Dr. George Gonzalez

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George González is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology (Religion and Culture) at Baruch College-CUNY. Within religious studies, he specializes in secularism studies, theories and methods in the study of religion, and religion and society. He is the author of several peer-reviewed and scholarly articles as well as a single-authored monograph entitled Shape-Shifting Capital—Spiritual Management, Critical Theory, and the Ethnographic ProjectThis first book is a critical analysis of the ‘spiritual’ turn in organizational theory and workplace practice. Most broadly, Professor González’ research interests lay in the sociocultural legislation of Western metaphysics and the concrete and specific form of power that has attached to neoliberalism, as a historically specific kind of cosmology. He remains especially interested in approaching the study and criticism of what he calls ‘post-secular’ capitalism through the framework of religious social change. In short, he is interested in the ways in which postmodern, neoliberal capitalism has assumed some of the discursive and conceptual spaces previously reserved for ‘religion’ under modern, industrial capitalism. 

Professor González’ has special interests in the critical work ethnography can do at the intersections of religion, science, and global capitalism and as a complement to critical theory. Methodologically, in the vein of Michael Jackson’s existential anthropology, he has developed a phenomenological approach to the study of religion—which he calls ‘existential archeology’—that remains sensitive to both the existential and discursive dimensions of historical power (and the mutually arising interplay between these).

Professor González’ second major research project focuses on the American ritualization of consumer capitalism. Within the scope of this project, Professor González has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork with the famed radical performance community and choir, Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, since December 2016 and is conducting historiographical research into American marketing history. This work has him singing songs of resistance with activists on the city streets of New York and reading about mid-twentieth century American cocktail and hygiene rituals. Trained as a philosophical anthropologist (or existential sociologist), Professor González is committed to empowering students to better comprehend how power is reproduced in their own richly textured lives and teeming lifeworlds. As the son of Latin-American immigrants, a first-generation college student, and a native New Yorker, Professor González looks forward to pursuing a research and teaching agenda at Baruch that is firmly grounded and anchored in City life.

Currently, Professor González serves on the steering committee for the Religion and Economy Program Unit at the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and on the Editorial Board for Critical Research on Religion. He is also a Research Associate at the Center for Critical Research on ReligionProfessor González has reviewed for various scholarly journals and academic publishers in the study of religion.

Professor González received his B.A. from Yale College (Comparative Literature), an M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School (Ethics), and a Th.D. from Harvard Divinity School (Religion and Society). Prior to moving to Baruch in the Fall of 2018, he taught at Monmouth University (West Long Branch, NJ).

Click here to stay up to date with Professor González’ scholarly and professional activities.