Welcome to my site.
I am sociologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in comparative politics from Sciences Po. I specialize on the politics of disenfranchised labor. How do informal workers relate to the state? And how do state officials engage workers at the margins of the law?
I did my dissertation fieldwork in Sao Paulo, Brazil, researching street vendors. Most street vendors face relentless police repression in the daily conduct of business, but some enjoy protection thanks to municipal licenses. In a series of articles that came out of that fieldwork, I tease out the long-term consequences of licensing, the responses to a large-scale eviction campaign, and the impacts of the 2014 soccer World Cup on street trade. I am currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled The Politics of Hope.
I have also written about the life of an immigrant worker from Mexico and I am currently supervising a master’s thesis on workers’ transition to the formal economy in a port city in Vietnam. I played a leading role in the organization of the 2019 congress of the Swiss Sociological Association on the future of work (see program).
My next project will examine the roots of right-wing populist support among disenfranchised workers. I am also interested in the boundaries between informal work and criminal economic activity.
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 manuscript, version of record.
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. 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