Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
University of California, Merced


Zulema Valdez (PhD, UCLA) is associate professor of sociology at the University of California at Merced. She is the author of two books, The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class, and Gender Shape American Enterprise (Stanford University Press, 2011) and Entrepreneurs and the Search for the American Dream (Routledge, 2015). She is the editor for a special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies on entrepreneurship (2016) and the editor of a college-level anthology, Beyond Black and White: A Reader on Contemporary Race Relations (Sage, 2016). Professor Valdez has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation, The National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Her work has been published widely in social science journals and featured in several edited volumes. She has presented her research in a variety of public forums and settings, ranging from the Chowchilla Women’s Prison in California to a congressional briefing at the nation’s capital.

Zulema Valdez is an expert in the study of immigrant and minority entrepreneurship, racial and ethnic relations, and Latina/os in the United States.

Current projects focus on Latino/a entrepreneurs; undocumented college students; and the relationship between community gardens, food access, and health.     



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