Thomas Taaffe, PhD

Ethnographer/Research Associate, Private Industry (Affiliate)

Research Overview

Currently conducting preliminary research on structural conditions that mitigate or exacerbate poverty conditions in 3 western New England towns. Previous ethnographic research includes: drug users and sexual behavior in Hartford CT (2009, ICR); media-political relations (including political & inter-ethnic violence) and the social construction of the state in Northern Ireland (1998-2006); racism, political violence and social relations in Portadown, NI (1998-2004); neoliberal higher education reforms and their social impact (1995-2001). Other research includes: political violence and genocide in Colombia (1998-2000); economic development, tourism and the arts in Staten Island, NY (1991-1995); settler-indigenous relations in colonial North America (1991-1995).


2006 – Ph.D. UMass/Amherst – Cultural anthropology – Dissertation Good Fridays, Celtic Tigers and the Drumcree Church Parade: Media, Politics and the State in Northern Ireland. H. Martin Wobst, Chair.
2001 – MA UMass/Amherst – Anthropology.
1995 – BA CUNY – Summa Cum Laude – History/Anthropology

Featured Publications

“Images of Peace: The News Media, Politics and the Good Friday Agreement” In Peace at Last? The Impact of the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland. Stefan Wolff, Christopher Storck and Jörg Neuheiser, editors. Berghahn Books: New York & Oxford. 2004. Pages 111-31. Reprinted in Science of Society: Multidisciplinary Contexts and Perspectives. Forbes Farmer, editor. Pearson/Prentice Hall. 2006. Pages 245-260.

“Good Friday, Northern Ireland! Spin, Soundbites, Politics and Speed.” In Communicating Cultures. Ullrich Kockel and Mairead Ni Craith, editors. LIT Verlag: Grevener & Munster. 2004. Pages 259-278.

“Northern Ireland: Between War and Peace” in Endangered Peoples of Europe: Struggles to Thrive and Survive. Jean Forward, European volume editor. Barbara Rose Johnson, series editor. Garland Press: Westport CT, 2001. pages 101-24.

“Claiming the King’s Highway: Assertions of Power, Domination and Territory during the Marching Season in Northern Ireland.” Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, v. 1, n.2. Fall 2001. pages 16-27.

“The Mote and the Beam” Editorial in New York Newsday (Long Island edition), New York, Oct 5, 2001.

Contact Information
Mailing Address17 Walnut Street
Northampton, MA 01060