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Dr. Miriam Shakow

Professor of Anthropology

Political and Legal Anthropology, Climate Change, Latin America

Miriam Shakow 001 Phone: (609) 771-2635


Office: Social Science Building 315

AY 22-23: On Sabbatical

Degrees Earned

Harvard University (Ph.D., 2008)

Swarthmore College (B.A., 1997)

Recent Research & Activities

Miriam Shakow is a sociocultural anthropologist who teaches Climate Change & Society, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and Race & Gender in Latin America, as well as other courses on race, political ecology, qualitative social science research methods, and the anthropology of Latin America. Her primary research has centered on how new middle classes in Bolivia interpret and respond to dramatic economic and political transformations. She looks at how conflicts over gender, class, and racial inequalities play out in everyday family life and in community and regional politics. Her book, Along the Bolivian Highway: Social Mobility and Political Culture in a New Middle Class, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2014.

A new research project focuses on the ways in which college students of different socioeconomic class backgrounds engage with each other on campus.

Courses Taught

  • Climate Change & Society
  • Qualitative Methods/Ethnography
  • Intro to Cultural Anthropology
  • Race & Gender in Latin America
  • Social Change in Latin America


Articles and Books

  • 2021. “Equality or hierarchy? Solidarity with those above or below? Dilemmas of gendered self-identification in a new Bolivian middle class.” In The Middle Classes in Latin America: Subjectivities, Practices, and Genealogies. Edited by Mario Barbosa Cruz, A. Ricardo López-Pedreros, and Claudia Stern. New York: Routledge, Routledge Studies in the History of the Americas series.
  • 2019a. “The Rise and Fall of  ‘Civil Society’ in Bolivia.” American Anthropologist. 121(3):561-582.
  • 2019b. “Digital alteration and the law against racism: Conflicting models of citizenship among new Bolivian middle classes.”  In Citizenship in the Latin American Upper and Middle Classes: Ethnographic Perspectives on Culture, Politics, and Consumption. Edited by Fiorella Díaz Montero and Franka Winter. London: Routledge.
  • 2018. “Citizenship and Rights.” In The Andean World. Routledge Press. Edited by Linda Seligmann and Kathleen Fine-Dare. London: Routledge.
  • 2014. Along the Bolivian Highway: Social Mobility and Political Culture in a New Middle Class. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • 2011. “The Peril and Promise of Noodles and Beer: Condemnation of patronage and hybrid political frameworks in ‘post-neoliberal’ Cochabamba, Bolivia.” Political and Legal Anthropology Review

Book Reviews & Encyclopedia Articles

  • “Domesticating Democracy: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia. Susan Ellison. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 2018. For The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.
  • 2018. “Hybridity.” In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley.
  • Owners of the Sidewalk: Security and Survival in the Informal City. Daniel Goldstein. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 2016. For The Journal of Anthropological Research.
  •  From the Mines to the Streets: A Bolivian Activist’s Life. Linda Farthing and Benjamin Kohl. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012. 263 pp. (For The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History, Forthcoming)
  • Mobilizing Bolivia’s Displaced: Indigenous Politics and the Struggle over Land. Nicole Fabricant. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. 288 pp. (For The American Anthropologist, March 2014, 16 (1).).
  • Guerrilla Auditors: The Politics of Transparency in Neoliberal Paraguay. Kregg Hetherington. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. 312 pp. (For the American Ethnologist, August 2013 40 (3)).
  • Outlawed: Between Security and Rights in a Bolivia City. Daniel M. Goldstein. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012. 327 pp. (For the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, January, 2013, 37(73).)
  •  Starting from Quirpini: The Travels and Places of a Bolivian People. Stuart Alexander Rockefeller. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. 306 pp. (For American Anthropologist, June, 2012, 114(2):384-384).
  •  Dilemmas of Modernity: Bolivian Encounters with Law and Liberalism. Mark Goodale. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. 264 pp. (For American Ethnologist, February 2012, 39(1):226-227)
  • Ethnic Entrepreneurs: Identity and Development Politics in Latin America. Monica DeHart. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010. 208 pp. (For American Anthropologist, September 2011, 113(3):516-517).
  •  New Languages of the State: Indigenous Resurgence and the Politics of Knowledge in Bolivia. Bret Darin Gustafson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. 352 pp. (For Political and Legal Anthropology Review November, 2010, 33(2):400-402).