Isabel Ayala

Isabel  Ayala
  • Associate Professor, CLS Director
  • CLS Core Faculty
  • Department of Sociology
  • College of Social Science
  • 414B Berkey Hall
  • 509 E. Circle Drive
  • East Lansing MI 48823
  • 517-353-6614


Maria Isabel Ayala, (Ph.D., Texas A&M) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Chicano/Latino Studies Program at Michigan State University. Her research agenda examines the social impact that the unique and complex racialization of Latinxs in the U.S. has on their experiences and social behavior. Challenging essentialist understandings of Latinx cultures, her research argues that normative ideologies and Latinxs’ complex social location within the existing racial structure play a critical role in their life course. Throughout her work, she challenges the deficit perspective by which Latinxs have been examined and instead suggests one of capital. In addition, she discusses the agentive and resilient behaviors of Latinxs in navigating physical, symbolic, and social White spaces. Dr. Ayala’s most recent publications and work under review addresses the experiences of Latinx students in higher education spaces.



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