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.

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Monographs, Edited Volumes & Special Issues

Changes in Care bookcover

Cati Coe. 2021. Changes in Care: Aging, Migration, and Social Class in West Africa. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

africa today journal vol 66 3-4
Julia Pauli and Cati Coe, eds. 2020. Special Issue on “Migration and Social Class in Africa.” Africa Today 66 (3-4).


Sarada Balagopalan,Cati Coe, and Keith Green, eds. 2019. Diverse Unfreedoms: The Afterlives and Transformations of Post-Transaltantic Slavery. Routledge.

Cati Coe. 2019. The New American Servitude: Political Belonging among African Immigrant Home Care Workers. New York: New York University Press.

Erdmute Alber and Cati Coe, eds. 2018. Special issue on “Age-Inscriptions and Social Change.” Anthropology & Aging Quarterly 39(1).

Parin Dossa and Cati Coe, eds. 2017. Transnational Aging and Reconfigurations of Kin Work. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Forthcoming, March.

Parin Dossa and Cati Coe, eds. 2017. Transnational Aging and Reconfigurations of Kin Work. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.


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

Rachel R. Reynolds, Cati Coe, Debbie Boehm, Joanna Dreby, Heather Rae Espinoza, Julia Meredith Hess, eds. 2013. Emerging Perspectives on Children in Migratory Circumstances: Selected Proceedings of the Working Group on Childhood and Migration June 2008 Conference. Philadelphia, PA: Drexel University iDea Repository and the College of Arts and Sciences.


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.


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