Dr. Ramona Pérez :: Department of Anthropology :: San Diego State University
Field Schools

I have a broad and rich research agenda that is situated within questions of power and political economy. Currently my research focuses on:

  • binational youth identity and the effects of immigration on family structure;

  • human rights in the migratory process to include deportation, trafficking, and the judicial treatment of migrants;

  • the negotiations and practices of shifting gender roles and the maintenance of ‘traditional’ community identity in rural Mexico;

  • land reform and the movement of rural lands to peri-urban space;

  • tourism and ceramic production;

  • squatter settlements and colonias populares;

  • lead poisoning and the strategies of development in Mexico;

  • the creation of community among Mexican immigrants and Mexican American Identity in the Southwestern region of the United States;

  • food, its relationship to identity and the shifts in consumption, production, and importance as people relocate and respond to local ingredients and practices.

The broad yet interwoven and comparative data resulting from my research allows me to facilitate the complex negotiations that Mexicanos face, regardless of their geographic location, in terms of synthesizing global economies and political structures with traditional practices. Within the United States, I focus on policy implications for Mexicanos and U.S. born Mexican Americans in urban planning, community policing, asylum, judicial representation, and education.

I have been the recipient of a National Science Foundation REU Grant (2000-2002) that provided opportunities for under-represented groups in higher education and have been a Policy Fellow for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) and Educational Testing Services (ETS) Fellowship on Public Policy (2000-2002).

Some of my recent publications include, TecnoEstética Translocal y Alimento en MexAmérica (Translocal Technoaesthetics and Food in MexAmerica) 2014; Crossing the Border From Boyhood to Manhood: Male Youth Experiences of Crossing, Loss, and Structural Violence as Unaccompanied Minors (2012); Good and Bad Death: Perspectives of Mexican American Older Adults [with E. Ko] (2012); Navigating the Slipstream of Changing Food Environments: Transnational Perspectives on Dietary Behaviors and Implications for Nutrition Counseling” [with M. Handley] (2012); Savoring the Taste of Home: The pervasiveness of lead poisoning from ceramic and its implications in transnational care packages (2010); Narratives from the Other Side: the revelations and dynamics of a binational penpal program (2010); Challenges to Motherhood: The Moral Economy of Oaxacan Ceramic Production and the Politics of Reproduction (2007); and The Misunderstanding of Mexican Community Life in Urban Apartment Space: a case study in applied anthropology and community policing (2006).