Oregon State University

Shane Macfarlan


Fixed Term Faculty
226 Waldo Hall
Phone: 541-737-5033

I received my Ph.D. in Anthropology from Washington State University with a concentration in biocultural anthropology and an M.A. in Museum Science from Texas Tech University with a concentration in public education. Currently, my research focuses on the relationship between globalization, social networks, risk management, and reproduction. I am actively working on two, long-term, multidisciplinary research projects.  One occurs in an Afro-Caribbean community located on the Commonwealth of Dominica, the other in an oasiana-ranchero community in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

On the Caribbean island-nation of Dominica, I examine how the process of globalization affects social cohesion, exchange relationships, risk and gendered behavior. Over the last six years, I have: 1) identified how geography, wealth, and age pattern the size and distribution and social networks; 2) explored how variation in social capital affect people's ability to mitigate environmental risks; 3) investigated the impact of reputations on reproductive potential; 4) examined how village social institutions cause gender differences in economic reasoning; and 5) innovated field methods for cultural anthropologists. My research has been presented to the Dominican Division of Forestry to inform agricultural policy, is in press at the journal Current Anthropology, and has been published by Human Nature, Field Methods, and Psychological Bulletin.  Currently, I am examining how the mechanisms underpinning reputation change and its affect on social cohesion.

Additionally, I perform ethno-archaeological research in the Sierra de la Giganta region of Baja California Sur, Mexico.  My work in Mexico is part of an ongoing project with the Pacific Slope Archaeological Laboratory at Oregon State University and the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), concerning the relationship between geography, natural resource ecology, and economic decision-making in the ethnographic present and archaeological past. 

Over the last five years, I have examined ethnic relationships between indigenous populations through ethno-historic documents, collaborated with ranchero peoples on recording traditional ecologic knowledge concerning oasis water management, and participated in the first systematic excavations of the region.

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