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Hans C. Buechler

Hans C. Buechler

Contact Information:

Hans C. Buechler

Professor Emeritus, Anthropology Department

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Columbia University, 1966


My specialization is in social anthropology of Latin America, particularly the Andes and Europe. I have engaged in fieldwork in Bolivia, Ecuador, Spain, Switzerland and eastern Germany.

The major theme that runs through my research and publications is the manner in which individuals and families adapt to major social, political and economic transformations. In Bolivia, my research has concentrated on the effects of land reform and rural-urban migration on family, kinship, politics and ritual; artisans and small-scale enterprises in the city of La Paz; and, most recently, post-secondary education, the awakening of Aymara Indian identity and the development of ethnic politics.

In Spain and Switzerland I focused on short-term and long-term labor migrations from various communities in Spanish Galicia to cities in Switzerland as well as on the massive economic and social changes associated with Spanish democratization and involvement in the European Unions. Finally, in eastern Germany (former German Democratic Republic) I studied privatization and emerging urban and rural entrepreneurship after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I employ methods that reflect an effort to connect the differing lives of individuals to wider regional, national and international contexts and trends. These methods include the gathering of individual and family histories and data on social networks over long periods of time, the subject of one of my seminars.

Areas of Expertise

Culture change, migration, urban problems, political anthropology, Andes, Latin America, Spain, Switzerland

Selected Publications

Anthropological Collaborations in Latin America: The Effects of Globalization, coedited with June Nash, distinguished professor emerita CUNY Palgrave Publishers, Spring 2016

2006 Entre la Pachamama y la galería de arte: vidas y propuestas de artistas paceños de origen aymara y quechua. (Between the Pachamama and the Art Gallery: the Life and Art of Bolivians of Aymara and Quechua Origin). Con un aporte de Antonio Paredes Candia.  La Paz: Plural Editores.

2005 “They Were Promised a Rosegarden: Reunification and Globalization in Small- and Medium-size Firms in Eastern Europe.” (co-authored with Judith-Maria Buechler) In Petty Capitalists and Globalization: Flexibility, Entrepreneurship, and Globalization, edited by Alan and Josie Smart, SUNY Press in March 2005. Pp. 121-144.

2004 Reprint of a shortened version of my article co-authored with Judith-Maria Buechler entitled “The Bakers of Bernburg and the Logics of Communism and Capitalism.” (Originally published in the American Ethnologist 26) in The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating, edited by James Watson and Melissa Caldwell.  Blackwell Publishers: New York. December 2004

2002 Contesting Agriculture: Cooperativism and Privatization in the New Easter Germany. (with Judith-Maria Buechler). State University of New York Press. 

1997 Women and Economic Change: Andean Perspectives. A. Miles and H. Buechler, eds. Volume 14. Society for Latin American Anthropology Publication Series. 

1996 The World of Sofía Velasquez: The Autobiography of a Bolivian Market Vendor. (with Judith-Maria Buechler). New York: Columbia University Press. 

1992 Manufacturing Against the Odds: Small-Scale Producers in an Andean City. (with Judith-Maria Buechler). Boulder: Westview Press. 

1990 The World of Sofia Velazquez, a film in collaboration with Judith-Maria Buechler and Hans Schlumpf. 

1987 Migrants in Europe: The Role of Family Labor and Politics, ed. with Judith-Maria Buechler. Westport: Greenwood Press. 

1981 Carmen: The Autobiography of a Spanish Galician Woman, (with Judith-Maria Buechler). Cambridge: Schenkman. 

1980 The Masked Media: Aymara Fiestas and Social Interaction in the Bolivian Highlands. The Hague: Mouton. 

1971 The Bolivian Aymara (with Judith-Maria Buechler). New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 

1969 Land Reform and Social Revolution in Bolivia, with D. Heath and C. Erasmus. New York: Praeger.