Below are a few of my most recent publications. For a complete list, see my CV.

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Harassed: Gender, Bodies and Research, University of California Press 2019

"A groundbreaking contribution and a long overdue publication about the deafening sexual silence surrounding the fieldwork experiences of many women scholars conducting qualitative research in sociology."—Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, author of Family Secrets: Stories of Incest and Sexual Violence in Mexico

"A novel and important contribution to qualitative methodology that will ignite good discussions not only in classrooms but in larger academic settings as a whole."—Junmin Wang, author of State-Market Interactions in China’s Reform Era: Local State Competition and Global Market Building in the Tobacco Industry

Check out the New Books Network Podcast episode  on Harassed here and our book talks at UF and UChicago!


Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards. 2021. "Acosadas en terreno: El género, la raza, la nación y la construcción del conocimiento etnográfico". Polis, Revista Latinoamericana Vol 59


El acoso sexual y la sexualización son experiencias comunes para las mujeres investigadoras cuando llevan a cabo trabajo de campo. Sin embargo, estos temas rara vez se mencionan en los libros y clases de métodos. Este artículo se basa en entrevistas con investigadoras/es cualitativas/os (47 mujeres y nueve hombres) en la academia norteamericana y critica el silencio que rodea al acoso sexual en terreno. Sostenemos que este silencio es un indicador de un problema mayor: las/los investigadoras/es eliminan experiencias corporizadas de su investigación cualitativa. El silencio disciplinario que rodea el acoso sexual tiene un costo tanto para las/los investigadoras/es individuales como para la construcción del conocimiento etnográfico. Sostenemos que las/los investigadoras/es cualitativas/os deben hacer una reflexión crítica sobre cómo el trabajo de campo y la recolección de datos están moldeados por el género, la raza, la sexualidad y la nacionalidad, y hacemos un llamado por la inclusión de las experiencias corporales, reconociendo las maneras en que estas son mutuamente constitutivas en la producción de conocimientos.

Rebecca Hanson and Verónica Zubillaga. 2021. "From carceral punitivism to systematic killing: The necropolitics of policing in post-Chávez Venezuela". Violence: An International Journal 2(1): 65-84


Since 2017, state security forces in Venezuela have been responsible for over 20% of violent deaths in the country. This represents an unprecedented period of state repression in the country’s history that demands examination. In this article, we argue that in order to understand the recent increase in violent deaths in Venezuela during the post-Chávez period, we must place at the center of our analysis the discourses and practices of an extremely privileged actor, the state, in the context of the collapse of oil prices. We propose that this upsurge of lethal violence can be understood within the historical process of militarization of citizen security. In the first phase, starting in 2009, we see an increase in carceral punitivism—the hyperreaction of the penal state. In the second, a new stage in militarized raids is launched which, over the years, gave way to a practice of systematic extralegal killings that became the fundamental strategy of social control. These raids represent a necropolitical approach to governance in a context of extreme economic and political crisis.

Verónica Zubillaga and Rebecca Hanson. 2021. “Shoutings, Scoldings, Talkings, and Whispers: Mother's Responses to Armed Actors and Militarization in Two Caracas Barrios”. Working Paper, Kellogg Institute for International Studies.


How do mothers deal with chronic violence and the constant presence of guns in their neighborhoods? How do they relate to the armed actors who inhabit their neighborhoods? How do they build situated meaning and discursive practices out of their experiences and relationships with armed actors? We compare the experience of women in two poor and working-class neighborhoods in Caracas. La Caracola, with a long history of civic organizations and drug trafficking, suffers regular, extortionate actions by the police. La Piedad has been ravaged by militarized police operations, which have produced a "warfare mode" among the members of organized criminal groups. Through this comparative ethnographic project we aim to show how, in the midst of state-sponsored depredation and with an overwhelming presence of guns in their lives, women use their traditional cultural roles as mothers to perform everyday forms of resistance vis-à-vis the different armed actors that impose their presence in the barrios. We focus on how women make and communicate meanings; engage in social networks with other women; and employ different discursive strategies as they deal with the armed actors. We foreground women’s experiences in two barrios, asking what material and historical conditions make these different experiences possible. In the mothers’ daily struggles, dramatic discursive actions—from more openly oppositional, such as shouting, scolding, and talking, to more hidden ones, such as, both “circulating gossip” and “captive gossip” to more helpless ones, such as whispering—are their main resources in the micropolitics of their neighborhoods.

Rebecca Hanson. 2019. “Gender & Urban Ethnography”. In Research in Urban Sociology, eds. Richard E. Ocejo and Ray Hutchison, pp.173-192. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.


In this chapter, I analyze how the intersection of geographic and social locations shapes ethnographic relationships in urban areas. While early urban ethnographers were acutely aware of the importance of geographic location, I argue that researchers’ social locations were ignored, obscuring how their bodies and social identities lead to different forms of knowledge about the metropolis. I use data from a two-year ethnographic research project conducted in Caracas, Venezuela as well as interviews conducted with women qualitative researchers to consider gendered dynamics of fieldwork experiences and data collection. Using a framework of embodied ethnography, which posits that all ethnographic knowledge is shaped by researchers’ bodies, I argue that men and women confront similar but distinct challenges while conducting fieldwork, and discuss what this means for data collection in cities. Specifically, I focus on how social control mechanisms, the gendered meanings attached to researchers’ bodies, and geographic barriers in urban areas can facilitate and restrict fieldwork. Critiquing hegemonic standards within ethnography that encourage researchers to leave their bodies out of their tales of the field, I advocate for the incorporation of gendered research experiences in our ethnographic writing with the aim of producing more complete narratives, but also to better prepare future ethnographers for fieldwork.

Veronica Zubillaga and Rebecca Hanson. 2018. “Del punitivismo carcelario a la matanza sistemática: El avance de los operativos militarizados en la era post-ChávezREVISTA M. Estudos sobre a Morte, os Mortos e o Morrer 3(5): 32-52



Este ensayo, basado en dos investigaciones cualitativas en curso, plantea que para comprender el aumento reciente de las muertes violentas en Venezuela y específicamente en Caracas en el período post Chávez, tenemos que colocar en el centro del análisis los discursos y las prácticas de un actor privilegiado como lo es el Estado, en un contexto de colapso de los precios petroleros. Se propone que esta inusitada violencia letal puede ser comprendida por el  impacto  que  ha  ocasionado,  dentro del histórico proceso de militarización de la seguridad ciudadana, un punitivismo carcelario que con el pasar de los años ha venido abriendo el paso y yuxtaponiéndose a una práctica de matanza sistemática extralegal implicada en la extrema violencia policial y militar de operativos militarizados focalizados en los sectores pobres. Esta avanzada militar, se puede decir, forma parte del avance de una necropolítica en el país en tiempos de Revolución Bolivariana post-Chavista.


Rebecca Hanson. 2021. “Popularity contests deepen Venezuela’s deadly stalemate”.  NACLA 53(1):15-18

Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards. 2020. “What does sexual harassment tell us about the construction of ethnographic knowledge? ASA Footnotes 47(5):4-6


Rebecca Hanson and Patricia Richards. 2020. “La etnografía corporizada en tiempos de pandemia: ¿A dónde vamos desde aquí?LASA Forum 52(1): 24-28

Rebecca Hanson and Francisco Sánchez. 2019. "The Stalemate in Venezuela." NACLA, September 12.

Rebecca Hanson and Francisco Sánchez. 2019. Venezuela’s Popular Sectors and the Future of a Country NACLA, February 13. Republished in Spanish, February 20.


Tim Gill and Rebecca Hanson. 2019. “How Washington Funded the Counterrevolution in Venezuela” The Nation, February 8.


Rebecca Hanson and Tim Gill. 2019. Venezuela at Another Crossroads” NACLA, January 24.


Rebecca Hanson. 2018. "Deciphering Venezuela’s Emigration Wave" NACLA 50 (4): 356-359.


Rebecca Hanson. 2018. “Four Charts Show Venezuela’s Worsening Migrant Crisis” The Conversation, September 6.

Rebecca Hanson and Leonard Gómez Núñez. 2018. “Behind the Scenes of Venezuela’s Deadly Prison Fire” The Conversation, April 4.

Rebecca Hanson. 2017. “Protecting the Right to Life in Venezuela” NACLA 49(3): 309-314.

Rebecca Hanson. 2016. “Venezuela Opposition’s Police Reform Law Seeks Decentralization and Increased Firepower” Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights, December 11.

Rebecca Hanson. 2016. “Why are Police Officers Dying in Venezuela?” Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights, September 20.


Rebecca Hanson. 2016. “Human Rights Watch and PROVEA Release Devastating Report on Venezuelan Citizen Security Initiative” Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights, April 18.


Rebecca Hanson. 2016. “Amid Crisis, Venezuela’s National Assembly Proposes Security Reforms” Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights, February 9. Republished by Insight Crime, February 10.