Book Review of Migrant Crossings in American Journal of Sociology

My book Migrant Crossings Stanford University Press was reviewed by Elena Shih in American Journal of Sociology! Thoughtful criticism and engagement with my work. All points well taken. A highlight here:

“Human trafficking is a paradox ripe for social science inquiry. Advocates emphatically assert that it is one of the most ubiquitous policy concerns of the contemporary era, yet empirically, we are told the mechanisms that drive trafficking allow it to thrive invisibly, or “beneath the surface” (“The Campaign to Rescue and Restore Victims of Human Trafficking,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [2003]). Annie Isabel Fukushima’s Migrant Crossings tackles this paradox head-on, by uniquely centering the act of “witnessing.” Weaving in frameworks bridging media studies, transnational feminist theory, and ethnic studies, the work brings a broadly interdisciplinary and analytically contemplative inquiry into critical antitrafficking studies. Pairing creatively wide-ranging empirical data extending from first and secondary court data to films and various media, Fukushima creates a pastiche that offers viewers a sense of how antitrafficking has created victims and saviors along racist and imperialist logics…While numerous legal and migration scholars have offered insights into the ability of antitrafficking discourse to construct the bounds of criminality and innocence, Fukushima’s exemplary weaving illustrates these boundaries around the important axes of racialization, racism, militarization, and empire….”

American Journal of Sociology

Volume 127, Number 3November 2021


Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S. By Annie Isabel Fukushima. Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2019. Pp. viii+261. $90.00 (cloth); $28.00 (paper).

Article DOI

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