Dr Eleanor Power

Dr Eleanor Power

Assistant Professor

Department of Methodology

0207 955 7997
Room No
COL 7.09
Office Hours
Friday 13:30 - 15:30
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About me

Eleanor Power is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology. She completed her PhD in Anthropology at Stanford University in 2015. Prior to joining LSE in 2017, she was an Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute.

Research interests

Eleanor is an anthropologist interested in how religious belief, practice, and identity interact with and shape interpersonal relationships. 

She studies these dynamics through fieldwork conducted in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, primary among which is social network analysis. Her work is informed by signaling theory and the wider scholarship of human behavioral ecology. She is interested in the dynamics of social networks, especially relative to the factors that influence cooperation, competition, trust, and prestige. More generally, Eleanor is interested in investigating questions regarding: the role of religion in society, the interaction between costly signaling and cooperation, gender differences in prominence and social capital, and the dynamics of gossip and social censure.


Social network analysis; ethnography; religion; South Asia; signaling theory; social capital

Selected publications

E. Power and E. Ready. In press. Building Bigness: Reputation, Prominence, and Social Capital in Rural South India. American Anthropologist.

E. Power. 2018. Collective Ritual and Social Support Networks in Rural South India. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 285(1879), 20180023.

R. Bliege Bird, E. Ready, and E. Power. 2018. The Social Significance of Subtle Signals. Nature Human Behaviour. 2(2), 1-6.

E. Ready and E. Power. 2018. Why Wage Earners Hunt: Food Sharing, Social Structure, and Influence in an Arctic Mixed Economy. Current Anthropology. 59(1), 74–97.

E. Power. 2017. Discerning Devotion: Testing the Signaling Theory of Religion. Evolution and Human Behavior. 38(1): 82-91.

E. Power. 2017. Social Support Networks and Religiosity in Rural South India. Nature Human Behaviour. 1:0057.

C. De Bacco, E. Power, D. Larremore, and C. Moore. 2017. Community Detection, Link Prediction and Layer Interdependency in Multilayer Networks. Physical Review E. 95(4):042317.

R. Bliege Bird and E. Power. 2015. Prosocial Signaling and Cooperation Among Martu Hunters. Evolution and Human Behavior. 36(5): 389-397.

D. McCauley, E. Power, D. Bird, A. McInturff, R. Dunbar, W. Durham, F. Micheli, and H. Young. 2013. Conservation at the Edges of the World. Biological Conservation. 165 (September): 139-145.