Research Group Member Profile
Dr Stephen M. Lyon, BSc (Goldsmiths'), PhD (Kent)
(email at email@example.com)
Stephen Lyon obtained a BSc in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths' College, London in 1993 and his PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent in 2002. His primary research interests focus on local politics, patron-client networks and cultural models in Punjab, Pakistan. He has also conducted research on ethnicity and identity both in Pakistan and among Pakistani diaspora. In addition he has worked closely with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council on agricultural development. In addition to his ongoing interests in Pakistan and Islamist politics in the Muslim world, he has conducted research on Jodoshinshu Buddhist Temple networks in western Japan. He is the author of An anthropological analysis of local politics and patronage in a Pakistani village. (2004 Edwin Mellen Press). He is currently one of the managing editors of Structure and Dynamics (University of California eJournal) and is co-editor (with Professor Paul Sant Cassia) of History and Anthropology (a Routledge journal).
Main research themes
I argue throughout the body of my research that, operationally, the only defensible concept of culture is one of competing specialised cultural systems. Such systems are not all equally powerful, nor are they all equally pervasive; an important thread throughout my work is a focus on those cultural systems which would seem to be core to the culture in question. So for example, from the ethnographic body of evidence available, it would appear that the symbolic systems which generate genealogical relationships between people (i.e. kinship terminologies), is a core cultural system in most, if not all extant cultures. Indeed, it may be that some rudimentary form of kinship terminology exists among the great apes suggesting that something we might call proto-cultural systems must have been present in our common ancestors. Other core cultural systems for specific cultures (such as that found in and around both halves of Punjab in South Asia) almost certainly must include basic floral and faunal taxonomic hierarchies, colour classifications, basic principles of honour/self control and of social organisation such as the logic factions. Other cultural systems then build upon core cultural systems and in real life, people must respond to shifting contingencies in ways which best maximise their attainment of their own goals (within the context). Hence, we have unpredictability because there is not a single cultural system guiding attitudes and behaviours, but rather sets of discreet cultural systems which have informed non-core cultural systems (such as legal or religious systems).
Working with the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing at the University of Kent, I have been involved in trialling purpose built software to deal with the complex data types we typically produce in anthropology. The software tools I have been most involved in testing are the CSAC XML Fieldnote Editor, VideoGROK, the CSAC XML Kinship Editor and KAES (the Kinship Algebra Expert System). For more information on these and other potentially useful software tools for working with disparate data types please visit AnthroMethods.net
- Anthropology in Development
- Anthropology in Development
- Public Culture in Theory and Practice Research Group
- Social Anthropology
- Contextual instantiation of indigenous domain knowledge: An e-science approach
- From the Horse's Mouth: Integrating Video and Teaching in Higher Education in Anthropology
- Conflict resolution, political and legal anthropology
- Cultural Systems
- Kinship and Social Networks
- Computing and Anthropology
Indicators of Esteem
- 2007: External Examiner for SOAS Undergraduate Anthropology Programmes: External examiner for SOAS Anthropology undergraduate degrees 2007-2011
- 2006: External examiner - University of Kent: External examiner for MA (Research) dissertation - University of Kent
- 2005: Guest editor - (Fischer, M., Read, D. and Lyon S.M.) - Special issue on cultural systems of Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal:
- 2004: Durham-Kent E-Social Science Anthropology Project:
- 2004: Editor of Durham Anthropology Journal:
- 2002: Best Paper of Session - 15th European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems conference, Vienna, Austria:
- 1999: Specifying Ethnicity in Northern Pakistan:
- 1998: Sustainable Semi-Arid Development:
- Co-Editor of History & Anthropology: Dr Stephen Lyon joined Dr Paul Sant Cassia as co-editor History & Anthropology in 2009.
- Contributing Editor - Section News for Society for Anthropological Sciences: Lyon is contributing editor for the Society for Anthropological Sciences Section News in the American Anthropological Association's monthly newsletter, Anthropology News. (2007-present)
- External Examiner to University of Malta Anthropology Programme: External examiner for University of Malta Anthropology programme 2011-2014.
- Managing Editor of Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences: Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences is published by University of California eScholarship Repository and supported jointly by the Social Dynamics and Evolution Group within the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences and by the Langson Library at the University of California, Irvine.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2004). An anthropological analysis of local politics and patronage in a Pakistani village. Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press.
- Bolognani, Marta & Lyon, Stephen M. (2011). Pakistan and its Diaspora: Multidisciplinary Approaches. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Lyon, Stephen M. & Edgar, Iain R. (2010). Shaping a Nation: An Examination of Education in Pakistan. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2011). Review of Language, Space, and Social Relationships: A Foundational Cultural Model in Polynesia by Giovanni Bennardo. History and Anthropology 22(1): 131-134.
- Stephen M. Lyon (2012), Conceptual Models of Nature in Pakistan, in Giovanni Bennardo eds, ESE Working Papers 1: Cultural Models of Nature and the Environment: Self, Space, and Causality. DeKalb, Illinois, Institute for the Study of the Environment, sustainability, and Energy, Northern Illinois University, 29-34.
Edited works: contributions
- Lyon, Stephen M. - Contributing Editor (2008). Section News for Society for Anthropological Sciences. In Anthropology News. American Anthropological Association.
Edited works: journals
- Bolognani, Marta & Lyon, Stephen (2006). Special Issue: Celebrating 20 years of the Lake District Pakistan Workshop. Contemporary South Asia, 15 (3): Taylor and Francis.
- Fischer, M.D., Read, D. & Lyon, S.M. (2005). Special Issue on Cultural Systems. Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal, 36 (8).
Essays in edited volumes
- Bolognani, Marta & Lyon, Stephen M. (2011). Being Pakistani Beyond Europe and South Asia. In Pakistan and its Diaspora: Multidisciplinary Approaches. Bolognani, Marta & Lyon, Stephen M. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
- Lyon, Stephen M. & Bolognani, Marta (2011). Reflections and representations: Shifting gazes and the curse of truths. In Pakistan and its Diaspora: Multidisciplinary Approaches. Bolognani, Marta & Lyon, Stephen M. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2010). Putting social engineering on the back burner teaching priorities in formal education in rural Punjab, Pakistan. In Shaping a Nation: An Examination of Education in Pakistan. Lyon, Stephen M. & Edgar, Iain R. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
- Lyon, Stephen M. & Edgar, Iain R. (2010). Society, Culture and Politics: Examining Education in Pakistan. In Shaping a Nation: An Examination of Education in Pakistan. Lyon, Stephen M. & Edgar, Iain R. Karachi: Oxford University Press. 1-15.
- Fischer, Michael, Lyon, Stephen & Zeitlyn, David (2008). The Internet and the Future of Social Science Research. In The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods. Fielding, Nigel, Lee, Raymond M. & Blank, Grant London: SAGE Publications. 519-536.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2005). In the Shadow of September 11th: Multiculturalism and Identity Politics. In Muslim Britain: Communities Under Pressure. Abbas, Tahir London: Zed.
Journal papers: academic
- Fischer, Michael D., Lyon, Stephen M., Sosna, Daniel & Henig, David (2013). Harmonizing Diversity: Tuning Anthropological Research to Complexity. Social Science Computer Review 31(1): 3-15.
- Zeitlyn, David & Lyon, Stephen M. (2012). Varieties of openness and types of digital anthropology. Durham Anthropology Journal 18(2): 97-110.
- Ruiter, Jan de, Weston, Gavin & Lyon, Stephen M. (2011). Dunbar’s Number: Group Size and Brain Physiology in Humans Re-Examined. American Anthropologist 113(4): 557-568.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2010). Genealogy, kinship and knowledge: A cautionary note about causation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33(5): 394.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2010). Motivation and Justification from Dreams: Muslim decision making strategies in Punjab, Pakistan. History and Anthropology 21(3): 263-276.
- Lyon, Stephen M. & Fischer, M.D. (2006). Anthropology and displacement: Culture, communication and computers applied to a real world problem. Anthropology in Action 13(3): 40-53.
- Bolognani, M. & Lyon, Stephen M. (2006). Celebrating 20 years of the Lake District Pakistan Workshop. (in Special Issue on the Pakistan Studies Group, edited by M. Bolognani and S.M. Lyon). Contemporary South Asia 15(3): 255-262.
- Lyon, Stephen M. & Magliveras, Simeon S. (2006). Kinship, Computing and Anthropology. Social Science Computer Review 24(1): 30-42.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2005). Culture and Information: An Anthropological Examination of Communication in Cultural Domains in Pakistan. Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal 36(8): 917-929.
- Fischer, Michael D., Read, Dwight & Lyon, Stephen M. (2005). Introduction (to Special Issue on Cultural Systems, edited by M.D. Fischer, D. Read and S.M. Lyon). Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal 36(8): 719-734.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2004). 'Indirect' symbolic violence and rivalry between equals in rural Punjab, Pakistan. Durham anthropology journal 12(1): 37-50.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2004). Modeling Context in Punjabi Conflict Resolution: Social Organizations as Context Agents. Cybernetics and Systems 35(2-3): 193-210.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (2002). Local arbitration and conflict deferment in Punjab, Pakistan. Anthropologie 40(1): 59-71.
Other media: research
- Gilberthorpe, Emma., Fischer, Michael. & Lyon, Stephen. (2009). From the Horse's Mouth: Perceptions of Development from Papua New Guinea:A Resource for Teaching Development in Anthropology.
- Lyon, Stephen M. (1999). Social Organisation, Economy and Development. Experience Rich Anthropology
- Anthropology Research Wikis
- Durham Anthropology Journal (online)
- Stephen Lyon interviewing Richard Vokes (Canterbury, NZ) about the history of photography in anthropology.
- Treasurer - Pakistan Studies Group (2000-present)
Available for media contact about:
- Computers: E-Social Science
- Anthropology: Cultural systems
- Conflict and resolution: Pakistani politics
- Conflict and resolution:
- Politics & Society:
- Middle eastern and Islamic studies:
- 2010: Wenner-Gren Workshop Grant for the first European Meeting of the Society for Anthropological Sciences in Pilsen, Czech Republic, $10,000
- 2007: WADSWORTH INTERNATIONAL FELLOWSHIP (£39268.97 from )
- 2005: From the Horse's Mouth: Integrating Video and Teaching in Higher Education in Anthropology. C-SAP £6000.
- 2005: From the horses mouth (£6000.00 from C-SAP)
- 2004: Contextual instantiation of indigenous domain knowledge: An e-science approach. ESRC £5000.
- 2003: Genealogies of Knowledge - Developing Anthropological Middleware to Support Fieldwork-based Social Science (Investigators: M. Fischer, D. Zeitlyn, N. Ryan (Kent) P. Sillitoe, S. Lyon (Durham)). EPSRC £204,959