Cecilia Menjívar

Cecilia Menjívar

Professor and Dorothy L. Meier Social Equities Chair

Office: 218 Haines Hall

Email: menjivar@soc.ucla.edu

Phone: 310-267-4928

Curriculum Vitae

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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



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 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.

Edited Books (past two years):

Cecilia Menjívar and Krista Perreira. (Eds.) 2022. Undocumented and Unaccompanied: Children of Migration in the European Union and the United States. London: Routledge (based on the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies special issue)

2019    Cecilia Menjívar, Marie Ruiz and Immanuel Ness. (Eds.) 2019. The Oxford Handbook of Migration Crises. Oxford University Press. (Listed in “Election 2020 Resources from Oxford University Press.)


Cecilia Menjívar and Leydy Diossa-Jiménez. Forthcoming. “Blocking the Law from Within: Familyism Ideologies as Obstacles in VAW Laws in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.” Latin American Research Review

Eugenio Sosa, Cecilia Menjívar, and Paul Almeida. 2022. “Elections and Social Movements in Honduras in the Central American Context.” Revista Mexicana de Política Exterior, 122 (enero-abril): 43-61

Cecilia Menjívar, Victor Agadjanian, and Byeongdon Oh. 2022.  “The Contradictions of Liminal Legality: Economic Attainment and Civic Engagement of Central American Immigrants on Temporary Protected Status.” Social Problems, 69 (3): 678-698

Cecilia Menjívar. 2022. “Possibilities for Sociological Research to Reduce Inequalities: Observations from the Immigration Scholarship.” (Editors reviewed) Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, 8: 1-6

Irene Bloemraad and Cecilia Menjívar. 2022. “Precarious Times, Professional Tensions: The Ethics of Migration Research and the Drive for Scientific Accountability.” International Migration Review, 56 (1): 4-32 (lead article)

Victor Agadjanian, Byeongdon Oh, and Cecilia Menjívar. 2022. “(Il)legality and Subjective Well-Being: Central Asian Migrant Women in Russia.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 48 (1): 53-73

Adrian Bacong and Cecilia Menjívar. 2021. “Recasting the Immigrant Health Paradox through Intersections of Legal Status and Race.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 23: 1092-1104

Cecilia Menjívar. “The Racialization of Illegality.” 2021.  Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, 150 (2): 91-105

Cecilia Menjívar. “Policing and Violence: 2021.  The Less Visible Harms of Policing Practices.” The Brown Journal of World Affairs, 27 (2): 49-60

William P. Simmons, Cecilia Menjívar, and Elizabeth Salerno Valdez. 2021. “The Gendered Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement: Latinas’ Social Isolation in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.” International Migration Review, 55 (1): 108-134

Walter J. Nicholls, Cecilia Menjívar, and Daniel Alvord. 2021. “No Tyson in Tongie!”: The Battle to Protect a Rural Way of Life in Kansas.” Sociological Forum, 36 (1): 29-50

Awards & Grants


2020    Distinguished Career Award, International Migration Section, American Sociological Association

2021    Social Justice Hero honoree, Museum of Social Justice, Los Angeles, CA (recognition for scholarship on and advocacy for Central American immigrants)

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

2017    Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

2017     Elected to Sociological Research Association

2017    Louis Wirth Best Article Award, Honorable Mention, ASA International Migration Section for “Transformative Effects of Immigration Law.”

2014     John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship

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

2015     Public Sociology Award, International Migration Section, ASA

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.