1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Socio-cultural

Shepherd

My research applies my interest in historical dynamics, political economy, and conflict theories of society to issues in Chinese society at both the macro level of empire and region and at the micro level of marriage, gender, and domestic groups. I am concerned with research design, and the critical examination and testing of competing hypotheses, even those labeled as "interpretations." 

Young

Modern cultures have been my subject, first in the enclave community of Chinatown, New York, second in the African American sector of a southern U.S. town, next in a Windward Island Caribbean nation, and in the histories and fictional works of Asian Americans. My theoretical frameworks have been political organization in Chinatown, socialization in African American groups, relations of individual to the polity in the Caribbean, and intergenerational structures of Asian Americans.  These frameworks have been used to focus on forms of individual identity that occur within different cultures.

Khare

A socio-cultural anthropologist, I am interested in comparative studies of diverse cultural traditions, social inequalities, and political-national modernity and globalism found among the social elite as well as the Subaltern groups engaged in social identity and justice movements. Starting with contemporary India, my transnational discussions expand, implicitly or explicitly, into discussing the modern “Western, European or American” value systems and social life ways.

Metcalf

Before coming to the United States, I worked at the Universities of Singapore and Papua New Guinea, and conducted research in both of those countries. But most of what I now write and teach is motivated by the experience of living in longhouse communities in Borneo in the 1970's. It was the beginning of a period of rapid change; most obviously, the integrity of traditional world views were challenged by conversion to Christianity. Thinking about that led me into a century-old tradition of comparative religion in anthropology, which places emphasis on ritual.

Sapir

West African languages, folklore and culture. My initial field work was with the language and folklore of the Kujamaat Jóola of Southern Sénégal. Subsequent field work investigated their social organization and social symbolism. Language, folklore and social symbolism center on symbolism in general and inform my broader theoretical interests, the central place of symbolism in human thought.

Seneviratne

My early research interests were fashioned by three factors in the context of my growing up in Sri Lanka. First, Buddhist rituals were all around me, and I was stimulated to explore the meaning of these rituals. Second, Sri Lanka was going through radical social change. Third, Sri Lanka was groping for an identity and economic security after its recent emergence from British colonial domination. My published work reflects these contextual factors as well as my belief that the utility of traditional sociological theory is by no means exhausted.

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