses of H-1B work permit holders to be eligible for employment authorization. March 2, 2015

Research Mention in the American Sociological Association Footnotes, Volume 42 • Number 6 • July/August 2014

Research on the effects of dependent visas on the family relationship of migrants cited with quotes from me in The Washington Post entitled: Spouses of high-skilled immigrants aren’t allowed to work. That’s finally changing., May 9, 2014

My research featured in the story “Three Things Immigrant Families can Teach All Americans“ published in the Berkeley web magazine Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life. Reposted on the Berkeley Blog. April 13, 2013.

My co-authored paper on ”How do Today’s Children Understand Race?“ (scroll to see) excerpted in Unconventional Wisdom: News You Can Use, A Survey of Recent Family Research and Clinical Findings, Prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families, edited by Joshua Coleman and Stephanie Coontz, 5th Annual Edition, April 23, 2012.

My research on the relationship of Indian women on dependent visas in the U.S. with communication technology entitled, ”Love-Hate Relationship with Technology in Transnational Lives of Indian Immigrant Women“, (scroll to see) excerpted in Unconventional Wisdom: News You Can Use, A Survey of Recent Family Research and Clinical Findings. Prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families, edited by Joshua Coleman and Stephanie Coontz, 6th Volume, April 20, 2010.

My research on the role of religious involvement in the lives of immigrant Muslim women (scroll to see) excerpted in Unconventional Wisdom: News You Can Use, A Survey of Recent Family Research and Clinical Findings, Prepared for the Council on Contemporary Families, edited by Joshua Coleman and Stephanie Coontz, 3rd Annual Edition, April 2, 2010.