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Personal information

Tara Fiorito works as an Assistant Professor at the Sociology Department of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 

Her research broadly falls under the areas of ethnic and migration studies, youth sociology, engaged sociology, and social movement studies, with a particular focus on undocumented migrant youth, critical theory and qualitative research methodologies. 

She works as a researcher in Prof. Dr. Halleh Ghorashi's VICI project Engaged Scholarship and Narratives of Change and is a research associate of the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation (CriSHET) at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa.  

Her PhD research  (2020, Cum Laude) concerns ethnographic research (2011-2018) on the politicization, emancipation and political strategies of undocumented youth in Los Angeles, USA. 

Research interest and expertise: migration, integration, refugees, diversity, inclusivity, emancipation, identity/subjectivity, social movements, urban sociology, critical-, feminist- and postcolonial theory, qualitative research methods (ethnography, life-histories, narrative analysis, discourse analysis, policy analysis, participatory research, interviewing and focus groups).


Current teaching (2020):

- Sociological Theory of Late Modern Society

- Professional Skills Sociology

- Advanced Qualitative Methods

- Master Thesis Supervision

- PhD Thesis Supervision


For the past five years (2013-2018), Tara worked as a lecturer in the social sciences and developed course material for 12 different academic courses, teaching, coaching and supervising more than 700 students at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University. On average, students evaluated her teaching and supervising with a 9 (out of 10).

List of courses:

-          Classical sociological theory (B2)

-          Contemporary sociological theory (B2)

-          Wild Years: social theories on youths in late modern society (B2 & B3)

-          Sociological analysis of policy (B2)

-          Qualitative research methods (B1 & B2)

-          Introduction in sociology (B1 & B2)

-          Introduction in social science (B1)

-          Sociology for anthropologists (B1)

-          Urban sociology (B2 & B3)

-          Migration and integration (B3)

-          Mixed methods research (B2)

-          Mentor and thesis supervision (B1, B2, B3)


Tara holds a Cum Laude Research Master Social Sciences and a Cum Laude Bachelor of Sociology. In 2019, she will defend her PhD thesis at the University of Amsterdam.

The title of her PhD thesis is Struggling with Success. Emotions, Experience and Subjectivity in the Undocumented Youth Movement in Los Angeles.


In 2015, she received a research scholarship in Political Sociology at the University of Amsterdam.

In 2014, she received a grant from the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) for the documentary film Undocumented and Unafraid in Los Angeles

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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