Faculty and Visiting Scholars

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UC Berkeley:

Charles Briggs, Anthropology

Charles Briggs’ research and teaching center on the development of critical perspectives that cross border’s national, disciplinary, epistemological, and the academic/activist divide. In 1986, he inaugurated research and collaboration with indigenous communities and activists of the Delta Amacuro rainforest in Eastern Venezuela, which continues through the present. He studied the performance genres that largely confer power on men, including rituals, myths, legends, curing songs, and the ritual wailing that enables women to turn the tables on men’s power. He was trained as a healer. When Venezuelans raised concerns that this work only appeared in English and was not available to them, he published Poeticas de vida en espacios de muerte: Género, poder y estado en la contidianeidad warao[The Poetics of Life in Space of Death: Gender, Power, and the State in Warao Everyday Life] (2012), which looks at performance, language ideologies, power, and inequality, including how people attempt to shape their relations with “the State” and how State actors construct indigenous people. He also translated the award-winning book he wrote with Dr. Clara Mantini-Briggs on a cholera epidemic in Delta Amacuro into Spanish.

Michael Burawoy, Sociology

Michael Burawoy has been a participant observer of industrial workplaces in four countries: Zambia, United States, Hungary and Russia. In his projects he has tried to illuminate – from the standpoint of the working class – postcolonialism, the organization of consent to capitalism, the peculiar forms of class-consciousness and work organization in state socialism, and the dilemmas of transition from socialism to capitalism. Over the course of four decades of research and teaching, he has developed the extended case method that allows broad conclusions to be drawn from ethnographic research. The same methodology is advanced in Global Ethnography, a book coauthored with nine graduate students that shows how globalization can be studied "from below" through participating in the lives of those who experience it. Recently he turned to the study of his own workplace – the university – to consider the way sociology itself is produced and then disseminated to diverse publics. He is the editor of Global Dialogue, the newsletter and magazine of the International Sociological Association.

Aaron Cicourel, Professor Emeritus of Sociology & Cognitive Science, UC San Diego

Phillip Fucella, Visiting Scholar, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, UC Berkeley 

Kris D. Gutiérrez, Professor, Language, Literacy, and Culture, Graduate School of Education

Kris D. Gutiérrez is a national leader in education, with an emphasis in literacy, learning sciences, and interpretive and design-based approaches to inquiry. Her research examines learning in designed learning environments, with attention to students from nondominant communities and English Learners. Her work on Third Spaces examines the affordances of hybrid and syncretic approaches to literacy, new media literacies, and STEM learning and the re-mediation of functional systems of learning.Her work in social design experiments seeks to leverage students’ everyday concepts and practices to ratchet up expansive forms of learning. Professor Gutiérrez's research has been published widely in premier academic journals, and she is a co-author of Learning and Expanding with Activity Theory. Gutiérrez has received numerous awards for her empirical work, including the 2014 Distinguished Contributions to Social Contexts in Education Research – Lifetime Achievement Award (Division G, AERA)She served on the U.S. Department of Education Reading First Advisory Committee and a member of President Obama’s Education Policy Transition Team.  

Seth Holmes, Public Health and Medical Anthropology

Seth Holmes is currently investigating social hierarchies, health, health care and the naturalization and normalization of difference and inequality in the context of transnational US-Mexico im/migration. This project led to the publication of the book, Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States (2013). The book has been awarded the Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award (2014), the New Millennium Book Award (2013), the Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Award (2013), and the Out for Sustainability Award (2014). Concurrently, Holmes is conducting research into the production of the clinical habitus, subjectivity, and gaze, in other words the processes through which biomedical trainees learn to perceive and respond to social differences and inequalities. 

Jovan Scott Lewis, African American Studies and Geography

Jovan Scott Lewis is an economic anthropologist who works in the field sites of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Montego Bay, Jamaica. His research examines the cultural mechanisms, institutional forms, and social practices through which an unequal living of, and coping with, the economy, its failures and contingencies are understood. Central to this inquiry is an exploration of contemporary inequality, which supports a generative definition of the economy in which poverty and race informs its articulation and spatial organization. Working between the US and the Caribbean, his research endeavors toward an understanding of the political economy of inequality and race within the black diaspora.

Raka Ray, Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies

Raka Ray’s areas of specialization are gender and feminist theory, domination and inequality, the emerging middle classes, and social movements. Her publications include Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India (1999), Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics (co-edited with Mary Katzenstein, 2005), Cultures of Servitude: Modernity, Domesticity and Class in India (co-authored with Seemin Qayum, 2009), Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (co-edited with Amita Baviskar, 2011) and Handbook on Gender (2012).

Martín Sánchez-Jankowski, Sociology, and Chair, Center for Ethnographic Research

Martín Sánchez-Jankowski’s research focuses on inequality in advanced and developing societies and has been directed toward understanding the social arrangements and behavior of people living in poverty. He has studied urban gangs within U.S. low-income neighborhoods, resulting in the book Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society (1991). Subsequent studies have been directed at education, some of the results being reported in a book co-authored with five other Berkeley faculty entitled Inequality By Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (1996); and the social order of neighborhoods, with those results being published in Cracks in the Pavement: Social Change and Resilience in Poor Neighborhoods (2008). His most recent book is Burning Dislike: Ethnic Violence in High Schools (2016). He is currently engaged in comparative field research on poverty among indigenous groups within the U.S. and Fiji.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Anthropology

Nancy Scheper-Hughes’ lifework concerns the violence of everyday life examined from a radical existentialist and politically engaged perspective. She is perhaps best known for her books on schizophrenia among bachelor farmers in County Kerry, Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland (1976), and on the madness of hunger, maternal thinking, and infant mortality in Brazil, Death without Weeping: the Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil (1993). During the early 1980s she undertook an ethnographic study on the deinstitutionalization of the severely mentally ill in South Boston and on the homeless mentally ill in Berkeley. In 1994-1995 she began an on-going ethnographic study of the role of political and everyday violence in the pre and post-transition periods in South Africa. She has written a series of essays to be published under the title Undoing: The Politics of the Impossible in the New South Africa. Her most recent books are Commodifying Bodies, co-edited with Loïc Waquant (2002), and Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology, co-edited with Philippe Bourgois (2003). 

Sandra Smith, Sociology

Sandra Smith's research interests include urban poverty, joblessness, race and ethnicity, social networks and social capital, trust, and culture and social structure. In her recent book, Lone Pursuit: Distrust and Defensive Individualism among the Black Poor (2010), Smith advances current and enduring debates about black joblessness, highlighting the role of interpersonal distrust dynamics between low-income black jobholders and their job seeking relations that make cooperation during the process of finding work a problematic affair. In her current project, tentatively titled Why Blacks Help Less, Smith further interrogates the process of finding work by examining racial and ethnic differences in trust dynamics and exploring the social psychological, cultural, and structural factors that generate these differences. 

Loïc Wacquant, Sociology

Loïc Wacquant has conducted fieldwork in the colonial island of New Caledonia, on the South Side of Chicago, and in the jails of big cities in the United States, France, and Brazil. He has acted as consultant on issues of urban poverty, violence, ethnicity, and crime to central and local governments, unions, and the courts in France, Argentina, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and to the United Nations and the OECD. Among Wacquant's books are An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (1992, with Pierre Bourdieu), Les Prisons de la misère (1999; new and expanded English edition), Prisons of Poverty (2009), Body and Soul: Ethnographic Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer (2000/2004), The Mystery of Ministry: Pierre Bourdieu and Democratic Politics (2005), Das Janusgesicht des Ghettos (2006), Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality (2008), and Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (2009). Wacquant is co-founder of the interdisciplinary journal Ethnography, which he co-edited from 2000 to 2008. His ongoing investigations include a carnal anthropology of desire, an epistemological inquiry into the construction of the object in urban ethnography, and a comparative-historical sociology of forms and mechanisms of racial domination over four centuries and three continents provisionally entitled Peculiar Institutions.


Other Colleges/Universities:

Corey M. Abramson, University of Arizona

Daniel Dohan, University of California, San Francisco 

Manata Hashemi, SFS Qatar, Georgetown University

Greggor Mattson, Oberlin College 

Darren Modzelewski, Law Teaching Fellow, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona

Gretchen Purser, Syracuse University

Center for Ethnographic Research
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.643.7237
FAX: 510.642.8674
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