Erick Berrelleza, S.J. (AY 2019-2021)
The Religious Lives of Latino Immigrants: Geographies and Shifting Landscapes in the New South
Erick Berrelleza is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Boston University. While at the Boisi Center, Erick will be writing on his dissertation research, which is an ethnographic project attempting to explore the lived religious experiences of immigrants from Latin America in the United States. Drawing on in-depth interviews, observation and participation in the field, Berrelleza's project will examine how beliefs are expressed in everyday embodied practices and how those practices shape and are shaped by the experience of migration and the physical places in which they take place.
Berrelleza's study will go beyond previous research on individual lived religion by considering the rapidly growing group of Latin American immigrants in the United States. The most comprehensive study of individual lived religion narratives conducted to date privileges the stories of people who are “well educated and relatively well off.” Thus, many stories of Latinos are absent from the literature. Because of Berrelleza's interest in individual religious practices in relation to places of arrival, this will be a comparative study with a rural site and an urban site in North Carolina. Engaging a comparative project provides the opportunity to investigate how places of arrival with both shared and unique structural conditions enable and constrain religious practices for a marginalized population.
The Boisi Center is excited to welcome Erick Berrelleza during the next academic year, 2019-2020. Berrelleza presented previous research at a luncheon colloquium in the fall of 2018 on Gentrification in an Urban Church.