University of Minnesota
Global Race, Ethnicity, Migration

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Cawo Abdi

Sociology Department 1146 Soc Sci Building 267 19th Ave South

Department Affiliations


  • Migration; Gender, Race and Class; Family; Islam; Education, Development Studies; Human Rights; Globalization; Africa; Middle East.

Educational Background

  • PhD: Sociology, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, 2006.
  • MA: University of Guelph, Canada, 2002.
  • BSocSc: Economics, University of Ottawa, Canada, 1995.


  • Elusive Jannah: The Somali Diaspora and a Borderless Muslim Identity. Abdi, Cawo, Author, 2015 (forthcoming). Link
  • Threatened Identities and Gendered Opportunities: Somali Migration to America. Abdi, Cawo, Author, 2014. Link
  • Muslim-American Youth and Homeland Politics: Competing Narratives on the War on Terror.In Looming Shadows: Migration and Integration at a time of Upheaval. European and American Perspectives.. Abdi, Cawo, Center for Transatlantic Relations: John Hopkins University, Author, 2011. Link
  • Moving Beyond ‘Xenophobia’: Structural Violence, Conflict and Encounters with the ‘Other’ Africans. Abdi, Cawo, Author, 2011. Link
  • Convergence of Civil War and the Religious Right: Re-Imagining Somali Women. Abdi, Cawo, Author, 2007. Link

Research Activities

  • One of my new projects examines the educational attainment and school choices of new migrants. For children of migrant parents, the American education system can be their ladder to social mobility and the realization of their American dream, or it can leave them behind as a part of millions of Americans whose lives remain precarious. This study investigates the increasing role ethnocentric charter schools are playing in new refugee and migrant groups’ education in Minnesota and how this shapes their long-term settlement and integration in the United States.
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