Ali R. Chaudhary, Ph.D. Rutgers University
Abstract: Existing research on the incorporation of immigrants generally celebrates immigrant organizations (IOs) as essential conduits for political mobilization, civic integration, and transnational engagement. Less attention, however, has been given to the external contexts or conditions that can constrain IOs. In this article, I introduce the concept of ascriptive organizational stigma (AOS) and examine how domestic and geopolitical contexts contribute to the stigmatization and constraining of Pakistani immigrant organizational capacities. Data come from 59 in-depth interviews conducted with leaders and members of Pakistani IOs in New York City and London. Findings suggest Pakistani IOs in both cities experienced AOS, and that external pressures to prioritize stigma management over core missions, impeded efforts to serve domestic and homeland constituents. Findings also indicate the stigmatization of ascriptive status markers can contribute to the conflation of immigrants’ group and organizational identities. This article contributes to existing scholarship by revealing how external contexts can lead to the constraining of immigrants’ domestic and homeland-oriented organizational capacities.