Carolina Valdivia (PhD, Harvard, 2020) will be a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at UCLA during the 2020-2021 academic year. In Fall of 2021, Carolina will join the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at UC Irvine as an Assistant Professor.
Carolina’s research interests include immigration, law and society, the sociology of education, race and ethnicity, youth and families, and social movements. Her work explores the ways through which various forms of legal and social exclusion impact the lives of immigrant youth and their families, including their educational trajectories, mental health, and political participation.
Her current research project explores the consequences of heightened immigration enforcement on undocumented immigrants and their families. Drawing from participant observation and in-depth interviews with 103 members of undocumented and mixed-status families in San Diego County (CA), Carolina examines how immigration enforcement practices affect important aspects of family life (e.g. roles, responsibilities, dynamics) and members’ participation in work, school, the household, and the broader community. Her work has been supported by several organizations, including the Ford Foundation, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD.
Since 2017, Carolina has also been co-directing the UndocuResearch project with Dr. Marisol Clark-Ibañez (Professor of Sociology). The project examines the experiences of immigrant high school students and the school personnel who work with them. The first and second stages of the project entailed in-depth interviews with high school students who are members of undocumented and mixed-status families (n = 40), as well as educators, counselors, and administrators (n= 43). The research team also conducted participant observation at eight different high schools in San Diego County. The project has been supported by the Sociological Initiatives Foundation, the Latino Center for Leadership Development, UndocuScholars at UCLA, Palomar College, the North County Higher Education Alliance, and the ACT.
Carolina is also the Founder of My Undocumented Life—a national online platform that provides up-to-date information, resources, and a sense of community to undocumented students, families, and allies, including educators, administrators, counselors, and organizers.
Contact Carolina at: valdiviaordorica AT g.harvard.edu