Sociocultural Anthropology

PSU faculty in Sociocultural Anthropology (Sharon Carstens, Michele Gamburd, Jeremy Spoon) teach courses on a range of topics that include applied, medical, and urban anthropology; globalization; gender; the anthropology of violence; the anthropology of food; symbolic anthropology; space and place; ecology; and environmental anthropology. Ethnographic areas of focus include Asia (China, Southeast Asia, South Asia); Latin America; the Pacific Northwest; and Native America.

Faculty research spans North America, South America, and Asia. Specific faculty projects and publications have focused on Malaysian Chinese (identities, ethnohistory, ritual, gender, media); Chinese bilingual education; Sri Lanka (labor migration, gender, civil war, tsunami relief, alcohol use); Latin America (health, migration, development); bioethics and health policy in the United States; and Alaska Native and Canada First Nations (ethnoecology, subsistence economies, indigenous-state relations, landscape).

We welcome graduate applications from students interested in working in the areas of focus of our faculty. The MA Program in Sociocultural Anthropology features both a traditional thesis track and an applied/policy track. The Portland area plays host to numerous agencies, businesses, institutions, and culturally diverse settings that present ideal opportunities for ethnographic research and internships. Beyond Portland, our graduate students have conducted research in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere in North America. Students and faculty are involved in Environmental Sciences and Management, the Indigenous Nations Studies Program, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies ProgramInstitute for Asian Studies, Urban Studies, School of Community Health, and Conflict Resolution. Our graduate students have gone on to a range of careers, including those in education, law, non-profit organizations, community development, mental health services, and Native American health.