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Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Alisa Garni


Associate Professor of Sociology

P.h.D., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2008
M.A., Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego, 2002
B.S., Anthropology and Spanish, Santa Clara University, 1998

Research and Teaching Interests: International Migration, Sociology of Development, Comparative and Historical Methods, Qualitative Research Methods

Dr. Garni joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 2008. Her substantive interests include international development, migration, and social change. In her published work, Dr. Garni has examined how changing local conditions in war-torn Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua affect people’s decisions to migrate to the United States. She has also examined how land tenure patterns affect local development strategies across high migration communities. Pursuing questions on gender, migration, and development, Dr. Garni has also conducted ethnographic research on independent women entrepreneurs who carry goods between El Salvador and the United States. Studying how they do so sheds light on local mechanisms for combating gender inequality and promoting development. In collaborative work, Drs. Garni and Weyher connect questions of migration and development to changing conditions in war-torn El Salvador. They argue that on-going mass migration—driven by new conditions of desperation and alienation—represents a critical dissipation of class relations and struggle. Building on research examining the relationship between neoliberalism and high crime rates in war-torn Central America, they also examine how neoliberalism’s structural and ideological components both reflect and further contribute to the conditions and growing sense of estrangement that many Salvadorans face.

Dr. Garni’s work has been published/is forthcoming in Rural Sociology, Latin American Research Review, Sociological Perspectives, Sociological Forum, Latin American Perspectives, Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, and Sociological Spectrum. She has presented her research at conferences in Athens, Santiago, and across the United States. Currently, Dr. Garni is conducting research on the relationship between Mexican/Central American immigration, changing land use patterns, and local, state, and national immigration policy. Dr. Garni has taught courses on international development (graduate and undergraduate), international migration (graduate), qualitative methods (graduate), racial and ethnic relations, and introductory sociology.

Curriculum Vitae