DPhil Student Spotlight: Alicia Garcia Sierra

DPhil Student Spotlight: Alicia Garcia Sierra

Alicia is a full-time DPhil student, supervised by Professor Christiaan Monden. She is a member of Nuffield College, and is supported by a Clarendon Scholarship and a Nuffield Grant.


Image of Alicia Garcia Sierra outside

Why sociology?

Since my undergrad degree, I knew I wanted to explore matters related to the inequality of opportunities.

Although for a while I concentrated my efforts in exploring how socioeconomic inequality affected political processes (i.e. class voting), during my Masters I noticed that what interested me the most was the actual paths by which social stratification is produced. That is when I started to read more about family sociology and the intergenerational transmission of inequalities. 

What attracted you to the department in Oxford?

The main thing that attracted me was that Oxford was a place where a very large group of people were doing research that related to my own ideas. I noticed that several of the researchers I was reading and whose ideas had conditioned my own process of thought were or had been at Oxford.

Moreover – and equally important for me - it was in Europe (which would allow me to be closer to my family) and there were several funding opportunities that would allow me to get the most of the PhD experience. 

Where do your research interests lie?

Social stratification, family sociology, and intergenerational transmission of disadvantages. 

What do you hope to do when you finish your course?

In the short term, I would like to do a post-doc in a research project connected to my own research. I would also like to work for some time for an organisation doing research on social mobility and family.

In the long term, my plan is to continue in the Academic sphere because I am enjoying what I am doing. However, I am trying to be flexible and see which other options are out there.

What piece of advice would you give to prospective students?

In my opinion, it is important to avoid personal comparisons with other students and researchers (one never knows which opportunities other people have had!).

It’s also important to keep mental health priorities in mind and make the effort of having a balanced study-life time (otherwise, Oxford can be very absorbing).

What do you enjoy the most about living and studying at Oxford? 

I like the fact that it is a small city, where people are generally very friendly and helpful. I enjoy that sense of community. 

Favourite Book:

'El Camino' by Miguel Delibes