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Denia Garcia

Areas of Interest / Specialization: 
Race/Ethnicity, Urban Sociology, Political Sociology, Organizations
Dissertation Title: 
Integration Beyond Numbers: Getting Along and Working Together in a Multiethnic Neighborhood
Dissertation Committee: 
Edward E. Telles (chair), Miguel A. Centeno, Mitchell Duneier
Dissertation Abstract: 

Growing ethnic and racial diversity is transforming America’s urban landscape by contributing to the emergence of multiethnic neighborhoods. Some view multiethnic   neighborhoods as an alternative to racial segregation, holding the promise of improved race relations. Others argue that diversity reduces social capital and participation in collective life. What are the prospects for social relations and collective action in a racially/ethnically diverse America?

My dissertation addresses this question based on a two-year ethnography of Rogers Park, Chicago, a neighborhood where blacks, Latinos and whites live together. I conducted participant observation in public settings and community organizations—including Participatory Budgeting, a tenants’ association, a Catholic church, and a food distribution program—and over 70 interviews.

Contrary to theories that predict conflict, cooperation or withdrawal from social life when different groups come in contact, I find that there is a form of civil coexistence. In the civic sphere, alliances across the color line are not common, as minorities are underrepresented in community associations. I conclude that sharing a physical space does not give people shared interests, and this has implications for their ability to form social and political bonds that transcend social differences. 


Peer-Reviewed Publications

2016. Garcia, Denia and Maria Abascal. “Colored Perceptions: Racially Distinctive Names and Assessments of Skin Color.” American Behavioral Scientist 60(4) 420-441.

2013. Edward, E. Telles, and Denia Garcia. “Mestizaje and Public Opinion in Latin America.” Latin American Research Review 48(3): 130-152.


Manuscripts in Progress

Garcia, Denia. “Social Capital in Context: Low-Income Women’s Use of Public Benefits.”

Garcia, Denia. “Contesting the Boundaries: Inconsistencies Between Self and Interviewer Ethnic-Racial Classification in Latin America.”

Goldani, Ana Maria and Denia Garcia. “Same-Sex Marriage, Social Change and Public Opinion in Latin America.”

Grants and awards: 

2014                Research Award, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy

2014                Dissertation Grant, Department of Sociology, Princeton University

2010-2013       National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

2013                Hanna Fund Summer Travel Grant, Princeton University

2012                Summer Research Grant, Center for Migration and Development, Princeton University

2011-2016       Travel Grants, Department of Sociology, Princeton University

2006                Exum Award for Best Undergraduate Paper on Race and Ethnicity, Sociology Department, Northwestern University

Teaching Experience: 

Teaching Assistant, Department of Sociology, Princeton University 

·      The Western Way of War, Fall 2015 and Spring 2011

·      Race and Ethnicity in a Comparative Perspective, Fall 2011

·      Introduction to Sociology, Fall 2011