Ralph M. Becker
Department of Anthropology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Northern Colorado
Campus Box 90
Greeley, Colorado 80639
Phone: (970) 351-3752
Fax: (970) 351-2890
- Ph.D. Anthropology - Universität Hamburg - Hamburg/Germany
- M.A. Music - Piano Education (Diplom-Musiklehrer), Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Hamburg/Germany
- M.A. Philosophy - Universität Hamburg – Hamburg Germany
- Minors in Psychology and Anthropology
My main interest is to discover the similarities and differences of human thinking, sensory perception, and behavior. I have researched intensively in Brazil about Afro-Brazilian spirit possession religions as one of the most different forms of religiosity compared to the Western world. These studies imply the issues of how ideas about the surrounding environment develop the influence on social structures, and the relationship of tradition and idiosyncrasy in a culture. It further touches the question of the mind-body concepts of different worldviews, and involves the reaction of Western scientific disciplines to the phenomenon of spirit possession.
The studies of these phenomena are also connected to medical anthropological items, e.g. the systems of healing and the relationship of traditional healing and orthodox medicine.
Another research interest is the creation of identity in diasporic or minority groups and the reaction of traditional societies under the pressure of a globalizing world in all practical human activities (medicine, religion justice, entertainment).
Cultural Anthropology is the study of humankind and its multifaceted diversity. My goal is to open the eyes of my students to see the fantastic variability of life styles human beings have contrived to survive in their natural and social environment. Crucial principles for my teaching are:
1) Passing down current knowledge about humankind,
2) Stimulating creativity in thinking,
3) Arising curiosity about the subject,
4) Showing how to process information in a rational and scientific way,
5) Creating a relaxed environment for learning.
I lectured for several years at the University of Hamburg, and was guest professor at the
Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE).
“Aztec-Ruins National Monument” NM