Raquel X. Z. Rios


Raquel X. Z. Rios

Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests
Policing, Punishment, Surveillance, Urban Sociology, Political Sociology, Social Policy

Raquel Xitlali Zitani-Rios (they/she) is a first-year sociology Ph.D. student and Chancellor's Fellow. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, they have intimately experienced the tumultuous yet vibrant dynamics of metropolitan Bay Area life, marked by glaring wealth disparities, a burgeoning housing crisis, and the accompanying challenges of poverty and displacement. They are drawn to exploring the intersection of urban transformation, inter-community conflict, the criminal legal system, and the larger web of agencies and actors that engage in policing. In their previous research, they explored the utilization of police calls within gentrifying Oakland, California neighborhoods as a means of shaping and safeguarding residential boundaries and property interests. Additionally, as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, they investigated the role of the Nextdoor website in magnifying and perpetuating anxieties surrounding neighborhood disorder. While their research interests are still evolving, they aspire to deepen their understanding and contribute to the pursuit of accessible and equitable rights to space and place for all.

Raquel's curiosity is rooted in their experiences growing up system impacted, alongside the tangible stigma associated with having close loved ones grappling with mental health challenges, addiction, and generational trauma. Furthermore, their experiences as a high school dropout and a first generation, re-entry community college transfer student has equipped them with a nuanced perspective on navigating academia from a nontraditional and marginalized background. They aim to empower not only future generations of scholars, but communities beyond the ivory tower, and they view research and academic engagement as important tools for advocacy.

If you are an undergraduate student or a prospective graduate student with questions about Berkeley sociology—whether it is regarding undergraduate or graduate studies, sociological research, finding a faculty advisor, the application and admissions process, or any other relevant topic—please do not hesitate to reach out!