Sean M. Daley, PhD, MA

Associate Professor, Department of Community and Population Health
(610) 758-2581
Office: BH 229


Sean M. Daley is an applied sociocultural anthropologist and ethnographer whose research lies primarily at the intersections of religion, spirituality, and health. Much of his work has focused on contemporary American Indian health, wellness, and spirituality. He has also worked in the areas of Native law and policy, identity, education, and the environment. He has been collaborating with Native peoples since 1995 and has worked on projects with Native communities in Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, as well several other states.  

Sean has also worked with cattle ranching communities in southern Utah and northern Arizona. He collaborated with Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ranching communities to document the changes in ranching and religious life with the implementation of federal laws and policies that restricted access to historically accessible public lands of cultural and religious significance. He has also worked with rodeo roughstock riders (bull, bareback, and saddle bronc riders) in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Utah looking at injuries received while participating in rodeos.  

More recently, Sean has been working with the Roman Catholic Church researching the areas of contemporary Catholic healing, spiritual warfare, deliverance, and exorcism ministries. He has also begun researching illnesses, sicknesses, and diseases that are of spiritual or supernatural origins in certain folk Catholic and syncretic Catholic belief systems.

Since arriving at Lehigh, Sean has begun to collaborate with hospitals and community health organizations surrounding parental and healthcare providers attitudes, concerns, and needs surrounding children with medical complexity, pediatric palliative care, and pediatric hospice care.

Prior coming to Lehigh University, Sean was a professor of anthropology and the director of the Center for American Indian Studies at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas for 15 years.  He is also the co-founder and the co-director of the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance (AIHREA).


  • PhD, Sociocultural Anthropology (minor in U.S. Federal Law), University of Connecticut, 2005 MA,
  • MA, American Indian Studies, University of Arizona, 1998
  • BA, American Indian Studies and Anthropology, Livingston College, Rutgers University, 1996

Areas of Research and Publications

American Indian health and wellness, American Indian education, American Indian legal and social issues, religion and spirituality, sociocultural anthropology, ethnography, community-based participatory research, and cultural-tailoring.