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Contact Information:

Maria Akchurin

Department of Sociology

Loyola University, Chicago

I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago working at the intersection of environmental sociology, political sociology, and urban sociology. I study historical and contemporary questions about power, inequality, and social change as they relate to the environment and society. 


Prior to joining LUC, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy & Research/Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. received my Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 2015 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University from 2015-2017.


Emphasizing how global and local processes interact, my research examines how activists and communities interpret and organize politically around socio-environmental issues, especially urban water provision, conflicts over land use and water availability in areas with mining activity, and unequal exposures to environmental hazards. I also study how expert and grassroots knowledge are produced and used in contexts of scientific uncertainty. I am interested in the conditions under which organized collective action has an impact on political, socioeconomic, and environmental outcomes. I primarily use qualitative methods including archival research, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic observation in my work, though I am also interested in mixed methods that combine qualitative and quantitative approaches. My solo and collaborative research appears in City & Community, Law & Social Inquiry, Sociology of Development, The Sociological Quarterly, Qualitative SociologyAmerican Sociological Review, Extractive Industries and Society, and the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

I enjoy collaborating with other scholars, including in interdisciplinary contexts. At Tulane, I coordinated the Mobilization, Extractivism, and Government Action (MEGA) research network headed by Eduardo Silva. MEGA published a special issue on Mega-Projects, Contentious Action, and Policy Change in Latin America in the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, followed by another special issue on the Politics of Policy Implementation in Extractive Industries and Society. More recently, I have been working with Gabriel Chouhy on a project (supported by the Spencer Foundation) that compares the introduction of algorithmic technologies into school choice contexts in the US and Chile.

I was previously an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Sociology; co-editor of Sectors, the ASA sociology of development section newsletter; and editor of States, Power, and Societies, the ASA political sociology section newsletter.

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