San Juanita García

Assistant Professor

Office Location

South Hall 1708


Immigration; Latinx Sociology; Intersectionality; Medical Sociology; Sociology of Mental Health; Aging; Social Determinants of Health


BA Criminal Justice, Spanish, Sociology, 2007 Sam Houston State University

MS Sociology, 2010 Texas A&M University

PhD Sociology, 2014, Texas A&M University


San Juanita García is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Juanita’s research explores how a deportation regime and racialization practices embedded in an anti-immigrant climate fuel discrimination and impact intra-group relations, identity, stress, and the mental health of Mexican-origin women. Her current work explores a concept she develops called “vicarious illegality,” to highlight the stress and mental health impacts on those who witness the negative consequences of “illegality,” particularly family, romantic partners, and friends of the undocumented.

Juanita previously worked at the University of California, Riverside as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. She is also a former NRSA Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2017) at the Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, jointly sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. As a Postdoctoral Fellow she gained public health and mental health services training leading to her collaboration on a randomized controlled trial (Padres Efectivos) designed to enhance activation skills among Latina mothers with children with mental health service needs, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Juanita has been funded by the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program, Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. Her solo and collaborative work appears in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Race & Social Problems, Journal of Family Issues, Sociology Compass, Psychiatric Services, Health Expectations, and Transnational Social Review.


Selected Publications:

García, San Juanita. 2018. “Living a Deportation Threat: Stressors Confronted by Undocumented Mexican Immigrant Women.” Race and Social Problems 10(3): 221-234. DOI:

García, San Juanita. 2017. “Racializing 'Illegality': An Intersectional Approach to Understanding How Mexican-origin Women Navigate an Anti-Immigrant Climate.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, June 23, 2017, DOI:

García, San Juanita. 2017. "Bridging Critical Race Theory and Migration: Moving Beyond Assimilation Theories.” Sociology Compass, 11(6): 1-10.

Jolles, Monica Pérez, Maria Martinez, San Juanita García, Gabriela Stein, Mentor Parent Group Members, and Kathleen C. Thomas. 2017. “Involving Latina/o Parents in Patient-centered Outcome Research: Contributions to Research Study Design, Implementation and Outcomes.” Health Expectations 1-9.

Thomas, Kathleen C., Gabriela L Stein, Christianna S. Williams, Monica Pérez Jolles, Betsy L. Sleath, Maria Martinez, San Juanita García, Linda Guzman, Charlotte E Williams, Joseph P Morrissey. 2017. “Fostering Activation in Latina/o Parents of Children with Mental Health Needs: A Randomized Trial.” Psychiatric Services, June 1, 2017, DOI:

Montes de Oca, Verónica, San Juanita García, and Rogelio Sáenz. 2013. “Transnational Aging: Disparities among Aging Mexican Immigrants.” Transnational Social Review 3(1): 65-82.

Book Chapters

García, San Juanita. 2017. “Barred Por Vida: María Inez’s Battle to Find Health and WellBeing.” (Invited book chapter in the edited volume Forced Out and Fenced In: Immigration Tales from the Field, T. M. Golash-Boza, editor, Oxford University Press.)

Childers, Trenita, and San Juanita García. 2016. The Racial Implications of Immigration Policy. Pp. 81-90 in Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions for 2016, edited by Glenn W. Muschert, Brian V. Klocke, Robert Perrruci and Jon Shefner. Knoxville, TN: Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Sáenz, Rogelio, Amber Fox, and San Juanita García. 2013. “Latino Elderly in Nonmetro America.” Pages 115-140 in N. Glasgow and E.H. Berry (eds.), Rural Aging in the 21st Century. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Sáenz, Rogelio, Cecilia Menjívar, and San Juanita García. 2011. “Arizona’s SB 1070: Setting Conditions for Violations of Human Rights Here and Beyond.” Pp. 155-178 in J. Blau and M. Frezzo (eds.), Sociology and Human Rights: A Bill of Rights in the Twenty-First Century. Newbury Park, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Reprinted as Pages 1

65-180 in J. Dowling, & Inda, J. (Eds.), Governing Immigration Through Crime: A Reader. Stanford University Press, 2013.