Gerardo Rodriguez Solis

Graduate Student


SocioCultural Anthropology

  • Racism, state formation, and regional elites
  • Labor migration, rural economies, and agricultural industry


M.A. in Social Anthropology at El Colegio de Michoacán (COLMICH)

B.A. in Sociology at Universidad de Guadalajara (UDG)


     Gerardo Rodriguez Solis is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research lines are racism, labor migration, rural economies, state formation, regional elites, and agricultural industry in Mexico. He obtained a B.A. in sociology at the Universidad de Guadalajara in 2010 and an M.A. in social anthropology at El Colegio de Michoacán in 2013, whose thesis received an honorable mention at the 5th Arturo Warman Prize. Gerardo has published in the Journal of Development Studies, the Revista Latinoamericana de Antropología del Trabajo, and the Revista del Noroeste de México; and chapters in compilation books on microfinance, public policy, and human rights. Since 2008, Gerardo has worked on academic research projects about financial practices and rural employment; and statistics and inclusion of the Afro-descendant population. Also, he has participated in evaluations of government programs focused on food security. Currently, he is writing his doctoral dissertation, “Racial Capitalism in Mexican-US Agrarian Camps. Labor Migration Controls in Sonora’s Contemporary Plantations".


     My research analyzes Mexican federal programs and agribusiness philanthropic foundations implemented since the1990s to improve the conditions of migrants who seasonally inhabit and work in agricultural fields owned by Mexican-US corporations in Sonora. Mainly, I argue that they are labor control practices and depoliticizing strategies disguised as social policies. Therefore, I discuss how these social policies –state and corporate— seek to “educate and develop capacities” ofworkers based on racial tropes of inferiority and uncivilized, using racial markers of phenotype, language, and birthplacewhile denying anti-indigenous violence and anti-migrant hostility. Furthermore, I examine the agricultural fields as agrariancapitalist camps because of the exploitation, surveillance, and isolation that characterize these productivity landscapesand workers’ temporary homes surrounded by deserts and highways and shielded by fences and private security.
     The study engages in theoretical discussions about racial capitalism, plantations, bordering regimes, and state formation.The fieldwork and archival research were conducted in the Rural District of Hermosillo between 2018 and 2022. Critical race methodologies, anthropological political economy traditions, and studying-up ethnographical approaches framed the thirteen months in Sonora.



Rodriguez Solis, G., M. C. Arellano Gálvez, and P. Aranda Gallegos. 2021. “Racialization and Agricultural Labor in Northwestern Mexico. Analysis from Newspaper Articles 2013-2019” [Spanish]. Revista Noroeste de México, Nueva Época 3: 135-163.

Rodriguez Solis, G. 2021. “Agricultural Labor and Migration in Jalisco Southwest. The  “Agrifood Giant” and its Systematic Violation of Human Rights” [Spanish]. In Personas en contexto de movilidad humana, edited by E. Sosa Márquez, 2:71–83. Colección de estudios en derechos humanos. Guadalajara: CEDHJ.

Rodriguez Solis, G. 2019. “Memories of Racism, Exploitation, and Resistance. Sugarcane  Cutting in Autlán-El Grullo Valley, Mexico, 1968-2013” [Spanish]. Revista Latinoamericana de Antropología del Trabajo 3 (5).

Bouquet, E., S. Morvant-Roux, and G. Rodriguez Solis. 2015. “Agricultural Workers, Credit  Rationing and Family Networks in Rural Mexico.” Journal of Development Studies 51 (5): 523–37.

Rodriguez Solis, G. 2023. “Anti-Indigenous Racism and Spatial Control. Barracks System in Jalisco and Sonora’s Plantations” [Spanish]. In Racismos entrelazados. Intersecciones de las opresiones racistas en México, edited by C. Masferrer León. Mexico City: UNAM.