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Magdalena Soffia

General information

Magdalena Soffia is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Cambridge, Darwin College, working under the supervision of Dr Brendan Burchell. Magdalena’s current research focuses on the quality of jobs in Central American countries from a capabilities approach. One of her main research objectives is to determine the extent of applicability of a measure of job quality for global comparability purposes. She is particularly interested to find out whether a multidimensional measure of job quality – like the one proposed by Green and Mustafa (2012) – captures the heterogeneity of situations comprising the large ‘informal sector’ that characterizes some of the economies in the isthmus. Magdalena is using a mixed-methods approach that involves the quantitative analysis of the First Central American Working Conditions Survey, conducted in 2011 in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, in addition to qualitative semi-structured interviews with selected informants from these six countries.

Academic background

Magdalena received her BA in Sociology from Universidad Católica de Chile in 2008, and a MSc in Development Studies from London School of Economics (LSE) in 2013. Before initiating her post-graduate studies, she worked four years as a consultant in in the Population Division of United Nations ECLAC, in Santiago. There she specialised on the research of international migration of Latin American workers, a field in which most of her publishing was produced.

Research Interests

Economic Sociology, Sociology of Work and Labour Markets, Latin American Studies, Development Studies, Capabilities Approach, International Migration.


During her studies at Cambridge, Magdalena has provided small group supervisions for 2 courses in the HSPS Tripos:

  • 2014-2015 – Modern Societies and Global Transformation (SOC 3), module on Global Capitalism and American Power since 1945.
  • 2015-2016 – Statistics and Methods in Politics and International Relations (POL6/SOC 5).


Martínez, J.; Cano, V.; Soffia, M. (2014) "Tendencias y patrones de la migración latinoamericana y caribeña hacia 2010 y desafíos para una agenda regional", Serie Población y Desarrollo, No. 109, December, CELADE-CEPAL, Santiago, Chile.

Martínez, J. y Soffia, M. (2013) “Migración internacional en Chile: tendencias, políticas, normas y participación de la sociedad civil”, en Chiarello, L.M (coord.) Las políticas sobre migraciones y la sociedad civil en América Latina: los casos de Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay y Perú, New York: Scalabrini International Migration Network.  

Martínez, J. y Soffia M. (2013) “Lo que reflejan los datos del registro de Incami y una aproximación descriptiva sociodemográfica de las mujeres inmigrantes en Santiago de Chile”, en V. Correa; I. Bortolotto & A. Mussait (eds.), Geografías de la espera: migrar, habitar y trabajar en la ciudad de Santiago, Chile (1990-2012), Santiago, Chile: Uqbar Editores.  

 Martínez, J.; Reboiras, L.; Soffia, M. (2011) “Crisis económica y migración internacional: la centralidad de los derechos humanos en América Latina y el Caribe”, en Colección de Ensayos sobre población y derechos humanos en América Latina, Jorge Martínez Pizarro (ed.), Serie Investigaciones, 10, ALAP, Río de Janeiro, Brazil.

 Martínez, J.; Reboiras, L.; Soffia, M. (2010) “Crisis económica y migración internacional: hipótesis, visiones y consecuencias en América Latina y el Caribe”, Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana REMHU, Año XVIII, 35, July/December, Centro Scalabriniano de Estudios Migratórios CSEM, Brasilia, Brazil.

Cano, M.V. y Soffia, M. (2009) “Normativa y política migratoria en Chile, a la luz de los derechos humanos”, Boletín EntreTierras, Edición Especial, September, Secretaría Técnica Ad-Hoc de la MTML, Quito, Ecuador. 

 Martínez, J.; Reboiras, L.; Soffia, M. (2009) “Los derechos concedidos: crisis económica mundial y migración internacional”, Serie Población y Desarrollo, No. 89, December, CELADE-CEPAL, Santiago, Chile.

Cano, M.V.; Soffia, M. (2009) “Los estudios sobre migración internacional en Chile: apuntes y comentarios para una agenda de investigación actualizada”, Revista Papeles de Población, Nueva Época, Año 15, No. 61, July-September, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados de la Población, UAEM, Toluca, Mexico. 

Cano, M.V.; Soffia, M.; Martínez, J. (2009) “Conocer para legislar y hacer política: los desafíos de Chile ante un nuevo escenario migratorio”, Serie Población y Desarrollo, No. 88, July, CELADE-CEPAL, Santiago, Chile. 

Selected Awards and Grants

2014-2018: CONICYT-Chile Cambridge full scholarship granted by the Cambridge Trust in collaboration with National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT, Chile), for doctoral studies abroad.  

2012-2013: 'Becas Chile' full scholarship granted by the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT, Chile) for MSc studies abroad.  

2008: Academic Excellence (1st of Sociology class), granted by the Institute of Sociology, Universidad Católica de Chile.  

 2006: 'Matrícula de Honor', distinction for outstanding students, granted by Universidad Católica de Chile.

Other academic activities

 2014 – 2016. Co-director of the ‘Individual in the Labour Market Research Group’ (ILMrg).

  • E-mail:
  • Address: Department of Sociology, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RQ
  • Supervisor: Dr. Brendan Burchell
  • College: Darwin
  • Thesis Title: Tackling the real ‘bad-jobs’: scope and limitations of a capability-based measure of job quality in Central America