The thread that runs through my research projects concerns the way ideas and discourses gain currency in and become routinized by institutions—whether in school curricula, immigration laws, or new forms of elder care—and how people experience these institutionalized discourses and routines through their perspectives and bodily habits, which I term their repertoire.  This set of problems makes me focus on how change occurs in time, and all of my ethnographic work has a significant historical component, through archival work and oral history, an approach supported by my graduate training in folklore.  Secondly, these issues lead me to explore how some representations give legitimacy to some people and social arrangements as a way of understanding how social and political inequality is manifested in people’s everyday lives.


Cati Coe. 2013. The Scattered Family: Parenting, African Migrants, and Global Inequality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


Erdmute Alber, Cati Coe, and Tatjana Thelen, eds. 2013. The Anthropology of Sibling Relations: Shared Parentage, Experience, and Exchange.New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

everyday ruptures

Cati Coe, Rachel R. Reynolds, Deborah A. Boehm, Julia Meredith Hess, and Heather Rae-Espinoza, eds. 2011. Everyday Ruptures: Children, Youth, and Migration in Global Perspective. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. A product of the Working Group on Childhood and Migration.

dilemmas of culture

Cati Coe. 2005. Dilemmas of Culture in African Schools: Youth, Nationalism, and the Transformation of Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.