Sharon Kaufman

Chair, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine
Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine, UCSF
University of California, San Francisco
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies

Sharon Kaufman is Chair, Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at UCSF. Areas of research include the following:

  1. the ways in which life-extending medical procedures in later life are changing medical knowledge and societal expectations about longevity and the time for death;
  2. the relationship of biotechnology to ethics, governance and markets;
  3. shifting values and calculative practices in therapeutics, and how biomedical research, the financing of health care, evidence and standards are shaping medicine;
  4. the production of uncertainty and mutability of truth claims in clinical science;
  5. the anthropology of "life itself," that is, the fact that all kinds of life forms (such as, the gene, the stem cell, the embryo, the fetus, the disabled, the comatose, the demented, the old) are culturally malleable and negotiable, the result of scientific manipulation, market pressures, commodification and political debate, and the ways in which medical, legal, religious and commercial forces are brought to bear on the meaning and value of those life forms.
  6. practices of risk assessment

Currently accepting students for advising: No

last updated: January 29th, 2020