Sociology Welcomes New Faculty Member
Dr. Janet Muniz, a new tenure-track professor in the sociology department, first became interested in the racial ethnic dynamics of the predominately Mexican community where she grew up in Santa Ana, California, when she was attending UC Santa Barbara for her undergraduate degree in feminist studies. There, she became involved with MEChA, a Latino cultural group that organizes around social issues.
So when she entered her master’s program at Claremont Graduate University, she began a research project on Latino economic life. Dr. Muniz eventually received a master’s in cultural studies, then a doctorate in sociology at UC Irvine. Today, Dr. Muniz’s research focuses on children immigrants and second-generation Mexican-American adults who have businesses in the communities they grew up in.
Through interviews with business owners and participant observation, Dr. Muniz studies how communities have shifted, as well as the economic and social roles individuals play in their community. She also researches incarcerated fathers and their family members, with a focus on how they experience the workforce before and after incarceration.
Dr. Muniz, who was the recipient of an Outstanding Research Award in the department of sociology at UC Irvine, taught her first class, Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology, in 2018 at Cal State Pomona. She also taught as an adjunct professor at Lake Tahoe Community College. She continues to teach Introduction to Sociology via mail to community college students who are incarcerated.
Dr. Muniz, who described her new position at CSULB as her “dream job,” is looking forward to meeting her colleagues and students in person and teaching two sociology courses: Migration and Immigration, and Latinos in the U.S.
“It was a perfect fit,” she says. “I was like, ‘This job was written for me.’ I do research on Latinx communities, I taught on Latinx communities, I am from a Latinx community. I am super excited.”