Department of Anthropology
Office: RAB, Room 303
Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1997
Political and legal anthropology, urban anthropology, critical anthropology of security, democracy, violence and crime, human rights, globalization, cultural performance, indigenous peoples and the state; Latin America, the Andes.
Daniel M. Goldstein is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Prof. Goldstein received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1997; he joined the Anthropology Department at Rutgers in 2005. Prof. Goldstein received a Grant for Research and Writing from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and a Richard Carley Hunt postdoctoral fellowship from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, which he used to complete his work on the book The Spectacular City: Violence and Performance in Urban Bolivia, published by Duke University Press in 2004. In 2010, he received a Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies to support the write-up of his new Bolivian research.
A political and legal anthropologist, Prof. Goldstein studies the global meanings and practices of security and securitization, particularly as these come into conflict with human rights. He is concerned with questions of law, violence, and social justice for marginalized urban people in Latin America. Prof. Goldstein is the co-editor (with Desmond Arias) of a collection titled Violent Democracies in Latin America, from Duke University Press.
Prof. Goldstein has written about problems of crime and insecurity for residents of the so-called marginal communties of Cochabamba, Bolivia’s fourth largest city, and the conflicts that arise when the quest to make “security” clashes with transnational discourses of human rights. The results of this research were published in 2012 as a book entitled Outlawed: Between Security and Rights in a Bolivian City.
Currently, Prof. Goldstein is working on two related research projects. The first project involves legal and illegal market vendors in the Cancha, Cochabamba’s huge outdoor market; it compares the security concerns of these two groups of vendors, to explore the consequences for people deemed “illegal” as they try to make a living in the city’s enormous informal economy. This research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, programs in Cultural Anthropology and Law and Social Science.
A second project, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, looks at the consequences of securitization for migrant and non-migrant residents of a New Jersey town. This research considers the wave of laws currently emerging at the municipal and state levels across the United States, as undocumented Latino immigration is configured as a security “problem.”
In addition to his scholarly work, Goldstein has been exploring the possibilities of an engaged anthropology, joining his pedagogy and research by creating an anthropological field school/service-learning program in the communities in which he works in Cochabamba. Each summer, he leads a group of undergraduates as they practice ethnographic research methods and engage in service work with local communities in Bolivia. He also works as an activist on immigration issues and immigration reform in the United States.
At Rutgers, Prof. Goldstein teaches courses on human rights, political and legal anthropology, transnationalism and globalization, and the peoples and cultures of Latin America.
Since the Bolivian revolution in 1952, migrants have come to the city of Cochabamba, seeking opportunity and relief from rural poverty. They have settled in barrios on the city's outskirts only to find that the rights of citizens - basic rights of property and security, especially protection from crime - are not available to them. In this ethnography, Daniel M. Goldstein considers the significance of and similarities between two kinds of spectacles - street festivals and the vigilante lynching of criminals - as they are performed in the Cochabamba barrio of Villa Pagador. By examining folkloric festivals and vigilante violence within the same analytical framework, Goldstein shows how marginalized urban migrants, shut out of the city and neglected by the state, use performance to assert their national belonging and to express their grievances against the inadequacies of the state's official legal order.
During the period of Goldstein's fieldwork in Villa Pagador in the mid-1990s, residents attempted to lynch several thieves and attacked the police who tried to intervene.
Since that time, there have been hundreds of lynchings in the poor barrios surrounding Cochabamba. Goldstein presents the lynchings of thieves as a form of horrific performance, with elements of critique and political action that echo those of local festivals. He explores the consequences and implications of extralegal violence for human rights and the rule of law in the contemporary Andes. In rich detail, he provides an in-depth look at the development of Villa Pagador and of the larger metropolitan area of Cochabamba, illuminating a contemporary Andean city from both microethnographic and macrohistorical perspectives. Focusing on indigenous peoples' experiences of urban life and their attempts to manage their sociopolitical status within the broader context of neoliberal capitalism and political decentralization, The Spectacular City highlights the deep connections between performance, law, violence, and the state.