Juan Martinez smiles into the camera
Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-4779
Courses Taught
SOC 270: Sociology of Latinas
SOC 314: Urban Sociology
SOC 316: Race and Ethnic Relations
SOC 335: Sociological Theory
SOC 346A: WIP: Critical Writing For Sociology
Research Interests
My research interests lie broadly in the areas of race and ethnic relations, U.S. Latinx, immigration, religion, and the sociology of space and place. I am particularly interested in the social construction of place and how everyday placemaking processes are informed by intergroup relations, racialized meanings, and broader social structures. My recent publications have explored the role of place attachment and threat in placemaking, the use of religious symbols and meanings in the immigrant rights movement, and how religious institutions facilitate undocumented immigrant incorporation in the United States. I am currently working on two projects. One is a monograph based on my dissertation research, which explores white/Latinx relations in suburban neighborhood and through the dimensions of local politics, religious institutions, and community-based events. The second is as National Science Foundation funded study (in collaboration with Phillip Vargas, City Colleges of Chicago) which explores STEM students’ induction, persistence, and degree completion at a community college. Using an asset-based approach, the study seeks to understand the relationship between STEM Majors’ cultural wealth and institutional initiatives, and educational and career trajectories.

As an educator, I believe sociology is rewarding, applicable, and empowering. I challenge my students to develop their sociological imagination and critical thinking skills so they have the tools be informed, engaged, and empowered global citizens to make positive social changes in their own lives as well as the lives of others. I am also passionate about civic and voter engagement and have volunteered with local civic organizations (Chicago Votes). In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, playing guitar, and working on scooters.

Ph.D., Sociology, 2014,  The University of Illinois at Chicago 

M.A., Sociology, 2007, The University of Illinois at Chicago

B.A., General Sociology, 2003, Northeastern Illinois University


Room LWH 2097
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-4779
Office Hours
Main Campus