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Carl L. Bankston III (born August 8, 1952 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American sociologist and author. He is best known for his work on immigration to the United States, particularly on the adaptation of Vietnamese American immigrants, and for his work on ethnicity, social capital, sociology of religion and the sociology of education.
Bankston grew up in the New Orleans area. He earned a B.S. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas at the end of 1974 or the beginning of 1975 and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. He completed an M.A. in history at the University of California, Berkeley in 1980 or 1981.
He entered the Peace Corps in 1983 and went to Thailand, where he taught English. Immediately after returning from Thailand, in the Spring of 1985, he took a position as a supervisor of teachers at the Philippine refugee processing center on the Bataan Peninsula. There, he helped to prepare refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos for resettlement in the United States.
At the end of 1989, Bankston returned to Louisiana from the Philippines. For a few months, he taught Vietnamese American refugees in New Orleans. He began working on a Ph.D. in sociology at Louisiana State University in the Fall of 1990. He finished his degree in 1995 and became an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. In 1999, he became assistant professor of sociology at Tulane University. He became an associate professor at Tulane in 2002 and a full professor in 2003.
He has been active in a number of professional organizations, including the American Sociological Association, the Southern Sociological Society, and the Mid-South Sociological Association. He served as vice-president of the Mid-South Sociological Association in from 2003 to 2004. He was elected president of the Mid-South Sociological Association for the year 2007.
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