Karen Stocker

Contact Information

Office: McCarthy Hall 477E
Phone: 657-278-1070
Email: kstocker@fullerton.edu

Karen Stocker 




Karen Stocker is Professor of Anthropology at CSU, Fullerton, where she teaches cultural and linguistic anthropology. For thirty years, she has conducted ethnographic research in Costa Rica, on a variety of topics. These have included interviews with Costa Rica’s first women voters and with former banana plantation laborers, as well as ethnographic research on cultural change and revitalization in Chorotega Indigenous Territory, Chorotega narrative practice, schooling and Indigeneity, tourism, art, and social movements led by young people. She is the author of four books and various other publications rooted in ethnographic inquiry.


PhD, Anthropology, University of New Mexico                                                  MA, Latin American Studies, University of New Mexico                                      BA, Latin American Studies, Carleton College


Recent Courses

Anthropology 102: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; 300: Language and Culture; 332: Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective; 350: Culture and Education; 415: Anthropology of Tourism; 481 Contemporary Anthropology; 504T: Ethnography and Communication; 510: Anthropology 513: Theory and Method in Cultural [and Linguistic] Anthropology; Research Design; Humanities 350T: Costa Rican Life and Culture (for Study Abroad)


2023      “Academic Underbelly Grad School Jobs and Academic Underbelly Realities,” Society for the Anthropology of Work. December 8 issue. https://doi.org/10.21428/1d6be30e.46b28b45

2023       “Entrepreneurial Domesticity: Women on the Forefront of Touristic Endeavors in Rural Costa Rica.” In Re-Centering Women in Tourism: Anti-Colonial Feminist Studies. Francis Julia Riemer, ed., Pp. 187-206. London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.

2022    The Return to Face-to-Face Classes as Culture Shock: A Letter to Students Returning to Campus. Anthropology and Humanism.PDF File

2020     Solidarity in Protest: A New  Textbook Highlighting Positive Social Change in Urban Costa Rica. University of Toronto Press Blog. 

2020     Millennial Movements: Positive Social Change in Urban Costa Rica.  University of Toronto Press. 

2019       “The SNA Project: Critical Pedagogy and Collaborative Research With/in Public Markets,”  coauthored with Cog•nate Collective. Catalog Essay for Regionalia Exhibit. Los Angeles: X Artists’  Books and Grand Central Art Center (GCAC).

2018       The Alchemy of Tourism: From Stereotype and Marginalizing Discourse to Real in the Space of Tourist Performance. In Cultural Tourism Movements: New Articulations of Indigenous Identity. Alexis Celeste Bunten and Nelson Graburn, eds. Pp. 73-95. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

2013     Tourism and Cultural Change in Costa Rica: Pitfalls and Possibilities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.2013     Locating Identity: The Role of Place in Chorotega Identity. In Who Is an Indian? Race, Place, and the Politics of Indigeneity in the Americas. Maximilian Forte, ed. Pp. 151-71. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

2012    “Redes sociales, el internet, y otras tradiciones chorotegas,” TEDxPuraVida, Costa Rica

2009     Authenticating Discourses and the Marketing of Indigenous Identities, London Journal of Tourism, Sport and Creative Industries 2 (1): 62-71 (Special Issue: Current Themes in Indigenous Tourism).

2007     Identity as Work: Changing Job Opportunities and Indigenous Identity in
the Transition to a Tourist Market. Theme Issue, “Work and Anthropology in Costa Rica,” Anthropology of Work Review XXVIII (2): 18-22.

2005     “I Won’t Stay Indian, I’ll Keep Studying”:  The Effects of Schooling on Ethnic Identity in a Rural Costa Rican High School. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

2005     Citizenship, Wealth, and Whiteness in a Costa Rican High School, International Journal of Educational Research, Policy, and Practice (IJEPRP) 5(4): 119-146.

2003     “Ellos se comen las heces/eses:” The Perceived Language Difference of Matambú,” In Linguistic Anthropology of Education. Stanton Wortham and Betsy Rymes, eds. Pp. 185-211 Westport, CT: Praeger.

2000     No somos nada: Ethnicity and Three Dominant and Contradictory Indigenist Discourses in Costa Rica, University of New Mexico Latin American Institute Research Paper Series No. 35, June, 2000.

1999     The Exportation of Managed Care to Latin America, New England Journal of Medicine 340 (4), April 8. Co-authored with Howard Waitzkin and Celia Iriart.

1995     Historias Matambugueñas. Heredia, Costa Rica: Editorial de la Universidad Nacional (EUNA).

Interviews and Other Media in English

2018  La Voz de Guanacaste

2018    Collaboration with the University of Costa Rica

2016    La Voz de Guanacaste

 2014    La Voz de Guanacaste

Interviews and Other Media in Spanish

2018    University of Costa Rica Radio Interview

2018    La Voz de Guanacaste

2016    La Voz de Guanacaste

2014  La Voz de Guanacaste