Hugo Ceron-Anaya

Hugo Ceron-Anaya
Associate Professor of Sociology
Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Essex, 2009.
31 Williams Drive, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015


Privilege / Inequalities; Class, Race, and Gender; Latin America; Latin@s; Social Theory.


Hugo Ceron-Anaya's work focuses on social inequalities and privilege, examining how notion of whiteness (within a Latin American context), perceptions of masculinity, and class dynamics impact the behavior of affluent people. He is particularly interested in the wide array of ordinary and everyday practices that reproduce privilege. 

His book Privilege at Play: Class, Race, Gender, and Golf in Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2019) uses an intersectional perspective to examine inequalities, social hierarchies, and privilege in contemporary Mexico.

Based on ethnographic research conducted in exclusive golf clubs and in-depth interviews with upper-middle and upper-class golfers, as well as working-class employees, Privilege at Play reverses the discussion of inequalities by focusing on wealth instead of poverty. This study makes use of rich qualitative data to demonstrate how social hierarchies are relations reproduced through a multitude of everyday practices. The vast disparities between club members and workers, for example, are built on traditional class indicators, such as wealth, and, on more subtle expressions of class, such as notions of fashion, sense of humor, perceptions about competition, and everyday oral interactions. The book incorporates race and gender perspectives to the study of inequalities, illustrating the multilayer condition of privilege. Although Mexicans commonly attributed racial relations a marginal part in the reproduction of inequities, the book explains how affluent individuals frequently express racialized ideas to describe and justify the impoverished condition of workers. Privilege at Play demonstrates the necessity, even urgency, to reconsider the role of racial dynamics when studying social inequalities in Mexico (and Latin America). The analysis of gender, meanwhile, shows how affluent women experience a paradoxical form of privilege which benefits them regarding lower-class women and men but subordinates them to their male peers, despite the similar upper-class origins of both male and female individuals. The book explains why most of the women interviewed preferred to maintain a secondary position rather than to challenge the upper-class hegemonic masculinity present in these clubs. Finally, Privilege at Play pays particular attention to the concept of physical space, arguing that the apparent triviality of space makes it the ideal way to convey social hierarchies.

Privilege at Play aims to shift the analysis of social inequalities from only examining the receiving end of the problem, i.e., the poor, to a relational understanding of how the affluent also contribute to the reproduction of inequalities.


Reviews about Privilege at Play

“Ceron-Anaya’s book is a must-read for scholars interested in the complexities and intersections of race, gender, class, and space in sports.” Comley, Gender & Society, 2020.

“In addition to enhancing the sociological literature on elites, [Privilege at Play] also stands as an example of high-quality ethnographic research.” Guzman, Sociological Inquiry, 2020.

"Sociologists and caddies alike will find plentiful insight in Privilege at Play; golfers, on the other hand, might want to steer clear." Caring-Lobel, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 2020

“[Privilege at Play] largely convinced me and I learned much about golf and Mexico. […] I closed this book a satisfied and better educated general reader.” Trinkwon,, 2019. 


Research Interests

Dr. Ceron-Anaya is interested in developing a sociological understanding of power that captures the multiple ways in which power shapes life opportunities. In doing so, he wants to examine how class, race, and gender articulate a set of structures of subordination that impact life trajectories in a myriad of combinations. He argues that a more complex understanding of power and domination will help us to explain why communal action against social inequalities is hard to achieve and even sometimes opposed by excluded communities.