Skip to main content

Dr. Alejandro Hernandez

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

Dr. Alejandro Hernandez
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2153
Website(s): Alejandro Hernandez

Alejandro holds a PhD in Sociology with a specialization in Political Economy from Carleton University. He was awarded with a Vanier Scholarship, the Government of Canada’s most prestigious international award for doctoral students. His areas of interest include (im)migration/diasporas, race/ethnicity, identities, and youth in Canada and Latin America.

Alejandro has ample experience in migration and youth research, policy evaluation, teaching, and education management both in Canada and Mexico. His most recent research focused on the experiences of economic integration and development of transnational ties among Mexican youth in Ottawa and Montreal.

Alejandro was a member of the 2021 Nomination Committee for the newly minted Lorne Tepperman Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award of the Canadian Sociological Association. He was a Board of Directors member, Elections Officer, and Communications Chair of the Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (2016-2019). He was also member of the Advisory Search Committee for Vice-President (Research and International), and the Chair of the Committee for Refugee Issues at Carleton University.

Teaching activities

Race and Ethnic Relations (SOCI/ANTH 230, 3 credits)

Race and ethnicity are examined as bases of social differentiation under critical, interdisciplinary, and intersectional lenses across various societies and not only those of North America. Ethnic and “race” group relations are analyzed in relation to stratification and the exercise of power as intersected by biology/genomics, class, gender, sexuality, politics, migration, religion, and nationalism. The course further involves exploration of the phenomena of racialization, racisms, discrimination, prejudice, interculturalism and multiculturalism, and intergroup accommodation.

The goals of the course will be achieved through the student's demonstration of an increased knowledge of the notions of race and ethnicity, as well as their varying effects on social life across time and space and intersected by various social factors.
This course is part of both the and the
Certificate in Immigration Studies

Research Methods (SOCI 310, 3 credits)

This course introduces students to the concepts, language, and techniques of quantitative and qualitative research methods. It familiarizes students with the initiation of research problems, the gathering of accurate data, their analysis and the interpretation and reporting of research findings. This course also introduces students to library research.
The goals of the course will be achieved through the student'sdemonstration of an increased knowledge about, and basic practice of, qualitative and basic quantitative assumptions and research methods, the relevance of ethics in doing research, a workable knowledge of how to start a project and do a literature review, and the characteristics needed to write a research and analytical report.
In addition, the course is designed to offer students opportunities to develop critical thinking and soft skills such as planning, active listening and communication skills, teamwork, problem solving, and writing skills that will further develop their professional toolbox.

Field Research (SOCI 415, 6 credits)

This course provides the opportunity for advanced qualitative research methods. Students are taught systematic procedures for the collection of primary data using methods that include participant-observation and formal and informal interviewing, survey research, and library research.
Qualitative methods in this course will include grounded theory methodology, focus groups, mini-ethnography and auto-ethnography, oral history, online methods (i.e. YouTube, Instagram, blogs), art-based analysis (e.g. photo-voice), movement-based analysis (e.g. walking tour, mapping out of geographical areas), discourse analysis, and use of basic software for thematic analysis (i.e. Excel). In addition, the course will offer some useful advice for you to consider when working with certain groups, such as indigenous and visible minority communities and people with disabilities.

Introduction to Society (SOCI 203, 3 credits)

An introduction to the sociological study of society. The course begins with a consideration of the concepts, models, and methods used by sociologists. This is followed by an examination of selected substantive areas of social life, ranging from the relations between individuals and groups to total societies.

Classical Social Theory (SOCI/ANTH 300)

The course introduces students to what has been usually considered foundational or classical social knowledge.
However, the course also provides students with a critical approach—and content—that questions the epistemological and social principles by which different ways of producing knowledge—and the knowledge produced—have been deemed as ‘primitive,’ ‘unsophisticated,’ or unworthy of being labelled as ‘valid’ and ‘valuable.’
The course thus expands the boundaries of what has traditionally been considered canonical in sociology by introducing other ‘sociologists’ coming from different parts of the globe and epochs


An Intersectional Approach to Agency and Structure

This chapter, intended for undergraduate students, explains the concepts of structure and agency and identify how structures shape people’s lives, as seen in the case of some Latinx immigrant and refugee youths in Canada, and how—in turn—they respond to those structures by exerting their agency.

Hernández-Ramírez, A. (2023). An Intersectional Approach to Agency and Structure. In J. Jean-Pierre, V. Watts, C. E. James, P. Albanese, X. Chen, and M. Graydon (Eds.), Reading Sociology. Decolonizing Canada. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press. Pp. 196-201.

Latin Americans face a stubborn pay gap in Canada, data shows

Immigrants’ labour force has become indispensable in Canada due to aging demographics. Through our most recent exploratory research and drawing from 2016 census data, we analyzed how well Latinos are doing in terms of economic integration.

Across the board, Latin Americans earned less than the average Canadian. This produces unequal economic conditions, and can make coming to, and working in Canada more difficult. In order to reach economic parity with the average Canadian, Latino workers have to overcome multiple barriers. These include accent and language obstacles, professional accreditation issues, discriminatory hiring processes and the effect of gender.

Latinos’ economic integration journey requires both individual and collective efforts as well as policy interventions to ensure good outcomes for this vital labour force group. Read the full article in The Conversation Canada here.

The Political Economy of Immigration Securitization: Nation-Building and Racialization in Canada

In Studies in Political Economy

The article uses theories of political economy, immigration securitization, and critical race theory, and uses two historical periods as case studies, to advance our understanding of how immigration has been securitized across various scales, fields, and temporalities since the nineteenth century. The racialization and Othering of individuals identified as a risk to Canada's nation-building project led to the constitution of diverse security formations. Each formation included social and national components, even if weighted differently depending on their context.

Rural Young People: New Actors of the Migration to the United States? / Los jóvenes rurales, ¿nuevos actores de la migración a Estados Unidos?

This chapter (written in Spanish) gives an account of the primordial and active participation of poor, Mexican youth (from six Mexican rural communities) in internal migration processes between 1930-1989, and undocumented migration to the United States between 1950-1989. I analyze the reasons for their migration and the unique roles they played both in their households and towns. Considering that Mexican-US migration research has not paid attention to (rural) young people as relevant subjects of migration, and that there is an incipient development of rural youth studies in Mexico, the article is well suited to address these topics. The research allowed me to show that youth migration is not new, as some have argued, but rather that youth migration responded, in general, to their limited and/or changing structures of opportunities, to their little access or shortage of assets, to depressed regional and national labour markets, and to a historical degree of vulnerability in indigenous villages, where religion and social customs played an important role. For a few of the youth, migration was an advancement strategy that allowed them to increase their relative prosperity. Nonetheless, it is important to emphasize that, in all cases of migration to cities, there was a personal and pivotal reason that impelled young people to migrate as part of a domestic strategy: the desire to support the acquisition of human capital for their siblings and/or children, and provide them with better life opportunities.

Hernández-Ramírez, A. (2008).  Los jóvenes rurales:  ¿nuevos actores de la migración a Estados Unidos? En A. Escobar Latapí (Ed.), Pobreza y migración internacional  (pp. 173–222). México: CIESAS (ISBN 978-968-496-652-9)

Descubriendo la salud y la sexualidad en los medios. Medios de comunicación y salud pública. La voz de los adolescentes

Este estudio, enmarcado en otro más amplio, de alcance latinoamericano, explora en San Luis Potosí el impacto que puede tener en la salud el consumo de los medios por parte de los adolescentes; conocer de primera mano lo que en realidad piensan y las formas en cómo actúan; cómo los medios de comunicación y el entretenimiento mediático afectan el desarrollo de conceptos como salud, enfermedad y prevención de enfermedades; así como el uso que los adolescentes hacen de los medios en cuanto a la búsqueda de información respecto a la prevención del VIH/SIDA, el consumo de tabaco, el uso del condón, etc.

Hernández-Ramírez, A. (2003). Descubriendo la Salud y la Sexualidad en los Medios. Medios de Comunicación y Salud Pública. La Voz de los Adolescentes. In B. Russi (Ed.), X Anuario de Investigación de la Comunicación (pp. 209–234). Mexico: Consejo Nacional para la Enseñanza y la Investigación de las Ciencias de la Comunicación.

Sexo, droga y TV. De medios, sexualidad y salud en adolescentes clasemedieros de Guadalajara, Jalisco

El presente artículo parte de la investigación «Medios de comunicación y salud pública: la voz de los adolescentes», realizada en Guadalajara, Jalisco, que constituyó una parte del pro-yecto COMSALUD Latinoamérica. «La voz de los adolescentes» se realizó en Argentina, Honduras, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Perú, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, República Dominicana y México, y fue financiada por la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS). En este último país, el protocolo se aplicó y coordinó en Guadalajara por María Martha Collignon (ITESO), y se replicó en Toluca, Estado de México (Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Universidad de las Américas). La pregunta que dirigió al proyecto fue: ¿cuál es y qué características tiene el rol de los medios de comunicación en la cotidianeidad de los adolescentes en América Latina, particularmente en el ámbito de la salud? La población de estudio fueron adolescente (hombres y mujeres) de doce a diecinueve años, quienes participaron en grupos focales con un cuestionario que se replicó en todos los países.

También muestra el análisis de los discursos de adolescentes varones de clase media que participaron en grupos focales en la ciudad de Guadalajara. Para el análisis se utilizó la técnica del análisis argumentativo, y se muestran los hallazgos de los tres ejes de la investigación: medios, salud y sexualidad.

Hernández-Ramírez, A. (2006). Sexo, droga y TV. De medios, sexualidad y salud en adolescentes clasemedieros de Guadalajara, Jalisco. En M. Vizcarra & A. Fernández (Eds.), Disertaciones. Aproximaciones al conocimiento de la juventud (pp. 147–74). Guadalajara: Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco/Instituto Jalisciense de la Juventud/Red Jalisciense de Investigadores sobre Juventud. (ISBN: 9685647402 9789685647403, OCLC Number: 316355093).

Back to top

© Concordia University