Marcos Perez

PRC Graduate Student TraineeM.A., The University of Texas at Austin


Marcos Perez is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology and a Graduate Fellow in the Urban Ethnography Lab. His main areas of interest are political sociology, social movement theory, civic engagement, and qualitative methods. He has performed ethnographic research on the experiences of grassroots organizers in both the United States and Latin America.

 Marcos' dissertation explores the ways in which people become activists. Despite decades of progress in our understanding of collective action, we still know little about how some people develop a strong commitment to an organization or cause, while others in a similar situation do not. Based on more than 150 interviews with current and former participants in the Unemployed Worker’s Movement in Argentina, as well as participant observation of the daily routines in their organizations, Marcos argues that the reason why some individuals become increasingly attached to a movement is not simply that they agree with its ideology, but rather that they gradually begin to enjoy the routines associated with activism. These findings suggest the need for a more nuanced and complex theory of political participation, one that focuses not only on the worldviews of activists but also on their practices, paying attention to their experiences inside and outside the movement, and incorporating insights from other areas of sociology.

Marcos’ work has been supported by various grants from the University of Texas, as well as a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation. He has also performed research on the lives and struggles of undocumented students in the United States. Parts of that work have been published in the book Invisible in Austin (University of Texas Press, Forthcoming), coauthored with other members of the Urban Ethnography Lab at UT.

Curriculum Vitae

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