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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. 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.

My research interests are in environmental sociology, political sociology, and urban sociology. My current research agenda centers on how activists and community residents make sense of and organize politically around socio-environmental issues, especially water and unequal exposures to environmental risks. I am also interested in how different kinds of knowledge and expertise matter in such mobilization, as well as 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, though I am also interested in mixed methods that combine qualitative and quantitative approaches.

My book project, based on comparative research on urban water and sanitation services in Argentina and Chile, traces the history of water privatization in Greater Buenos Aires and Greater Santiago. In a related project, I have been studying community opposition to and co-existence with mining projects, primarily in northern Chile. I have also studied how mobilization led to the introduction of the legal rights of nature in Ecuador (published in Law & Social Inquiry), and how women’s activism contributes to gender earnings equality in cross-national perspective (published in the American Sociological Review, with Cheol-Sung Lee). 

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 recently 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.

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

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