Leo Chavez, anthropology Distinguished Professor, is the 2021 recipient of the Bronislaw Malinowski Award, presented by the Society for Applied Anthropology. The annual prize recognizes an outstanding social scientist who has made strides in understanding and serving society, and using social science concepts and tools to solve human problems.

Chavez has been a member of the UCI anthropology faculty since 1987. His research on transnational migration, particularly among Latinx communities, is the focus of four books, including The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens and the Nation, which earned the American Anthropological Association’s 2009 Latina and Latino Book Prize. He’s authored more than 100 academic articles, produced two films, and penned numerous op-eds on the uphill battle undocumented immigrants face in American society with status affecting everything from physical and mental health to access to education and housing. His work has helped debunk stereotypes of the Latinx threat narrative echoed by politicians, pundits and journalists for which he consistently provides expert commentary.

Chavez earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University. In 2017, he was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2019, he received the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists Distinguished Career Award. 

He will be honored at a March 2021 ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia where he will deliver the Malinowski Address focused his career and themes, issues, and concerns that have served as a touchstone for his work.

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