F. Allan Hanson

Professor Emeritus, Sociocultural Anthropology
(Ph.D., Chicago 1966)
Primary office:


Research Areas: semiotics, social impact of technology, social theory; Polynesia, contemporary US

The primary area of my current research is the social impact of technological developments in contemporary society. I began with technologies of testing, then turned to new reproductive technologies (especially donor insemination), and most recently have been working on information technology. Throughout my career I have been interested in social theory and the philosophy of social science, particularly the relation between culture and the individual, the nature of anthropological understanding, and cultural relativism. My other career-long interest has been in Polynesia, particularly French Polynesia (where I did my initial fieldwork), and the New Zealand Maori. I am interested in Polynesian social organization, art, the ritual status of women, and mythology and religion.


Courses Recently Taught

  • Theory in Anthropology
  • Technology and Society in the Contemporary World
  • The Social Construction of the Self
  • Culture Wars

Connect with Anthropology