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Prof Barley Honored for Lifetime Achievement in Anthropology of Work

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Distinguished Professor Stephen R. Barley Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Society for the Anthropology of Work

Stephen R. Barley, the Christian A. Felipe Professor of Technology Management at UCSB, has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Conrad Arensberg Prize by the Society for the Anthropology of Work. Established by the Society in 1991 to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of the anthropology of work, Stephen R. Barley is one of only 17 recipients to receive the award, including Conrad Arensberg himself. 

The Society for the Anthropology of Work is a section of the American Anthropological Association, and is comprised of more than 200 members. The Society publishes the Anthropology of Work Review, a peer-reviewed journal that facilitates exchanges between those engaged in the study of all dimensions of human work. The Conrad Anensberg Prize was established in 1991 in honor of the pioneering anthropologist whose work signaled a shift in the field of anthropology to the complex industrial culture. 

Barley holds an AB. in English from the College of William and Mary, an M.Ed. from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Organization Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Barley served for ten years on the faculty of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He then moved to Stanford where he was the Richard Weiland Professor of Management Science and Engineering, the Associate Chair of the Department of Management Science and Engineering (2011-2015), and was the Co-founder and co-director of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization at Stanford's School of Engineering from 1994-2015. 

Barley has written over sixty articles on the impact of new technologies on work, the organization of technical work, and organizational culture.  He edited a volume on technical work entitled Between Craft and Science: Technical Work in the United States published in 1997 by the Cornell University Press. In collaboration with Gideon Kunda of Tel Aviv University, Barley authored Gurus, Hired Guns and Warm Bodies: Itinerant Experts in the Knowledge Economy, an ethnography of contingent work among engineers and software developers published by the Princeton University Press in 2004.  

Barley currently teaches courses on the organizational implications of technological change, organizational theory, social network analysis and ethnographic field methods. He has served as a consultant to organizations in a variety of industries including publishing, banking, computers, electronics and aerospace.