Cecilia Menjivar

Cecilia Menjivar

Professor, Sociology and Dorothy L. Meier Social Equities Chair


Division of Social Sciences

Areas of Expertise:

Immigration/Immigrant Rights



Cecilia Menjivar specializes in immigration, gender, family dynamics, social networks, religious institutions, and broad conceptualizations of violence. She works in two main empirical areas: the impacts of the legal regime and laws on immigrants, and the effects of living in contexts of multisided violence on individuals, especially women. Her work on immigration concerns mainly on the United States, where she focuses on Central American immigrants, whereas her work on violence is centered on Latin America, mostly Central America. A thread that connects her areas of work is her interest is how state power manifests itself, through legal regimes and formal institutions and bureaucracies, in the microprocesses of everyday life. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems, International Migration Review, Ethnic & Racial Studies, among other journals. Her most recent publications include the edited volume, Constructing Immigrant Illegality: Critiques, Experiences, and Responses (Cambridge, 2014) and the book, Immigrant Families (Polity 2016). Areas: Immigration, Gender, Family, Violence, and Political Sociology

Her publications include, Fragmented Ties: Salvadoran Immigrant Networks in America (California, 2000) (winner of the William J. Goode Outstanding book award from the Family Section of the American Sociological Association, Honorable Mention from the International Migration Section, a Choice Outstanding Title, and among the 12 most influential books on the family since 2000, Contemporary Sociology), Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala (California, 2011) (winner of the Mirra Komarovsky Book Award, the Hubert Herring Best Book Award, Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies, and the Distinguished Scholarship Award, Pacific Sociological Association), and Immigrant Families (Polity, 2016). She is co-editor of Constructing Immigrant “Illegality”: Critiques, Experiences, and Responses (Cambridge, 2014), Latinos/as in the United States: Changing the Face of América (Springer 2008), and When States Kill: Latin America, the US, and Technologies of Terror (Texas, 2005). She is the recipient of a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship to write a book based on longitudinal fieldwork she undertook on immigration and legality in Arizona.

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Selected Books and Publications

Research Interests


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