I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Urban Studies at the University of California-San Diego. My research focuses on gender, migration, state power, and grassroots agency. I am particularly interested in the struggles of marginalized groups in Mexico and the United States, including indigenous peasants, deportees, and undocumented immigrants. At UCSD, I also co-direct the Mexican Migration Field Research Program.
My book Undocumented Politics: Place, Gender, and the Pathways of Mexican Migrants was released with University of California Press in August 2018. A transnational ethnography of “everyday politics” in two Oaxacan migrant communities, the book illuminates how people who are formally voiceless can face state exclusion, upend patriarchy, and fight to belong.
I am currently conducting field research for a second book about the political impacts of forced displacement, with a focus on deportation. With help from several undergraduate and graduate students at UCSD, I explore how forced removals shape people’s citizenship, through fracturing families, enabling exploitation, and inhibiting advocacy.
I have also studied power dynamics within transnational social movements and the role of gender in global politics. I ask how states use ideas about gender to reinforce power inequalities and how grassroots groups transform gender relationships as they confront unfair conditions. I co-authored a textbook called The Social Life of Gender (Sage, 2018), which summarizes this approach.