Jacinto Cuvi


Welcome to my site.

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Institut de Sociologie of the University of Neuchâtel. I hold a PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and I received a master’s degree in comparative politics from Sciences Po with a thesis on the reform of Peru’s tax authority.


I am interested in inequality as it relates to labor, with a focus on disenfranchised workers and their politics.

I did my dissertation fieldwork in São Paulo, Brazil, researching street vendors. I have published on long-term stratification mechanisms in informal markets, postindustrial market dynamics and informal income-making strategies during the World Cup, and responses to large-scale eviction campaigns.

I also published a chapter in Invisible in Austin (UT Press) on the life of a Mexican worker called Santos who migrated to the United States. I am currently working on a book manuscript based on my dissertation and I supervise the thesis of a master’s student in sociology on individual transitions to the formal labor market in Vietnam. 

Peer-reviewed publications

2019. “Symbolic Capital, Informal Labor, and Postindustrial Markets: The Dynamics of Street Vending during the 2014 World Cup in São Paulo.” Theory & Society, 48(2), 217-238. Accepted manuscriptversion of record. 

2019. “The Peddlers’ Aristocracy: Social Closure, Path-Dependence, and Street Vendors in São Paulo.” Qualitative Sociology, 42(1), 117-138. Accepted manuscriptversion of record.

2016. “The Politics of Field Destruction and the Survival of São Paulo’s Street Vendors.”Social Problems, 63(3), 395-412. Accepted manuscript, version of record.

2015. “Santos: The Gold Hunter” in Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City, edited by Javier Auyero, pp. 42-58. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Project website,  chapter.


I was a member of the organizing committee of the 10th Ecole Doctorale d’Eté du Rédoc and of the 2019 Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association on the Future of Work (see program). The video of a plenary I organized with Craig Calhoun and Noortje Marres on the future of sociology is available on YouTube.


British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined)

Swiss National Science Foundation Doc.Mobility Fellowship, $ 35,000

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, $ 10,279

Foundation for Urban and Regional Research Studentship, $17,500

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Latin America, $24,000

Ministère Français des Affaires Etrangères et Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger (AEFE) Bourse d’Excellence et Bourse Major, $75,000


jacinto.cuvi [  at  ] unine.ch