Marcelo A. Bohrt

Bohrt, MarceloBohrt, MarceloMarcelo A. Bohrt

Contact Information:
Brown University 
Department of Sociology 
Box 1916 
Providence, RI 02912  
Fax: (401) 863-3213

Year of Entry: 2010

Previous Degree:
MA (2012) Brown University
BA (2009) University of Texas

Areas of Interest:
Race and Ethnicity; Political Sociology; Cultural Sociology; Organizational Sociology; Immigration; Research Methods; Qualitative and Ethnographic Methods; Theory; Latin America 

I am a PhD Candidate in Sociology, and a Graduate Fellow in Development at the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs. As a sociologist of race and the state, I work at the intersection of political sociology, cultural sociology, and organizational sociology.

My dissertation, titled (Un)Making the Racial Bureaucracy: Indigeneity and Decolonization in the Bolivian Foreign Ministry, is a sociological ethnography of ethnoracial boundary dynamics in state bureaucracies. Based on participant observation in the Bolivian Foreign Ministry, interviews with bureaucrats, and the collection of primary materials, I examine how bureaucrats negotiate and rearticulate ethnoracial boundaries in the context of a recent government-led initiative to incorporate formerly excluded ethnoracial populations into the state. Over five empirical chapters, I show that bureaucratic practice is embedded in competing discourses of race and modernity, which both brighten and blur the boundary between indigeneity and statecraft. Bureaucrats renegotiate this boundary through daily performances of institutional rupture that temporarily suspend and gradually alter national racialized conceptions of the ideal bureaucrat. This research received support from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and Brown University.

I am also engaged in an additional area of research that utilizes quantitative methods to investigate how race and class shape the socioeconomic and political incorporation of several generations of Latinos/as in the U.S. In an article recently published in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, José Itzigsohn and I find that that the socioeconomic incorporation of Latino/a immigrants and their descendants is characterized by intergenerational class mobility combined with pervasive ethnoracial inequality. In another article, I show a complex pattern of disadvantages in political representation for Latinos/as, where ethnoracial voter turnout gaps vary not only across generations, but also within class position in unexpected ways. This research brings the intersection of race and class to the center of immigration studies, arguing that an American racialized class structure, where minorities disproportionately occupy the lower echelons, shapes the incorporation of Latinos/as.