Rebecca Karam

Rebecca  Karam
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD City University of New York, 2020



Rebecca Karam (PhD CUNY Graduate Center) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. Her research is situated at the intersection of race and ethnicity, the sociology of religion, and immigration to the United States.


Dr. Karam's recent research has focused on the conscious attempt by second-generation Muslim parents to foster a distinctly Muslim and American identity among their third-generation children. Her study revealed the parenting decisions of upper-middle class, second-generation Muslim Americans, showing how their children are prepared for adult life as fully incorporated members of the American mainstream and as devoted members of an often misunderstood religious minority.

Her future research will focus on the racialization of Muslim Americans. What we know is that in contemporary America, Islam is often treated as a racial group rather than a religious minority. We also know that Muslims are the nation’s most ethnically and racially diverse faith group. This leads to two important questions: first, what are the implications for this diverse group when they are treated so monolithically by outsiders? Second, how do Muslim Americans of various ethnic and racial backgrounds differently experience this racialization? A cross-race comparison of these groups will reveal how discrimination and racial bias may differentially impact community members.


Karam, Rebecca A. Forthcoming. “Soccer Moms and Social Justice: Concerted Cultivation among Affluent Arab Muslim American Families.” in Arab Detroit 2020: Rights, Respect, Responsibility, edited by A. Shryock, S. Howell, and Y. Hanoosh. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

 Karam, Rebecca A. 2020. “Becoming American by Becoming Muslim: Strategic Assimilation among Second-Generation Muslim American Parents.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 43(2):390–409.***

 Karam, Rebecca A. 2017. “Rust Belt Revitalization, Immigration, and Islam: Toward a Better Understanding of Mosques in Declining Urban Neighborhoods.” City & Community 16(3):257–62.

 ***Winner of the 2019 Eastern Sociological Society’s Candace Rogers Award for Outstanding Student Paper