Dr. Abdi Kusow


Dept:Sociology And Criminal Justice
Office:220 East Hall
510 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA

Topics of interest: globalization, social transformation and social change, transnational migration


Dr. Abdi M. Kusow is Professor of Sociology at Iowa State University. He is an internationally recognized sociologist with extensive scholarship in international migration, social inequality, symbolic interaction, and the geopolitics of the Horn of Africa region. He is the first scholar that layed the foundation for what is know a well established Somali diaspora scholarship. Professor Kusow is also one of the most recognized scholars on the social and geopolitical dynamics of the Horn of Africa region.  His research appeared in top ranked sociology and international migration journals, and serves as editorial board member on leading sociology journals. One of his articles, “Contesting Stigma: On Goffman’s Assumptions of Normative Order,” Symbolic Interaction, 2004 appeared in the top 20 most read articles in Symbolic Interaction from 2005 to 2009, and remains one of the most important theoretical advancements on Goffman’s Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identities. His article, “Formula Narratives and the Making of Social Stratification and Inequality” won the 2015 David Maines Narrative Research Award. Professor Kusow has given invited keynote speeches at many national and international universities, including Ohio State University, Aalborg University, Denmark, York University, Canada, and Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China. He was invited speaker at the 2017 Doha Forum. Professor Kusow is Co-editor of the Journal of Somali Studies, https://journals.co.za/content/journal/aa_joss), and served as the Vice chair of the Somali Studies International Congress, 2007-2017. He is Appointed Member, International Scientific Committee of the Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, and Heritage, appointed by the Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO 2017-2021.


Invited National/International Keynote Addresses/Presentations


Kusow, Abdi M. (2017). Participant, Statutory Meeting of the International Scientific Committee of the Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, and Heritage, Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius, November 27-30.   https://en.unesco.org/events/statutory-meeting-international-scientific-committee-slave-route-project


Kusow, Abdi M. (2017). “President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order: Toward a Sociology of Global Populism and Implications for Immigration,” The 17th Doha Forum: Development, Stability and the Refugee Crisis, Doha, Qatar, May 14-15, http://qatarconferences.org/dohaforum2017/


Kusow, Abdi M. (2016).  “Emigration on the Go: Towards a Theory of Transnational Spontaneity in a Turbulent

Stateless Context.” Presented at the International Conference, Migration in a Turbulent World, Doha Institute For

Graduate Studies, Doha, Qatar, November 26-28.



Kusow, Abdi M. (2015).  “Conceptualizing Transnational Spontaneity: Displacement and Diaspora in a Stateless

Global Context.” Presentation at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association, Prague,

Czech Republic, August 25-28.


Kusow, Abdi M. (2014).  Keynote Address, “Towards a Sociological Understanding of Contemporary Ransoming of Commercial Vessels along the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean,” York University, Toronto, Canada, April 24-26. http://yfile.news.yorku.ca/2014/04/22/conference-looks-at-age-old-problem-of-piracy-kidnapping-and-ransom/


Selected Publications

Ann M. Oberhauser, Daniel Krier & Abdi M. Kusow (2019) Political Moderation and Polarization in the Heartland: Economics, Rurality, and Social Identity in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, The Sociological Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/00380253.2019.1580543


Oberhauser, Ann, Daniel Krier, and Abdi M. Kusow (2019, In Press). Political Moderation and Polarization in        

the Heartland Economics, Rurality, and Social Identity in the 2016 U. S. Presidential Election. The Sociological Quarterly.


Kusow, Abdi M. (2019, Forthcoming). “Slavery and the Slave Trade within and across the Red Sea Region: A

Preliminary Conceptual Framework” in Slavery, Resistance and Abolitions: Plural Perspectives, edited by Ali

Moussa Eye, Paul Lovejoy, and Nelley Schmidt, United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, Geneva,



Kusow, Abdi M., Kristine J. Ajrouch, and Mamadi Corra (2018). “Socioeconomic Achievement among Arab

Immigrants in the United States: The Influence of Region of Origin and Gender.” Journal of International Migration and

Integration, 1-17.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12134-017-0524-2


Kimani, Faith, W., Samuel M. Mwangi, Benjamin J. Kwasa; Abdi M. Kusow, Benjamin K. Ngugi, Jiahoa Chen,

Xinyu Liu, Rebecca Cademartiri, Martin M. “Thuo. (2017).  “Rethinking the Design of Low-Cost Point-of-Care

Diagnostic Devices.” Micromachines, 8, 317. http://www.mdpi.com/2072-666X/8/11/317


Kusow, Abdi M.; and Matt Delisi (2016). Conceputalizing American Attitudes toward Immigrants’ Dual Loyalty.

Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World 1: 1-12.



Kusow, Abdi M., Sitawa R. Kimuna, and Mamadi Corra (2016).”Socioeconomic Diversity among African

Immigrants in the United States: An Intra African Immigrant Comparison.”Journal of International Migration and

Integration 17:115-130. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12134-014-0377-x


Kusow, Abdi M. (2016) Contemporart Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Pp. 220-230 in Ransoming, Captivity and Piracy

in Africa and the Mediteraean, edited by Jennifer Lofkrantz, and Olatunji Ojo, Africa World Press, Trenton, NJ.


Kusow, Abdi M., and Mohamed Eno (2015). “Formula Narratives and the Making of Social Stratification and Inequality.”Sociology of Race and Ethncity 1 (3): 409-423. (Winner of the 2015 David R. Maines Narrtive Research Award, Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research, Univesrity of Northern Iowa).     



Vaughn, Michael G, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Brandy R. Maynard, Zhengmin Qian, Lauren Terzis, Abdi M.

Kusow, and Matt Delisi (2014). ”Criminal Epidemiology and the Immigrant Praddox Intergenrational Discontnuity

in Violence Behavior Among Immigrants. Journal of Criminal Justice 42 (6): 483-490.



Ajrouch, Kristine, and Abdi M. Kusow (2007). “Racial and Religious Contexts: Situational Identities among

Lebanese and Somali Muslim Immigrants in North America.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 30:72-94.



Kusow, Abdi M. (2006). “Migration and Racial Formations among Somali Immigrants in North America.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32: 533-551.    



Kusow, Abdi M. (2004) “Contesting Stigma: On Goffman’s Assumptions of Normative Order,” Symbolic Interaction

27:179-197. Top 20 Most Read Articles in Symbolic Interaction, 2005-2009, # 25 all-time most cited among articles published in

Symbolic Interaction. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1525/si.2004.27.2.179


Kusow, Abdi M. (2003).  “Outsider Debate in Immigration Research,” Symbolic Interaction 26: 591-599. # 14 all-time

most cited among articles published in Symbolic Interaction.