Grad Students

Casandra D. Salgado

Contact Information

Office  Haines 109

New Mexico’s Hispanic population is often perceived as exceptional within the Mexican American experience due to their long-standing claim to Spanish, rather than, Mexican heritage, and significant levels of social mobility and political representation. The exceptionalism thesis often attributes these facts to New Mexico’s lower levels of Mexican immigration, and racial conflict between Hispanics and whites compared to California, Arizona and Texas. However, I argue that the exceptionalism thesis obscures the relationship between New Mexico’s colonial history, and the contemporary forms of inequality that Hispanics continue to experience. Using 120 interviews with 75 Hispanics and 45 whites in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I explore how race and class intersect to shape the experiences of Hispanics, and specify how their experiences of inequality differ from whites. My dissertation project offers critical insight into how the case of New Mexico Hispanics fits into the larger Mexican American experience, and how it informs competing perspectives on Mexican Americans’ position within the American racial hierarchy. 

Fields of Study

Racial Inequality, Comparative Race Studies, Latina/o Studies, Wealth


Salgado, Casandra D. 2015. "Racial Lessons: Parental Narratives and Secondary Schooling Experiences among Second- and Third-Generation Mexican Americans." Race and Social Problems 7(1): 60-72. doi: 0.1007/s12552-014-9136-z

*This article was chosen for inclusion in Race, Equity, and Education: Sixty Years from Brown (2016) edited by Pedro Noguera, Jill Pierce and Roey Ahram


Grants and Awards

2017 UCLA Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society

2017 UCLA Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship

2016 UCLA Department of Sociology Excellence in Teaching Award

2015 UCLA Department of Sociology Teaching Fellowship

2015 UCLA Chicana/o Studies Research Center, Dissertation Grant ($2,500)

2014 UCLA Chicana/o Studies Research Center, Dissertation Grant ($5,000)

2014 UCLA Department of Sociology Summer Award

2013 UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Award

2012 UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Award

2011 UCLA Department of Sociology Summer Award

2010 UCLA Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship 


Dr. Vilma Ortiz (Chair)

Dr. Rubén Hernández-León

Dr. Laura E. Gómez 

Dr. Phillip B. Gonzales (University of New Mexico)


2014, C. Phil Sociology, UCLA

2012, M.A. Sociology, UCLA

2009, B.A. Peace and Conflict Studies, UC Berkeley