Pierre L. van den Berghe
|Died||6 February 2019|
|Institutions||University of Washington, University of Natal|
Pierre L. van den Berghe (1933–2019) was a professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology at the University of Washington, where he had worked since 1965. Born in the Belgian Congo to Belgian parents, and spending World War II in occupied Belgium, he was an early witness to ethnic conflict and racism, which eventually led him to become a leading authority on ethnic relations. He conducted field work in South Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Peru, and Israel. Early in his career, he lectured at the University of Natal alongside Leo Kuper and Fatima Meer. A student of Talcott Parsons at Harvard (receiving the PhD in 1960), he nevertheless had little interest in structural functionalism and was one of the first proponents of sociobiological approaches to social phenomena. Van den Berghe died on 6 February 2019.