Liliana Goldín

Professor of Social Work; McSilver Faculty Fellow
(212) 998-5889

Areas of Expertise

Global poverty, economic development, indigenous populations, Guatemala, Latin America, and US Latinos


Dr. Liliana Goldín received her undergraduate degree in anthropology from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1977, and a PhD in anthropology from The University at Albany, State University of New York in 1986, where she subsequently joined the departments of anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean studies as a faculty member. At Albany, she served as chair of the department of Latin American and Caribbean studies and director of the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies. She moved to Florida International University, Miami, where she was a professor and director of graduate studies in the department of Global and Sociocultural Studies. She joined the Silver School of Social Work at NYU in 2011. She has published numerous articles in academic journals and is the author of Procesos Globales en el Campo de Guatemala (FLACSO Guatemala, 2003); Global Maya: Work and Ideology in Rural Guatemala (University of Arizona Press, 2009); and Identities on the Move: Transnational Processes in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin (Institute for Mesoamerican Studies and University of Texas Press, 2000).

In her research, she explores the processes of economic and cultural change and the ways in which the mostly indigenous Maya populations of the western and central highlands of Guatemala cope with poverty and marginality and make sense of the changes they have been experiencing in the context of national and global transformations. She has worked with communities involved in agriculture oriented to internal markets and international exports, petty industrial producers of western style clothes, and wage workers in apparel maquiladora industries. In her book Global Maya, Dr. Goldín shows how people re-evaluate their attitudes towards the economy in the context of diverse practices and globalization. Her recent publications report on NSF-funded research on the impact of job turnover in the Korean owned maquilas of Guatemala on individuals and households and how families are affected by and adjust to job loss. Industrial turnover is understood as a form of resistance by indigenous workers to exploitative conditions in international factories as they cope with poverty and limited employment opportunities. Currently, and as part of a larger study where she is contrasting the history of an extended Maya family to regional developments in the last one hundred years in the western highlands, she is addressing the forms of violence to which the population is exposed, including various forms of domestic/family violence. She is also conducting data analysis on ethnic identity and ideology of gender relations among poor Latino youth in New York City.

Selected Grants

2009 Wenner Gren Conference Grant to support panels on economic development for the 70th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology.

2009 NSF pre-doctoral grant awarded to Courtney Dowdall. Goldín/Dowdall.

2007 National Science Foundation. Research Initiative for Graduate Students. Funds to support a graduate student to conduct research in Guatemala. Summer 2007. $5,000.

2006 National Science Foundation. "Turnover in the international factories of rural 2008 Guatemala: Impact on individuals and households," BCS-0548481, $151,000.

2001 NSF pre-doctoral grant awarded to Stephen Selka. Goldín/Selka BCS-0109146

1998 Collaborating Scientist, IPM CRSP Funded by USAID to Virginia Tech. Economic and 1999 Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of Non-traditional Crop Production Strategies in Small Farm Households in Guatemala.

1993 National Science Foundation. Career Advancement Award: "Application of Quantitative Methods to Social Anthropology." DBS 9252720, $54,000.

1992 Center for Social and Demographic Analysis. State University of New York, Albany. Center Associate's Grants. Summer stipend to develop a proposal entitled "Economic and Cultural Change in Western Guatemala".