Dr. Robert S. McCarl has a Ph.D. from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and
joined the faculty of the Department of Sociology at Boise State University in 1992. His
B.A. and M.A. are both from the University of Oregon. His research interests include work
culture and narrative, focusing on the variety of ways internal diversity and external
social and economic pressures result in change, the relationship of ethnicity and gender
to work, and the interaction between cultures of work and environment. He studies the
application of social and cultural perspectives of community issues, Native American
social and political issues in the West, and labor history and labor ideology in the

Dr. McCarl's published works include analyses of both urban and wildland fire
fighting, sheet-metal work, hard-rock mining, and farming. He has done fieldwork in
Idaho's Silver Valley, where he interviewed miners, loggers, millworkers, bike shop
owners, water engineers, environmentalists, and other valley residents about the
conflicts and shared common challenges of living in one of the largest Superfund sites in
the United States. 


Foreword: Lessons of Work and Workers, Western Folklore (2006)

McCarl discusses, primarily through his own personal experiences, how the oppositional techniques of cultural work...


Shoshone-Paiute “Pakkiata” in the Great Basin, Idaho Issues Online (2004)

Ranching is a rich part of Shoshone-Paiute culture and tradition, yet the tribes' contributions to...




Latinos in Idaho: Celebrando Cultura, Faculty Authored Books (2003)

The essays are written in partial fulfillment of a "Model Initiatives" grant to the IHC...


Contributions to Books


Confluence of Rivers: The Indigenous Tribes of Idaho (with Rodney Frey), Idaho’s Place: A New History of the Gem State (2014)

Like the confluence of the great rivers, the histories of the indigenous tribes of Idaho...



Black Butte Jump, Forged in Fire: Essays by Idaho Writers (2005)

Instead of wearing peace signs or shoulder-length hair and making a pilgrimage to Haight Ashbury,...



Eva Castellanoz: "A Healing...It Just Comes Your Way, Unless You Say No" (with Eva Castellanoz), Latinos in Idaho: Celebrando Cultura (2003)

Eva Castellanoz is a curandera -- a healer-- who has raised ten children, labored as...



Visible Landscapes/Invisible People: Negotiating the Power of Representation in a Mining Community, Worldviews and the American West: The Life of the Place Itself (2000)

On May 26 1996, two demolitions experts from Morrison-Knudsen set charges under the gigantic stacks...



Documenting the Culture of Work: Occupational Folklore in the 21st Century (with Nancy Groce, Peggy Bulger, Betsy Peterson, Nicholas R. Spitzer, and Steve Zeitlin), American Folklore Society Annual Meeting (2010)

This forum highlights the state of occupational folklore research in 2010. It features updates on...