The global population of refugees and other international migrants in need of protection (MNP) has more than doubled in the last decade. Nevertheless, longitudinal and representative data among MNP remain rare, especially in the global South. In this talk, I describe new efforts to collect qualitative and quantitative data among a diverse sample of Latin American MNP in Costa Rica, including focus groups, in-depth interviews, a weekly panel survey, and respondent driven sampling. Drawing on four-years of fieldwork, I highlight the insights, feasibility, and challenges of understanding dynamic individual- and population-level changes in the push factors and social, economic, legal, and health circumstances of MNP originating from a multitude of countries.
Dr. Weitzman's research explores interconnections between demographic and social psychological processes. In particular, she asks how expectations, desires, and uncertainty influence the nature of important events in people’s lives, cumulatively shaping demographic patterns in the aggregate; and, reciprocally, how shifting demographic circumstances influence desires, expectations, and behaviors in ways that determine individuals' social and health trajectories. She holds a PhD in Sociology from New York University and completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. Prior to becoming an academic, she served in the Peace Corps twice and interned at the United Nations.