Anthropology Department Directory


Victoria Lockwood

Associate Professor and Director, Health and Society Program

Ph.D 1983 University of California, Los Angeles
Heroy Hall 403

Courses Taught

ANTH 3316 - Cultures of the Pacific Islands
ANTH 3329 - Contesting Development (co-listed with HRTS 3329)
ANTH 3336 - Gender and Globalization: Cultural and Ethical Issues (co-listed with CFB 3336)
ANTH 4384/6384 - Global Issues and Development: An Overview
ANTH 5344 - Research Methods in Ethnology
ANTH 6327 - Gendered Lives and Global Change
ANTH 7351 - Research Strategies in Ethnology

Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology


Economic Development, Globalization, and the Evolving Gender Relations

Economic development and changes related to globalization are reshaping the lives of people in both the industrialized and developing worlds. This is particularly true in the island nations of Oceania where greater global integration -- economically, politically, and socially -- may help to develop these island societies and bring greater prosperity to rural communities. Like other major parts of the non-western world on the periphery of the global economy, Pacific islands face issues of economic development, nation-building, ethnic and racial conflict, and environmental sustainability. Professor Lockwood's research and writing deal broadly with how these issues play out in this part of the world, and wha the future might look like for these struggling, developing nations.

New opportunities across the Pacific are moving women in particular from more traditional roles into wage work and commercial sectors, and are transforming cultural systems of gender relations, family, and patriarchy. Lockwood investigates these impacts on women and rural economies, but focuses particularly on rural Tahitian women in French Polynesia (South Pacific). French agendas for its overseas territory of French Polynesia have led to the rapid development of commercial agriculture and craft export on rural islands. Tahitian women have been major actors in these endeavors although women traditionally focused on the domestic sphere. A three island comparative study has shown that where women earn independet income and are defined as family "providers," their participation in familial decision-making and authority increases. They are also associated with women assuming greater political roles (i.e., mayor, council member) in their communities. These findings have important implications for women's economic participation in both the western and non-western worlds. Lockwood compares outcomes for women in these cultures with the less optimistic outcomes for rural women in some parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She has also examined issues of poverty and inequality in the islands, and how economic development has generated greater class stratification in previously egalitarian communities.

Most recently, Lockwood's research on gender has turned to issues of domestic violence in Tahitian marriage and family. Recent research on domestic violence suggests that there are several distinct forms of such violence and that they vary throughout the life cycle. One, "situational couple violence," is found frequently in the early years of Tahitian marriage, but then virtually disappears. A different, more severe form, escalates over time and is chronic throughout the life course in a small percentage of all marriages. Situational couple violence is associated with high rates of conflict particularly in young couples. These conflicts revolve around contested patterns of marital authority, power, and decision making; once relative "power" is negotiated, violence between the spouses declines dramatically. Economic factors -- relative spousal income earning and productivity -- play a key role in marital power negotiations.


"Analyzing Forms of Domestic Violence". National Science Foundation, Cultural Anthropology Program.
"Rural Tahitian Domestic Violence". Southern Methodist University.
"Rural Tahitian Women and Capitalism". National Science Foundation, Anthropology Program.
"A Comparative Study of Women's Economic Roles and Status on Three Tahitian Islands". Southern Methodist University.
"Development and the Emergence of Structured Social Inequality: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Agricultural Development on Tubuai, French Polynesia". National Science Foundation, Anthropology Program.

Selected Publications

2009 "The Impact of Development on Women: The Interplay of Material Conditions and Gender Ideology." In Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspectives (5th ed.). C. Brettell and C. Sargent, eds. Pp. 510-524. prentice Hall. (revised/updated version of 1996 article.)

2004 Globalization and Culture Change in the Pacific Islands. Edited volume. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.

2004 "The Global Imperative and Pacific Island Societies." In Globalization and Culture Change in the Pacific Islands. Victoria Lockwood, ed. Pp. 1-39. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice-Hall.

1993 Tahitian Transformation: Gender and Capitalist Development in a Rural Society. Boulder, CO.: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

1993 Contemporary Pacific Societies: Studies in Development and Change. Edited with T. Harding and B. Wallace. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.

For a comprehensive list of works by Dr. Lockwood, please click here.

Memberships and Affiliations:
American Anthropological Association
American Ethnological Association
Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania
Society for Economic Anthropology
Society for Feminist Anthropology