Cecilia Menjívar

Professor and Dorothy L. Meier Social Equities Chair


Contact Information

Email    Menjivar@soc.ucla.edu
Office  218 Haines Hall
Phone  310-267-4928

In general, I focus on the structural roots of inequalities and on how individuals’ social locations shape their responses to such conditions. The theoretical strand connecting my work centers on the state and its actions: how state power manifests--through legal regimes, bureaucracies, and formal institutions--in the microprocesses of everyday life in various contexts. This thread links my two empirical areas of work: contexts that immigrants (mostly Central Americans) encounter (mostly) in the United States and the judicial system failures that sustain gender-based violence in Central America.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Davis

M.A., Sociology, University of California, Davis

M.S., International Education, University of Southern California

B.A., Psychology and Sociology, University of Southern California


2018    2017 Feminist Criminology Best Article Award for ""Humane" Immigration Enforcement."

2017    Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

2017     Elected to Sociological Research Association

2014     John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship

2014     Best Article Award, Latino/a Section, ASA, for Legal Violence

2013     Fragmented Ties, listed as one of the 12 most influential books on the family since 2000 (Contemporary Sociology)

2013     Best Article Award, Latino/a Studies Section, Latin American Studies Association, for Legal Violence

2012     Distinguished Scholarship Award, Pacific Sociological Association, for Enduring Violence.

2012     Mirra Komarovsky Book Award, Eastern Sociological Society, for Enduring Violence.

2011    Hubert Herring Book Award, Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies, Enduring Violence.

2011     Outstanding Doctoral Mentor Award (Arizona State University, university-wide award)

2010     Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award, Latinos/as Section, ASA.

2007     Distinguished Contribution to Research Award, Latinos/as Section, ASA.

2002     Outstanding Mentor Award, Graduate Women’s Association, Arizona State University.

2002     Choice Outstanding Academic Titles in Social and Behavioral Sciences for Fragmented Ties.

2001    William J. Goode Outstanding Book Award, Section on the Family, ASA, Fragmented Ties 

2001    Honorable mention, Thomas and Znaniecki Book Award, International Migration Section, ASA, Fragmented Ties.

Selected Publications


2016     Cecilia Menjívar, Leisy Abrego and Leah Schmalzbauer. Immigrant Families. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

2014    Cecilia Menjívar. Eterna Violencia: Vidas de las mujeres ladinas en Guatemala. Guatemala: Ediciones del Pensativo & FLACSO-Guatemala. (Adapted, translated from Enduring Violence)

2011    Cecilia Menjívar. Enduring Violence: Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 

2000     Cecilia Menjívar. Fragmented Ties: Salvadoran Immigrant Networks in America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.


Forthcoming Cecilia Menjívar, William P. Simmons, *Daniel Alvord, and *Elizabeth Salerno Valdez. “Immigration Enforcement, the Racialization of Legal Status, and Perceptions of the Police: Latinos in Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix in Comparative Perspective.” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race

2018    Daniel Alvord, Cecilia Menjívar, and Andrea Gómez Cervantes. "The Legal Violence in the 2017 Executive Orders: The Expansion of Immigrant Criminalization in Kansas." Social  Currents https://doi-org.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/10.1177/2329496518762001

2018    *Gómez Cervantes, Andrea, *Daniel Alvord, and Cecilia Menjívar. “‘Bad Hombres:’ The Effects of Criminalizing Latino Immigrants through Law and Media in the Rural Midwest.” Migration Letters, 15 (2): 182-196

2017    Cecilia Menjívar, Juliana Morris, and Nestor Rodriguez. “The Ripple Effects of Deportations to Honduras.” Migration Studies, 6 (1): 120-139

2017    Cecilia Menjívar and Shannon Drysdale Walsh. “The Architecture of Feminicide: The State, Inequalities, and Everyday Gender Violence in Honduras.” Latin American Research Review, 52(2): 221-240

2017    Victor Agadjanian, Cecilia Menjívar, and *Natalia Zotova. “Legality, Racialization, and Immigrants’ Experiences of Ethnoracial Harassment in Russia.” Social Problems, 64 (4): 558-576

2016    Cecilia Menjívar and Sarah M. Lakhani. “Transformative Effects of Immigration Law: Migrants’ Personal and Social Metamorphoses through Regularization.” American Journal of Sociology, 121 (6): 1818-1855

2012    Cecilia Menjívar and *Leisy J. Abrego “Legal Violence: Immigration Law and the Lives of Central American Immigrants.” American Journal of Sociology, 117 (5): 1380-1421.

2011    Cecilia Menjívar. “The Power of the Law: Central Americans’ Legality and Everyday Life in Phoenix, Arizona.” Latino Studies, 9 (4): 377-395.

2008     Cecilia Menjívar. “Violence and Women’s Lives in Eastern Guatemala: A Conceptual Framework.” Latin American Research Review 43 (3): 109-136.

2007    Cecilia Menjívar and Victor Agadjanian. “Men’s Migration and Women’s Lives: Views from Rural Armenia and Guatemala.” Social Science Quarterly 88 (5): 1243-1262. 

2006    Cecilia Menjívar. “Liminal Legality: Salvadoran and Guatemalan Immigrants’ Lives in the United States.” American Journal of Sociology, 111 (4): 999-1037.