Abel Valenzuela

Abel Valenzuela

Professor of Urban Planning and Chicano Studies, former Director, Center for the Study of Urban Poverty - ISSR


Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Areas of Interest:

Ethnic Communities - Latino American, Immigration, Labor and Employment, Race and Ethnicity


(310) 825-9156 on-campus: x59156



Abel Valenzuela Jr. is Professor of Chicano Studies and Urban Planning.

In June (2016) he will step down as Department Chair of Chicano Studies to direct UCLA’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

He received his Ph.D. and M.C.P. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Urban Studies and Planning and a BA in Social Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

He studies, publishes, and teaches classes on urban poverty, immigration, and labor (workers and markets) often looking at the intersections of all three. He is one of the leading national experts on day labor  (mostly immigrant men who solicit temporary daily work in open air markets such as street corners, empty parking lots, and store fronts) and other itinerant and casual labor markers.

He has published numerous articles and technical reports on this and other subjects including co-editing (with Lawrence Bobo, Melvin Oliver, and Jim Johnson) Prismatic Metropolis: Inequality in Los Angeles published by the Russell Sage Foundation in 2000, Immigration and Crime: Race, Ethnicity, and Violence (with Ramiro Martinez Jr.). He has also published in American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Annual Review of Sociology, New England Journal of Public Policy, Working USA: a Journal of Labor and Society, International Journal of Comparative Sociology, and Regional Studies.

Selected Books and Publications

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Research Interests