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Doris Bacalzo

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Doris Bacalzo is an associate researcher at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Lucerne. She has extensive research experience in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. Her broad research interests are in the political economy of gender, kinship, childhood, inequalities, migration, social transformation and differentiation, ethnicization and racialization, indigeneity, and decolonizing and decolonial feminist perspectives.


In her MA studies (University of the Philippines) she took a critical look at the history of the discipline, its application, and ethnographic practice in the global South. In the context of post-colonial and modernizing Philippines, she examined the position of women, gender relations, sexuality, and social practices and customary law of indigenous populations. Her PhD research (University of Lucerne) examined how children of interethnic marriages in Papua New Guinea negotiate the politics of differentiation, exclusion, and inclusion in a rapidly changing economic situation. For a postdoctoral research, she returned to Papua New Guinea to analyse local inequalities and transformations in social relations under the effects of large-scale international extractive and agro-industries.


She draws on the holistic perspective and methodological approach found in Anthropology, in particular its interdisciplinary nature and the collaborative work it invites, when engaging in social critique, in public education and policy programs, or working with state and non-state agencies, NGOs and community organizations. She sees the continuing and acute relevance of the discipline in situating multiple and contrasting perspectives and cultural practices, the social construction of boundaries and binary divides, and in turn how these processes may be entrenched or transcended systematically and in everyday life. She is a founding member of the Philippine Studies Network in Switzerland and of studiyo filipino.

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