Section on Latino/a Sociology

Section Officers

Chair: Ed A. Munoz, University of Utah


Dr. Ed A. Muñoz is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Sociology at the University of Utah where he is also the Director of the Ethnic Studies Program. In general, his research expertise deals with the Latin@ experience in the  Midwestern and Inter-Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. With regards to his criminal justice research agenda, he examines how racialization processes impact criminal justice outcomes for minority populations.  Most recently, he is involved in a project investigating Latin@ attitudes and perceptions of proposed immigration reforms. A longer term project is a socio-historical analysis on the construction of Latinidad in Wyoming dating from the 16th century and into the 21st century.


Chair-Elect: Zulema Valdez, University of California Merced

Dr. Zulema Valdez is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Merced. Her research and teaching interests include racial and ethnic relations, intersectionality, Latino/a sociology and economic sociology. Her research examines how social group formations (based on race, class, gender, nativity and the like) affect the social and economic life chances of American workers and entrepreneurs. She has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Her work has been published in social science journals including The Sociological Quarterly, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Social Science Quarterly, and is featured in several edited volumes. She is the author of the book, The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class and Gender Shape American Enterprise (Stanford University Press, 2011). She is currently working on a second book project that examines the household economy of mixed status Mexican-origin families from an intersectional perspective. 


Past Chair: Silvia Domínguez, Northeastern University

Dr. Silvia Domínguez, PhD, MSW, specializes in the welfare of women, children and minority populations in the United States and abroad, with additional emphasis on sexual and gender-based violence, race relations and immigration issues. She serves as an Associate Professor of Sociology and Human Services in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Northeastern University, where she is also a Faculty Fellow at the Urban Health Research Institute, the Women’s Studies Program, and the Brudnick Center for the Study of Conflict and Violence.  Among numerous research reports, articles and reviews, Dr. Domínguez is the author of Getting Ahead: Social Mobility, Public Housing and Immigrant Networks (New York University Press, 2011), an examination of the lives of Latina immigrants in greater Boston. She also co-edited a book with Bettina Holstein, Mixed Methods with Social Networks (Cambridge University Press, 2013). She has also published several articles in peer-reviewed journals on immigration, social networks and mental health, in addition to essays in edited volumes.


Secretary-Treasurer: David G. Embrick, Loyola University-Chicago 

Dr. David G. Embrick is an Associate professor in the Sociology Department at Loyola University-Chicago and a current Visiting Associate Professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 2006. He is a former American Sociological Association Minority Fellow and the past-chair of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Race and Ethnic Minorities.  Currently, he is the secretary/treasurer of the American Sociological Association’s Sociology of Latino/as Section, Chair of the Society for the Study of Social Problem’s Racial/Ethnic Minorities Division, and the President-Elect of the Southwestern Sociological Association.  In addition, Dr. Embrick serves as the current Editor-in-Chief for Humanity & Society (the official journal of the Association for Humanist Society) and Founding Co-Editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, the newest ASA sponsored journal of the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Dr. Embrick’s publication has centered largely on the issue of the impact of contemporary forms of racism on people of color.  While most of his research is specific to inequalities in the business world, he has published on race and education, the impact of schools-welfare-and prisons on people of color, and issues of sex discrimination.



Cynthia Feliciano, University of California Irvine (2014)

Dr. Cynthia Feliciano is Associate Professor of Sociology and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research investigates the development and consequences of group boundaries and inequalities based on race, ethnicity, class, and gender. This work primarily, but not exclusively, focuses on how descendants of Latin American and Asian immigrants are incorporated in the United States, a question at the center of prominent theoretical debates, and of great practical importance given current demographic trends. She pursues these issues through two main strands of research: 1) determinants of educational inequality and 2) ethnic and racial boundary-making and relations. Professor Feliciano is the author of Unequal Origins: Immigrant Selection and the Education of the Second Generation (LFB Scholarly 2006), and numerous articles in journals including Social Problems, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Demography, and Social Science Quarterly. She received her B.A. from Boston University and her Ph.D. from UCLA, and has been a fellow of the Ford Foundation, the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Program and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.


Chalane E. Lechuga, Metropolitan State University Denver, Colorado (2014)

Dr. Chalane Lechuga is an Assistant Professor in Chicana/o Studies at Metropolitan State University Denver, Colorado. Her dissertation is titled “They’ll Expect More Bad Things from Us: Latino/a Youth Constructing Identities in a Racialized High school in New Mexico.” Lechuga’s expertise is in the areas of race, ethnicity and public education, with an emphasis on Latina/o students. Her dissertation documented how high school students experience race and gender in the classroom, at school, in their neighborhood, and in their daily lives. She conducted field research at an urban, public high school in New Mexico for this project. Lechuga describes how Latino/a students construct their racial and ethnic identities and their attitudes toward school, as a way to interrogate the educational inequity Latino/as often experience. Lechuga received her PhD in Sociology from the University of New Mexico, an MS in Sociology from the University of Denver and a BA in English and Ethnic Studies (Chicana/o Studies and Black Studies) from the University of Colorado, Boulder. 


Leisy Janet Abrego, University of California Los Angeles (2015)

Dr. Leisy Abrego is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA. Her work explores the lived experiences of U.S. immigration policies. Her first book, Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders (Stanford 2014) is about Salvadoran transnational families' economic and emotional well-being.


Roberto G. Gonzales, Harvard University (2015)

Dr. Roberto Gonzales is a qualitative sociologist whose research focuses on the ways in which legal and educational institutions shape the everyday experiences of poor, minority, and immigrant youth along the life course. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on undocumented immigrant youth and young adults. Over the last decade he has been engaged in critical inquiry regarding what happens to undocumented immigrant children as they make transitions to adolescence and young adulthood. He is currently engaged in two projects aimed at better understanding the effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program: the National UnDACAmented Research Project, a longitudinal study to assess the effects of widened access among undocumented immigrant young adults; and a companion study to assess DACA implementation in schools and community based organizations. He is also carrying out a comparative study of immigrant youth in the U.S. and the UK. His work is being supported by MacArthur, Irvine, and Heising-Simons Foundations. Gonzales serves on the editorial board of Social Problems and the City of Chicago Office of New Americans Advisory Board. He is currently completing a book manuscript based on his 10 year study of undocumented young adults in Los Angeles. Prior to his faculty position at the Harvard, Gonzales was on faculty at the University of Chicago and the University of Washington. He received a B.A. from Colorado College, an M.A. at the University of Chicago, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California - Irvine.


Glenda M. Flores, University of California Irvine (2016)

Dr. Glenda M. Flores is currently an Assistant Professor of Chicano/Latino Studies (w/courtesy Sociology) at the University of California Irvine. She received her PhD in Sociology and a certificate in Gender Studies from the University of Southern California. She specializes on Latina professionals, education, middle-class minorities and the workplace. In her work she explores the mobility patterns of the children of Latino immigrants and their workplace experiences in white-collar occupations. Dr. Flores’s ethnographic investigation of Latina professionals, in particular Latina teachers, has been published in Qualitative Sociology and Gender, Work and Organization. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the life trajectories and workplace experiences of Latina teachers who work in multiracial schools. She has received national recognition for her research and has been the recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Race, Gender, Class Section Award and the Latina/o Sociology Section’s Cristina Riegos Award. Her qualitative investigation of Latina professionals in multiracial schools has been supported by the Myra Sadker Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Academy of Education Spencer Foundation Fellowship Program, the National Science Foundation, and the UC/ACCORD organization.


Elizabeth Vaquera, University of South Florida  (2016)

Dr. Elizabeth Vaquera is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of South Florida (Tampa, USA). She joined USF in 2007 after completing her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include social and emotional well-being of vulnerable and diverse groups, especially children and immigrant and minority groups. Her work has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed journals including The Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, Child Development, Social Science and Medicine, Social Science Research, The Sociological Quarterly, and Social Science Quarterly, among others, and has received support from U.S. federal funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Her latest book, Education and Immigration (with G. Kao and K. Goyette) explores the educational outcomes of post-1965 immigrants and their children in the U.S. by focusing on the overlaps between immigrant status and race and ethnic background.


Student Representative: Joanna Perez, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (2014) 

Joanna Perez is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign whose work integrates immigration, illegality, activism, law, and intersectionality. Her dissertation, “UndocuActivism: The Social Movement of Undocumented Immigrant Young Adults,” specifically focuses on activism among undocumented immigrant young adults in the U.S.   Perez received her BA in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles with a double minor in Civic Engagement and Labor & Workplace Studies and her MA in Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.