© 2016

The Boundaries of Belonging

Online Work of Immigration-Related Social Movement Organizations

  • Brings together sociological sub disciplines that are rarely in dialogue—immigration, activism, and social movements

  • Innovative use of SMOs, online words, and images

  • Offers a cultural-sociological exploration of how organizations within the immigrant rights and immigration control movements in the United States make meaning online


Part of the Cultural Sociology book series (CULTSOC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
    Pages 1-34
  3. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
    Pages 35-65
  4. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
    Pages 67-111
  5. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
    Pages 113-170
  6. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
    Pages 171-225
  7. Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
    Pages 227-256
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 257-295

About this book


This book addresses an issue currently making political headlines in the United States—immigration. Immigrants have long engendered debates about the boundaries of belonging, with some singing their praises and others warning of their dangers. In particular, the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country provoke heated disagreements with issues of legality and morality at the forefront. Increasingly, such debates take place online, by organizations in the immigrant rights and the immigration control movements, who engage in symbolic work that includes blurring, crossing, maintaining, solidifying, and shifting the boundaries of belonging. Based on data collected from 29 national-level groups, this book features a cultural sociological analysis of the online materials deployed by social movement organizations debating immigration in the United States.


Immigration Family Citizenship Borderlands Mexico Activists Strong Program Social movements

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Masaryk University Yale UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

About the authors

Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky is Associate Professor at Masaryk University, Czech Republic. Her research includes the cultural sociological exploration of politics and media, especially with regard to migration and refugees.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Boundaries of Belonging
  • Book Subtitle Online Work of Immigration-Related Social Movement Organizations
  • Authors Bernadette Nadya Jaworsky
  • Series Title Cultural Sociology
  • Series Abbreviated Title Cultural Sociology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-43746-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-82901-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-43747-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 295
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Sociology of Culture
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Jaworsky’s monograph, The Boundaries of Belonging: Online Work of Immigration-Related Social Movement Organizations, offers a thoughtful, well-researched and timely contribution to this already-substantial body of literature. … The Boundaries of Belonging is a deeply insightful book that synthesizes scholarship in cultural sociology and social movements, and offers a powerful analysis of the role of culture in shaping social movements.” (Kevin Lujan Lee, Border Criminologies,, June 13, 2019)

“The work offers an excellent thick description of IR and IC SMOs that will aid sociologists in comprehending the drastic immigration measures that the US has recently undertaken. Summing Up: Recommended. General collections; upper-division undergraduates and above.” (J. A. Beicken, Choice, Vol. 54 (11), July, 2017) 

“Theoretically rooted in the strong program of cultural analysis, this volume provides timely, innovative and compelling insight into the U.S. immigration battle. Through painstaking analysis of online texts and visuals, Jaworsky fleshes out symbolic boundary work by movement organizations on both sides of the struggle as they seek to maintain, shift, or reconstruct the meaning and criteria of citizenship. This is a must read for immigration, social movement, and cultural sociology scholars.” (Anne Kane, University of Houston-Downtown, USA)

“The successes of Donald Trump in the USA and extreme right parties in Europe remind us that conflicts over national belonging continue to be a major force in contemporary politics. By examining immigrant rights and the immigration control movements, Jaworsky shows how these adversaries determine rules for who deserves to be included (or excluded) from the national community. This book is fascinating, well written, and theoretically challenging. It will be of great interest to anybody concerned with the politics of immigration and national identity.” (Dr. Walter J. Nicholls, Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine, USA)

“Cultural sociology, migration studies, and social movement research have been—until now—largely segregated and even hostile intellectual worlds. Jaworsky has brought them together and created an original, powerful framework. This book will benefit anyone who wants to understand how symbolic boundaries are created, solicited, shifted, and contested.” (Giuseppe Sciortino, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Italy)