Gerardo Rodriguez Solis

Graduate Student


SocioCultural Anthropology

  • Racialization, white privilege and mestizaje
  • Control populations and state formation
  • Labor exploitation, migration, and agro-industrial process
  • Neoliberalism and multiculturalism


M.A. in Social Anthropology at El Colegio de Michoacán

B.A. in Sociology  at Universidad de Guadalajara 


Gerardo studies a doctorate in anthropology at the University of California-Santa Barbara with the project “Labor Migration and Social Policy in Agricultural Complexes: An Ethnography of Racial Capitalism in Northwestern Mexico.” He has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at the Universidad of Guadalajara and a master’s degree in Sociocultural Anthropology at El Colegio de Michoacán. His MA thesis received an honorary mention in the 5th Arturo Warman Award, Mexico. He has published in Revista Latinoamericana de Antropología del Trabajo, Revista Noroeste de México, and Journal of Development Studies, in addition to three book chapters about agricultural workers' rights, microfinance, and public policy. He has participated in studies about human rights and migration, financial practices and rural employment, and statistics and the Afro-descendant population. He has also worked on evaluations of government programs and has participated in civil association projects.


My research focuses on racism as a fundamental element to explain how agricultural corporations exploit and seek to control migrant farmworkers and how the Mexican state promotes and legitimizes these business strategies. The study examines federal programs, philanthropic foundations, and agricultural complexes that also function as temporary homes of agroindustrial laborers. My research question is: How are private and state social policies toward temporary migrant workers who inhabited agricultural complexes implemented in Hermosillo, Sonora?

I will interview government employees, foundations employees, and agribusiness managers. I will also employ landscape observation of agricultural complexes and conduct “situational analysis” of public events organized by agricultural corporations or government agencies. Furthermore, I will analyze marketing material made by corporations, agribusiness magazines, local news about farmworkers, and operational rules and reports of federal programs.

The research engages with three debates: articulation between racism and capitalism, everyday racial state formation, and agrarian capitalist labor organization. I contribute by locating racism at the heart of agrarian capitalism’s accumulation process by studying ethnographically the relations between migrant laborers, agricultural business corporations, and government employees in Northwestern Mexico.