Dr. Rodrigo Serrao

Assistant Professor of Sociology
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Dr. Rodrigo Serrao joined the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Hope College in 2020. His research, which has been published in journals in Brazil and the U.S., including Review of Religious Research, Latin American Perspectives, and International Journal of Latin American Religions, focuses on race and ethnicity, religion, and immigration. More specifically, he seeks to understand how first-generation immigrants from Latin America and their U.S.-born children negotiate racial ideologies within multi-racial, English-speaking congregations.

His next research project, called "White Latinx Project," will examine those who identify racially as White and ethnically as Latinx and those who are "White-passing" but prefer not to identify as White. This research will explore questions related to ethnic solidarity, privilege, racism, colorism, immigration, politics and religion among White Latinx.

Professor Serrao has taught various courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Social Theory, Race and Ethnicity, Power and Society, Sociology of Religion, and Contemporary Social Problems.

AREAS OF Expertise

  • Sociology of race and ethnicity
  • Sociology of religion
  • Immigration
  • Inequality
  • Latin American / Latina/o sociology


  • Ph.D., sociology, University of South Florida, 2020
  • Graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of South Florida, 2016
  • M.A., sociology, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Brazil, 2014
  • M.Div., theology, Baylor University, 2008
  • B.A., biblical/theological studies, Baptist University of the Americas, 2005
  • B.S., accountancy, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Brazil, 2001


  • Winner, Graduate Paper Competition, Division on Racial and Ethnic Minorities of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2019
  • Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award, SAGE Publishing, 2019
  • Constant H. Jacquet Research Award, Title of the Grant Project, "Winning 'Americans' for Jesus?: Second-Generation, Racial Ideology, and the Future of the Brazilian Evangelical Church in the U.S," Religious Research Association, 2018

Selected Publications

  • "Racializing Region: Internal Colonialism, Social Media, and the Perpetuation of Stereotypes and Prejudice against Brazilian Nordestinos," Latin American Perspectives, 2020
  • "Immigrant Evangelicalism in the COVID-19 Crisis: Reactions and Responses," with João Chaves,  International Journal of Latin American Religions, 2020
  • "The Social Functions and Dysfunctions of Brazilian Immigrant Congregations in 'Terra Incognita'," with James Cavendish, Review of Religious Research, 2018
  • "From Brazil to the World: How Do Classic Weberian Concepts Help Understand the Successful Transnational Endeavors of Worldwide Church of God's Power?," with Flávia Pires (published in Portuguese), Ciências da Religião – História e Sociedade, 2014
  • "The Church as a Piece of Brazil: Transnational Religion in the Capital of Texas," with Flávia Pires (published in Portuguese), in Transnacionalização Religiosa: Religiões em Movimento, CirKula, 2014

Outside the College

Rodrigo Serrao is a native of Brazil, where he grew up surfing at the Brazilian northeastern coast's warm beaches. In West Michigan, he hasn't had a chance to surf at Lake Michigan yet, but he plans to do so. Although Dr. Serrao, his wife Adriana, and daughter Liz are from the tropics, they are excited about living in Holland. They love traveling, exploring, and also staying indoors, playing videogames and watching good movies.

Profile photo of Dr. Rodrigo Serrao
Dr. Rodrigo Serrao

Phone Number616.395.7084

Van Zoeren Hall Room 255B 41 Graves Place Holland, MI 49423
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