Profile picture of Ken Liberman

Ken Liberman

Professor Emertius
Asian Studies, Sociology
Phone: 541-346-5014
Office: 727 PLC
Office Hours: Retired: No office hours.


Professor Liberman received his Phd from the University of California, San Diego in 1981. He joined the University of Oregon in 1983. His specialties are ethnomethodology, intercultural communication, race relations, and social phenomenology.

Liberman has completed ethnomethodological studies of mundane interaction among traditional Australian Aboriginal people (Understanding Interaction in Central Australia, Routledge), the practices of reasoning of Tibetan scholar-monks (Dialectical Practice in Tibetan Philosophical Culture, Rowman & Littlefield), and the uses of objectivity in coffee tasting by professional coffee tasters in 14 countries (Tasting Coffee, SUNY Press). He provided a detailed ethnomethodological account and assessment of sophistry based on a video-recorded Tibetan debate in his Husserl’s Criticism of Reason (Lexington Books). His More Studies in Ethnomethodology (SUNY Press) won the Best Book Award from the EMCA Section of the American Sociological Association.

He is presently undertaking a long-term comparative study of negative dialectics in Tibetan Buddhist and postmodern epistemological practice.

Research Interests

  • practices of reasoning in non-Western societies
  • intercultural communication
  • cross cultural studies of self and identity
  • neocolonialism and the survival of indigenous cultures