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Michael French   Smith

Independent researcher
(United States)

I received my Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, in 1978. I have spent most of my career as an applied anthropologist, providing project design and evaluation expertise to public and private non-profit organizations providing healthcare and other human services to marginal populations. My work took me throughout the United States and to several Pacific Islands and Latin American countries. I have returned several times to the site of my doctoral research in Papua New Guinea (1975-1976): Kragur Village, Kairiru Island, East Sepik Province, most recently in 2015. My publications on social and cultural change in Kragur include Hard Times on Kairiru Island: Poverty, Development, and Morality in a Papua New Guinea Village (1994), Village on the Edge: Changing Times in Papua New Guinea (2002), and A Faraway, Familiar Place: An Anthropologist Returns to Papua New Guinea (2013). I am also co-author, with the late Dr. Theodore Schwartz, of Like Fire: The Paliau Movement and Millenarianism in Melanesia (2021), which chronicles an indigenous movement for radical change in Papua New Guinea from 1946 to the present and questions the prevailing anthropological understanding of millenarianism wherever it occurs.
Member of
Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO)
Geographic administrative areas
Geographic places
Historical periods
20th century
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Some figures...

The database of experts counts today 1239 profiles, of which 595 are publicly accessible, while 644 have chosen to remain private.

These persons have defined 749 unique keywords in which they situate their research interests and expertise.

They have also defined and described 649 'experiences' (research and teaching activities, consulting work, or applied projects) in which they have contributed.