Margarita A. Mooney

Margarita A. MooneyMargarita A. Mooney
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Margarita A. Mooney is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University and a master’s and doctorate in sociology from Princeton University. Professor Mooney has written extensively about Haitian immigration, including her book Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving and Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora (University of California Press, 2009). For her research, she visited Haiti twice and spent nearly 16 months in the Haitian communities of Miami, Montréal, and Paris. Drawing on extensive interviews and including rich details of everyday life, Faith Makes Us Live explores the struggles and joys of Haitian Catholics in these three very different cities. Mooney finds that religious narratives—especially those about transformation and redemption—provide real meaning and hope in what are often difficult conditions. However, Mooney also finds that successful assimilation into the larger society varies from country to country, having less to do with these private religious beliefs than on cooperation between religious and government leaders. In the United States, the Catholic Church is able to offer services and advocacy that help immigrants succeed, but it is not able to do the same in France or Canada. Since the January 12, 2010, earthquake, Professor Mooney has written for newspapers and magazines about religion as a source of resilience after disasters. You may read more about her work on her homepage, www.margaritamooney.com, and her blog, www.margaritamooney.blogspot.com.