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Sofia Ugarte (2015)

Sofia  Ugarte (2015)

Research Title: Haitian women and the problem of labour migration in Santiago, Chile

Supervisor: Dr Sian Lazar


My doctoral project focuses on the current experiences of Haitian women living and working in Santiago (Chile) and their efforts to attain “labour formality” as a mechanism to have legal residence in the country.  Between 2016 and 2017, I conducted fieldwork in Santiago with Haitian women as they navigated bureaucratic institutions and documentary practices, negotiated their working conditions with employers and public defendants, trained as care and domestic workers, sought modes of subsistence as street vendors, and understood themselves as migrant workers and working mothers.  My dissertation explores ethnographically economic concepts and practices and its relation to projects of state formation, using the experience of Haitian women who migrate to Chile, and the production of a racialised and gendered labour market as a point of departure for my reflection and analysis.
Before coming to the Anthropology Department at the University of Cambridge, I completed the MSc in Social and Cultural Anthropology (University College London, 2013) and a BA in Sociology (P. Universidad Católica de Chile, 2010).  I also worked in Chile as a research assistant at the P. Universidad Católica, and a consultant in public policy in projects for the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Social Development.
My research interests are anthropology of state and bureaucracies, anthropology of labour, legal anthropology, migrations and gender studies from an intersectional perspective, Latin American and Caribbean studies.