Loyola University Chicago

Latin American & Latino Studies

Faculty Directory

Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz, Ph.D.

Title/s:  Assistant Professor Anthropology Undergraduate Program Director

Office #:  BVM Tower 807

Phone: (773) 508-3582



Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz is a sociocultural anthropologist with research and teaching interests in political economy, migration, Latinos/as in the U.S., race and class, applied anthropology, and urban ethnography. Her research with unauthorized immigrants in Chicago has explored how these workers negotiate perceptions of their labor as they struggle to attain autonomy, security, and dignity as undocumented immigrants in the United States. Dr. Gomberg-Muñoz has also been an ethnographer and organizer in Chicago’s immigrant rights movement since 2006.

In addition, Dr. Gomberg-Muñoz has done fieldwork in Chicago’s Pilsen and West Rogers Park neighborhoods as part of a Field Museum project on Chicago residents’ engagement with local environments and beliefs about climate change. The reports from that work can be found on the Field Museum website at:www.fieldmuseum.org/ccuc/. As an applied anthropologist, Dr. Gomberg-Muñoz believes in making anthropological research more accessible to a general audience, and she is a founding member and regular contributor to the blog, “Stop Raids, Detentions and Deportations”: http://stopdeportationsnow.blogspot.com

Research Interests

Currently, Dr. Gomberg-Muñoz is conducting ethnographic research with Latin American immigrants in the Chicago area who are planning to adjust their immigration status or who have already adjusted their status. To learn more about this project or to participate in this research, please contact Dr. Gomberg-Muñoz atrgombergmunoz@luc.edu.

Selected Publications


Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth
2011 Labor and Legality: An Ethnography of a Mexican Immigrant Network. New York: Oxford University Press.

Articles and Book Chapters

2013   Gomberg-Munoz, Ruth. 2012 Public Anthropology Year in Review: Actually, Rick, Florida Could Use a Few More Anthropologists. American Anthropologist 115(2): 282–292.

2013   Flores-Gonzales, Nilda and Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz. FloResiste: Transnational Labor, Motherhood and Activism. InImmigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age. Flores-Gonzalez, Guevarra, Toro-Morn, and Chang (eds.). University of Illinois Press.

2012   Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth. Inequality in a “Postracial” Era: Race, Immigration, and Criminalization of Low-Wage Labor. The DuBois Review 9(2): 339–353.

2011   Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth and Laura Nussbaum-Barberena. Is Immigration Policy Labor Policy?: Immigration Enforcement, Undocumented Labor, and the State. Human Organization 70(4): 366–375.

2011   Cabrera, Rosa and Ruth Gomberg-Muñoz. Conceptions of Health and Wellness in Two  Chicago Neighborhoods. Museums and Social Issues 5(2): 202–215.

2010   Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth. Willing to Work: Agency and Vulnerability in an Undocumented Immigrant Network. American Anthropologist 112(2):295-307.

2009   Gomberg-Muñoz, Ruth. Not Just Mexico’s Problem: Labor Migration from Mexico to the United States (1900-2000).  Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies 3(3):2-18.