Picture of Kara Somerville

Kara Somerville B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Professor, Tenured

Faculty Member in Sociology

Arts 1103

Research Area(s)

  • International Migration
  • Transnationalism
  • Immigrant Families in Canada
  • Second Generation Canadians
  • Indo-Canadians

About me

Kara Somerville is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and an Associate Member in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.  Dr. Somerville researches in the areas of migration, transnationalism, immigrant families in Canada, and the new second generation. Dr. Somerville’s ongoing research projects keep her involved in international research, specifically in South Asia, which complement the Department of Sociology’s initiatives to foster global relationships.


Immigrant Families Indo-Canadians International Migration Second-Generation Transnationalism

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Robinson, Oral, Kara Somerville and Scott Walsworth. 2023 “Building, Negotiating and Sustaining Transnational Social Networks: Narratives of International Students' Migration Decisions in Canada” Global Networks. https://doi.org/10.1111/glob.12408

Scott Walsworth, Kara Somerville and Oral Robinson. 2021 “The Importance of Weak Friendships for International Student Satisfaction: Empirical Evidence from Canada” International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 80, January 2021, Pages 134-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2020.11.004

Robinson, Oral, Kara Somerville and Scott Walsworth. 2020. “Understanding friendship formation between international and host-national students in a Canadian university” Journal of International & Intercultural Communication. 13(1): 49-70. https://doi.org/10.1080/17513057.2019.1609067

Somerville, Kara, 2019, “Intergenerational Relations and Gendered Social Surveillance of Second-Generation South Asians” Canadian Ethnic Studies. 51(3): 95-115. Special Edition, edited by Evie Tastsoglou. https://doi.org/10.1353/ces.2019.0022

Somerville, Kara and Oral Robinson. 2016. “Keeping Up Appearances within the Ethnic Community: A Disconnect between First and Second Generation South Asian Canadians” Canadian Ethnic Studies. Vol. 48(1): 99-117. https://doi.org/10.1353/ces.2016.0015

Somerville, Kara and Scott Walsworth. 2015 "Information Sources and Knowledge Transfer to Future Migrants: A study of university students in India" Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 24(1): 28-50. https://doi.org/10.1177/0117196814565184

Somerville, Kara. 2013 “Transnational Care-giving Practices among Indo-Canadian Women Migrants: Creating and Maintaining Families through Cooking and Healthcare” Transnational Social Policy: A Social Work Journal, special edition on “Transnational Social Policy: Families and Care”. Luann Good Gingrich and Stefan Kőngeter (eds.). 3(2/13): 211-227. https://doi.org/10.1080/21931674.2013.10820765

Somerville, Kara. 2011. “Strategic Migrant Network Building and Information Sharing: Understanding ‘migrant pioneers’ in Canada,” International Migration. Vol. 53(4): 135-154 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00671.x

Somerville, Kara and Scott Walsworth. 2010. “Admission and Employment Criteria Discrepancies: Experiences of Skilled Immigrants in Toronto,” Journal of International Migration and Integration. 11(3): 341-352. August. Abstract available at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12134-010-0138-4

Somerville, Kara and Scott Walsworth. 2009. "Vulnerabilities of Highly-Skilled Immigrants in Canada and the United States", American Review of Canadian Studies, 39(2): 147-161. Abstract available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/02722010902848169

Somerville, Kara. 2009. “Marriage and Childbirth as Transnational Triggers: Homeland Attachments of Second-Generation Indo-Canadians,” The Anthropologist: International Journal of Contemporary Studies, Special Issue on Indian Diaspora: Challenges in the 21st Century, 4: 43-53. Anand Singh (ed.).

Somerville, Kara. 2008. “Transnational Belonging among Second Generation Youth: Identity in a Globalized World,” Journal of Social Sciences, Special Issue on Youth and Migration, 10: 23-33. Anand Singh (ed.). http://www.krepublishers.com/06-Special%20Volume-Journal/JSS-00-Special%20Volumes/JSS-SV-10-Youth-Migration-Web/JSS-SV-10-03-023-08-Somerville-K/JSS-SV-10-03-023-08-Somerville-K-Tt.pdf?origin=publication_detail

Reitz, Jeffrey G. and Kara Somerville. 2004. “Institutional Change and Emerging Cohorts of the ‘New’ Immigrant Second Generation: Implications for the Integration of Racial Minorities in Canada,” Journal of International Migration and Integration, 5(4): 385-415. Abstract available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12134-004-1021-y

Refereed Book Chapters

Somerville, Kara. 2019. "Revealing the Messiness of Transnational Identities: Second Generation South Asians in Canada" pp. 104-118 in Routledge Handbook of Indian Transnationalism. Ajaya Sahoo and Bandana Purkayastha (eds.) Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group. London. https://www.crcpress.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Indian-Transnationalism/Sahoo-Purkayastha/p/book/9781138089143

Somerville, Kara. 2014. “Making and Sustaining Transnational Families” Chapter 21 in Family Patterns, Gender Relations, Bonnie Fox (ed.). Oxford University Press. Pp. 399-411. http://www.oupcanada.com/catalog/9780195447477.html

Somerville, Kara. 2009 “Facilitated Transnational Marriages among Indo-Canadian Youth: the role of social networks in mate selection” (pp. 118-138) in Growing up in a Globalized World: An International Reader. Vinod Chandra (ed.). MacMillan Publishers India Ltd., New Delhi. ISBN: 9780230639782. https://www.amazon.ca/Growing-Up-Globalized-World-International/dp/023063978X

Somerville, Kara. 2007. “Life Cycle Events and the Creation of Transnational Ties among Second Generation South Indians,” chapter 20 in Sociology in Canada: A Canadian Sociological Association Reader. Tepperman, Lorne and Harley Dickinson (eds.) Oxford University Press Canada.

Teaching & Supervision

International Migration Introduction to Sociology Race/Ethnicity

SOC 112 - Foundations in Sociology: Social Construction of Everyday Life

SOC 203 - Race and Ethnic Relations in Canada

SOC 221 - Sociology of Migration

SOC 233 - Introduction to Sociological Theory

SOC 412/812 -  Advanced Seminar in Ethnic Relations


Immigrant Families Indo-Canadians International Migration Second Generation Transnationalism

Education & Training

PhD, University of Toronto

MA, McMaster University

BA, McMaster University