Grad Students

Ariana J. Valle

Contact Information

Office  Not Available

My dissertation, “I Am Not Your Immigrant: Puerto Ricans, Liminal Citizenship, and Politics in Florida,” draws on 112 in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations to study Puerto Rican migration to Orlando, Florida. I use migration and citizenship frameworks to analyze the arrival, settlement, and incorporation (labor market, social, and political) of island- and mainland-born Puerto Ricans in the region. I leverage Puerto Ricans' status as citizens to examine the meanings of U.S. citizenship, how this status is experienced in the everyday, and how conceptions of citizenship change over time and in relation to other groups. I am also interested in relations between Puerto Ricans and other Latino groups, particularly, how differences in legal status affect panethnic relations and the construction of panethnic projects in Orlando.   

Fields of Study

Race and Ethnicity, (Im)migration, Latina/o Sociology, Political Sociology, Qualitative Methodology, Caribbean and Central American communities in the U.S.


Peer-Reviewed Articles 

Valle, Ariana, J. 2019. “Race and the Empire-state: Puerto Ricans’ Unequal U.S. Citizenship.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 5(1):26-40. 

*2019 Cristina Maria Riegos Distinguished Student Paper Award, ASA Section on Latina/o Sociology

*2019 Aristide Zolberg Distinguished Student Scholar Award, ASA Section on International Migration

Valle, Ariana, J. 2019.  “Second-Generation Central Americans and the Formation of an Ethnoracial Identity in Los Angeles." Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.

Abrego, Leisy, and Ariana J. Valle. 2015. “Salvadoran-Americans.” Oxford Bibliographies: Latino Studies. Ed. Ilan Stavans. New York: Oxford University Press.


Valle, Ariana J. 2018. "¡Puerto Rico Se Levanta!: Hurricane María and Narratives of Struggle, Resilience, and Migration." QR 279. Quick Resonse Reports, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Book Chapters

Valle, Ariana J. 2010. “The Vitality of Spanish in Barrio Logan, San Diego,” In Multilingual San Diego: Portraits of Language Loss and Revitalization, pp. 37-53. Ed. Ana Celia Zentella. San Diego: University Readers Publication.

Manuscripts in Preparation

Valle, Ariana, J. “Straddling Insider/Outsider Statuses: Florida Puerto Ricans' Attitudes Toward Undocumented Immigration.”

Valle, Ariana J. "Theorizing the Puerto Rican Swing Voter: Deconstructing Puerto Rican Political Schemas in Florida." 

Valle, Ariana, J. “Magic Kingdom Dreams, Florida Realities: Puerto Rican Migration and Settlement in Orlando, Florida.”

Grants and Awards

2019   Cristina Maria Riegos Distinguished Student Paper Award, ASA Section on Latina/o Sociology

2019   Aristide Zolberg Distinguished Student Scholar Award, ASA Section on International Migration

2018-2019   UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship 

2017   Quick Response Research Grant, Natural Hazards Center

2017-2018  Dorothy L. Meier Dissertation Fellowship

2016  UCLA Center for Mexican Studies, Juntos Podemos/Together We Can Scholarship

2016   UCLA Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society

2015   UCLA Institute for American Cultures: Chicano Studies Research Center, Research Grant

2014   UCLA Department of Sociology Summer Research Award 

2013-2014   UCLA, Center for American Politics and Public Policy, Marvin Hoffenberg Research Fellow

2013-2014   UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship Award

2012-2013   UCLA Department of Sociology Excellence in Teaching Award 

2013   UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Award

2012   UCLA Chancellor’s Prize Summer Mentorship Award 

2012   Ford Foundation, Honorable Mention, Predoctoral Fellowship Program

2011   UCLA Chancellor’s Prize Summer Mentorship Award 

2011   National Science Foundation, Honorable Mention, Graduate Reasearch Fellowship Program  

2010-2015   UCLA Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship

Conference Presentations

“Race and the Empire-State: Puerto Ricans’ (Un)Equal US Citizenship,” American Sociological Association, Annual Meeting, August 12-15, 2017. Montréal, Canada. Roundtable Presentation.

“‘Florida! Florida! Florida!’: Puerto Ricans’ Political Attitudes during the 2016 Presidential Elections,” Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Consortium (PRIEC), UC Irvine Conference, March 24, 2017. University of California Irvine, Irvine, California.

"'Magic Kingdom Dreams, Florida Realities': Puerto Rican Migration and Settlement in Orlando, Florida," Puerto Rican Studies Association, Biennial Conference, October 27-29, 2016. University of Maryland, Hyattsvilee, Maryland.

“'We’re the Same on Paper but We’re not Accepted as Equals': Negotiating Legal and Social Understandings of U.S. Citizenship among Puerto Ricans in Florida," Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education, April 1-2, 2016. New Haven, Connecticut.

"'I’m Not Mexican!:' Second-Generation Central Americans and the Formation of an Ethnoracial Identity in Los Angeles," Latina/o Studies Association Conference, July 17-19, 2014. Chicago, Illinois. 

“From Boomtown to Bust Town: The Impact of the U.S. Economic Crisis On Guanajuatense and Mexican Migration to Dalton, Georgia,” American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting 2012, November 17, 2012. San Francisco, California. (Co-presentation with Dr. Rubén Hernández-León and Dr. Victor Zuñiga)

“Central American 2nd Generation: Identity Formation in Los Angeles,” American Sociological Association, Annual Meeting 2012, August 18, 2012. Denver, Colorado. Roundtable Presentation

Campus Talks

“‘Brincamos el charco’: Migrations from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.” Histories and Cultures of the Caribbean, LAUSD K-12 Educator Workshop, June 19-23, 2017. UCLA Latin American Institute. Los Angeles, California.

“The Vitality of Spanish in Barrio Logan, San Diego,” Luso-Hispanic Immigration in the US: Linguistic, Literary, and Cultural Perspectives, April 22, 2011, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.


Vilma Ortiz (Chair), Rubén Hernández-León, César Ayala, Chris Zepeda-Millán (UCLA Public Policy and Chicana/o Studies)


Ph.D., Sociology, UCLA, 2019

M.A., Sociology, UCLA, 2012

B.A., Economics, UCSD, 2006