The University of Southampton
Social Sciences: Sociology, Social Policy & CriminologyPart of Social Sciences
(023) 8059 2576

Dr Maria Villares-Varela BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in Sociology

Dr Maria Villares-Varela's photo
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María Villares-Varela joined the Department of Sociology Social Policy and Criminology in 2016 as a Lecturer in Sociology with an interest in ethnic entrepreneurship with a particular focus on gendered and classed-based experiences of work in migrant firms. 

Prior to her role at Southampton María was a Research Fellow at the Center for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), University of Birmingham, where she contributed to the Center’s research in the area of migrant and ethnic minority entrepreneurship. Before that she was based at the International Migration Institute (IMI), University of Oxford, where she worked as a Research Officer in the projects ‘The Drivers and Dynamics of High-Skilled Migration’ and ‘The Determinants of International Migration’ (DEMIG). 

She has been a visiting scholar at COMPAS (University of Oxford); IMES (University of Amsterdam); ISET (London Metropolitan University); School of Social Sciences and Law (Oxford Brookes); and ERCOMER (University of Utrecht).






Research interests

I am a research associate of the Center for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), University of Birmingham, and of the International Migration Institute (IMI), University of Oxford. 

I am an Associate Chair for Professional Development of the Gender and Enterprise Network (GEN). GEN is a Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE). 

I am also a member of the steering committee of the Latin American and Caribbean Migration Network (MIGRALAC).

My research explores work and employment relations in migrant firms, with a particular focus on gendered and classed-based experiences of work. 

My current research interests relate to:
• Immigrant entrepreneurship
• Work and employment relation in small firms
• Family businesses
• Gendered and class-based experiences of work
• High-skilled migration
• Latin American migration

Research Projects:
2016-2019: ‘The impact of transnational Pentecostalism on migrant entrepreneurship in the UK’, funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Grants.

2015-2017: Principal Investigator in the project 'Facilitating New Migrant Businesses Development: A Collaborative Approach’, co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Follow-on Fund, Higher Education Innovation Fund (UoB) and Ashley Housing Community Association (Birmingham).



Deputy Director, Social Impact Lab.



Book Chapters



Working Papers

I am teaching on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.

Dr Maria Villares-Varela
Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology University of Southampton Southampton SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number:58/4071

Telephone:(023) 8059 2576

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