USC Dornsife College Of Letters Arts and Sciences

University of Southern California

Joseph Palacios (Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, Berkeley) specializes in the sociology of religion, politics and culture in the Americas. As a Catholic priest, he brings his experience in ministry and community organizing among minorities and immigrants in the United States, Mexico and Chile to bear on his academic work. He is also an internationally recognized leader in the development of community-based learning and research programs.

Palacios has served as a lecturer at the University of Southern California. He previously taught in Georgetown University’s Department of Sociology and the School of Foreign Service’s Latin American Studies Program. He served as director of the Georgetown Community-Based Learning Summer Program at Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile.

He is author of The Catholic Social Imagination: Activism and the Just Society in Mexico and the United States (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and the forthcoming book, Chilifornia: Chile, Vanguard Latin Nation, about Chile’s leading role in education, democratic institutions and economics in Latin America. Palacios was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and begin his research on Chile at Universidad de Santiago’s Institute for Advanced Studies.

Palacios is a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He serves as a consultant to a variety of human and civil rights organizations and is presently a member of the Board of Directors of Ámerica Solidaria and the Board of Visitors of the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).

He has been a commentator on Latino religion and progressive Catholicism for the New York Times, National Public Radio, Voice of America, C-Span, the BBC, Fox News, Univisión, Catholic News Service, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Religion, Culture and Politics in the Americas
  • Human Rights
  • Religious Liberty
  • NGOs and Social Change
  • Catholic Church: Pope Francis and change in the church; LGBT issues; social justice teachings; progressive Catholicism
  • U.S. Latinos and Religion, Culture and Politics
  • Mexican Catholic Church
  • Big Data and Cultural, Social and Political Movements
  • WHINSEC/School of the Americas

Joe Palacios