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January 5, 1947|
The Hague, Netherlands
|Residence||New York City|
|Alma mater||University of Notre Dame|
|Known for||Studies of globalization, world cities, and international migration|
|Institutions||Columbia University; London School of Economics|
|Thesis||Non-dominant ethnic populations as a possible component of the U.S. political economy: the case of Blacks and Chicanos (1974)|
Saskia Sassen (born January 5, 1947) is a Dutch-American sociologist noted for her analyses of globalization and international human migration. She is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. Sassen coined the term global city.
Sassen was born in The Hague, Netherlands in 1947. In 1948 Sassen's parents, Willem Sassen and Miep van der Voort, moved to Argentina and the family lived in Buenos Aires. Her father was a Dutch collaborator with the Nazis, a Nazi journalist and a member of the Waffen-SS. In the 1950s Willem Sassen was close to Adolf Eichmann when both were living in Argentina and she recalls him visiting her childhood home. Saskia Sassen also spent part of her youth in Italy and says she was "brought up in five languages."
From 1966, Sassen spent a year each at the Université de Poitiers, France, the Università degli Studi di Roma, and the University of Buenos Aires, for studies in philosophy and political science. From 1969, Sassen studied sociology and economics at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where she obtained a M.A. in 1971 and a Ph.D. degree in 1974. She also received a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Poitiers in 1974.
After being a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, Sassen held various academic positions in and outside the USA, such as the Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. She is currently Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Sassen emerged as a prolific author in urban sociology. She studied the impacts of globalisation such as economic restructuring, and how the movements of labour and capital influence urban life. She also studied the influence of communication technology on governance. Sassen observed how nation states begin to lose power to control these developments, and she studied increasing general transnationalism, including transnational human migration. She identified and described the phenomenon of the global city. Her 1991 book bearing this title made her a widely quoted author on globalisation. An updated edition of her book was published in 2001. In the early 2000s, Sassen focused on immigration and globalization, with her "denationalization" and "transnationalism" projects (see Bibliography and External Links, below). Her books have been translated into 21 languages.
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