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Maryann McCabe


PhD, Anthropology, "Decisions You Don’t Sleep With: State Intervention in the Lives of Sexually Abused Children and Their Families", New York University, 1981

MA, Anthropology, New York University, 1974

BA, Anthropology, George Washington University, 1969

Research Interests

I am an applied anthropologist interested in consumer research, material culture, food, community revitalization, social justice, and sustainability.  Working at the juncture of anthropology and business as the founder and principal of a market research consultancy, I have been interested in how start-up and established enterprises bring products and services to the marketplace.  My interest is based on brands as cultural symbols, the social construction of brand meaning, and ethnographic research on consumption practices in everyday life.

Because I am concerned about community and social justice, I work with students in partnership with local organizations to help residents in the process of revitalizing their neighborhoods.  Most recently we engaged in research projects with the Rochester Public Market to enhance its positioning in the region and with Rochester Roots to launch a farmer’s market selling organic produce grown in one of the city’s poorer neighborhoods.  My interest in sustainability relates to both agriculture and transportation in terms of human decision-making and its impact on society and the environment.

For information about scholar-practitioners in anthropology, contact:

Courses Offered (subject to change)

Selected Publications

Professor McCabe received her PhD and MA from New York University and her BA from The George Washington University. Before coming to the University of Rochester, she worked for the New York State Department of Social Services as Director of the Child Sexual Abuse Program. She has conducted fieldwork on child sexual abuse in New York City where her research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. In partnership with Cornell University, she developed a multi-disciplinary training program for professionals who intervene in cases of child sexual abuse.

At the University of Rochester, Professor McCabe works with students as a member of the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) Review Board.