Department of Sociology

Jorge Derpic

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Jorge Derpic



Political Sociology, Law and Society, Criminology, Urban Sociology, Qualitative Methods, Latin America


Jorge Derpic is a doctoral candidate in Sociology whose work explores state and civil society responses to crime in Latin America. Focusing on the city of El Alto, Bolivia, his dissertation expands the analysis of mob-violence triggered by crime.

Through 21 months of ethnographic research in prosecutors' offices, marginal urban neighborhoods, prisons and police precincts, the study examines the protracted aftermath of acts of collective violence as they reach the judicial system. Specifically, it concentrates on the often fruitless attempts by state prosecutors and law-enforcement to bring successful cases against people charged with participating in lynchings, as they are locally known. The ways in which state authorities handle these events are key in understanding the extent and shape of the State's sovereign power.

Jorge is a Graduate Fellow at the Sociology Department’s Urban Ethnography Lab and co-founder of the interdisciplinary Ethnographies of the State Group. The latter brings together researchers from across Latin America and the United States whose main field of interest is the study of bureaucracies and state-civil society relations in the region.

The Inter-American Foundation selected him as a fellow for the 2014-15 academic year. His dissertation research and writing have been twice funded by the Foundation of Urban Regional Studies from Oxford University. During his time as a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Urban Ethnography Lab and the Population Research Center have also granted him resources to pursue his research.

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086