Dr Claire  Moll-Namas

Dr Claire Moll-Namas

Visiting Fellow

Department of Anthropology

Connect with me

English, Spanish
Key Expertise
Key Expertise-El Salvador and Trust

About me

Claire’s research focuses on the generation and maintenance of deep, mutual, transactional trust, confianza in rural El Salvador. Her doctoral (University of Cambridge 2021) work based on fieldwork with a Salvadoran NGO and its Evangelical Christian participants uses the approach of the Anthropology of the Good and the Anthropology of Values. As such she was able to carefully parse the differences between ethically laden concepts (ie falsehoods, lies, mistrust and distrust) as they are used by her interlocutors in the context of generating confianza. She provided a new analysis of the role of violence in the lives of rural Salvadorans in their own terms contributing new analytical insight to the theoretical anthropological concept of violence. 

For her ESRC funded postdoctoral position, Claire is focusing on elaborating and publishing her ethnography focused on those who migrated from El Salvador to the United States while she was in the field during the 2018-2019 mass migrant caravans. Claire’s work illuminates an often overlooked and undervalued motivation for migrant movement—trust. She holds that the breakdown of trust should be considered by policy makers as a direct act of violence perpetrated by the local factions of transnational gangs. This understanding offers to redefine certain migrants as refugees protecting a greater number of people from having to return to unsafe spaces in El Salvador. 

Claire is currently working on a full-length monograph on confianza along with an edited book project on kinship and aspiration. She also has other articles in the works on Digital Trust, Mistrust v Distrust, and Language Ideologies. She is part of an international working group on the study of values.

Expertise Details

Trust; El Salvador; Migration; Violence; NGO; Evangelical Christianity; Anthropology of the Good; Anthropology of Values; Language

Selected publications

Selected publications 

2021. with Danny Cardoza. “Cold-Contacting New Colleagues: A Method for Creating Small Meetings”. Fieldsights. Society for Cultural Anthropology Blog. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/cold-contacting-new-colleagues-a-method-for-creating-small-academic-meetings

2021. Review of A House of One’s Own: The Moral Economy of Post-Disaster Aid in El Salvador. Alicia Sliwinski. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.

2018. “Saint Óscar Romero: A Hero of the Poor and a Symbol of Hope for El Salvador”. London School of Economics Religion and Global Society Blog. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/religionglobalsociety/2018/10/saint-oscar-romero-a-hero-of-the-poor-and-symbol-of-hope-for-el-salvador/