two women in disucssion

Current Faculty Research Projects

The Sociology of Education Research Lab

Operating in collaboration with the CCRE, this research lab provides opportunities for faculty and students in sociology and their colleagues to engage in research focused on the needs of the K-12 and higher ed communities. Faculty with particular interests in this area include: Dr. Audrey Beck, Dr. Charlene Holkenbrink-Monk, Rachael Horn-Langford, Dr. Jung Choi, and Dr. Norah Shultz.

There are opportunities for undergraduate students to have experience in this area through SOC 480 internship [when offered by Dr. Choi in the spring and Dr. Hollenbrink-Monk in the fall] and through individual arrangements.

Graduate students may choose to focus their thesis research or comprehensive exam in the area of education. Two recent examples are:

  • Daisy Gomez-Fuentes, The Impact of Faculty Mentorship on the Educational Achievement of First-Generation Low-Income Latinx Students 
  • Jennifer Ojeda Ortiz, Mixed-immigration status families: Family  immigration and student’s well-being in higher education 

Gangs and the military

This research will examine the relationship between gangs and the US military through in-depth, open-ended interviews with former or current service men and women. It will focus on gang affiliation pre, during, and post active duty. In addition to individual members, the characteristics and social/community impacts (with emphasis on San Diego and Southern California region) of the gangs themselves will be investigated.

All inquiries should be sent to Dr. Tim Brown at [email protected].

Gangs in Rural America

The present study compares the evolving nature of rural gang’s organizational structure and stability and its relation to community social and economic conditions to their urban counterparts. Relying on face-to-face in-depth qualitative interviews with gang members from a small, rural community, this research adds to the scant literature on rural gangs and helps to expand knowledge on the rural/urban gang nexus. 

All inquiries should be sent to Dr. Tim Brown at [email protected].

The Emergence of Korean Immigrant Communities on the U.S-Mexico Border

The international expansion of multi-national corporations and the bi-national economic operation on the U.S.-Mexico border have facilitated the growth of Korean immigrants who are from neither border countries but have transborder lives. This ongoing ethnographic project investigates the conditions of migration, settlement, and incorporation of Korean immigrants who moved to a bi-national border region from a third country.  The intense case study of Korean immigrant border communities will evaluate how ethnic immigrants, who are engaged in inter-ethnic social and economic interactions within both countries, are integrated into them, and how co-ethnic ties, ethnic identity, and political context affect their integration process.

Inquiries should be sent to Minjeong Kim at [email protected].

L.A. County Mexican Immigrant Health & Legal Status Survey (LAC-MIHLSS) (2020-2022)

This project will design and oversee the sampling design, questionnaire development, data reduction and sample weighting for the second wave of the 2012 LAC-MIHLSS in collaboration with the Coalition of Human Immigrant Rights (CHRLA).

Inquiries should be sent to Enrico Marcelli at [email protected].

Home, Legal Status and Mental Health among Adult Mexican Immigrants in the Eastern Coachella Valley (2018-2021)

The research project will employ data collected from The California Endowment’s (TCE) Eastern Coachella Valley “Building Healthy Communities” site to estimate how a sense of belonging and household environment (“home”), as well as migrant legal status, is associated with mental health among Mexican migrant adults.

Inquiries should be sent to Enrico Marcelli at [email protected].