Sergio Chavez

Areas of Interest: 
International Migration, Labor Markets, Social Networks, Border Studies


Dr. Sergio Chávez is an assistant professor of sociology at Rice University.  He received his B.A. in sociology from the University of California Davis and his Ph.D. from Cornell University.  Dr. Chávez has conducted field research in Tijuana and Guanajuato, Mexico and North Carolina on internal and international migration, labor markets, social networks and border studies.  Currently, he is completing a book manuscript that examines the dynamic living and working strategies border migrants employ as immigration policies, border enforcement, economic restructuring, and social resources evolve in the cross-border urban environment of Tijuana.  Another project (with Robin Paige) investigates the centrality of emotions in the migration process. In particular, the emotion work nonmigrating women perform to support the paid labor of their migrant spouses. His other work investigates the meaning of being a migrant “roofero”, such as how men construct their masculine identities through their occupation, and how masculinity shapes how men perform their jobs, deal with injuries and sickness, and relate to their families in Mexico. 

Selected Publications

Ted Mouw, Sergio Chávez, Heather Edelblute, and Ashton Verdery (2014). “Binational Social Networks and Assimilation: A Test of the Importance of Transnationalism.” Social Problems, 61(3): 329-359.   

Jacqueline Hagan, Jean Luc Demonsant, and Sergio Chávez (2014). “Skills of the Unskilled: Lifelong Human Capital Transfers Across the U.S.-Mexico Migratory Circuit.” Journal of Migration and Human Security, 2(2): 76-99.      

Ted Mouw and Sergio Chávez(2012). Linguistic Niches and the Wage Growth of Latino Immigrants.” Social Forces, 91(2):423-452.     

Sergio Chávez (2012). “The Sonoran Desert’s Domestic Bracero Programme: Institutional Actors and the Creation of Labour Migration Streams.”  International Migration, 50(2): 20-40.   

Sergio Chávez (2011).  Navigating the U.S.-Mexico Border: The Crossing Strategies of Undocumented Workers in Tijuana, Mexico.”  Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(8): 1320-1337. 

Magalí Muría and Sergio Chávez (2011). “Shopping and Working in the Borderlands: Enforcement, Surveillance and Marketing in Tijuana, Mexico.”  Surveillance and Society 8(3): 355-373.



Sergio Chavez
Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Advisor Ph.D., Cornell University

713 348-5783