BiographyThe author was born in Denmark, a country to which he still returns to visit family and friends. He obtained his higher education in the United States on a National Science Foundation Traineeship and is currently Professor Emeritus at Oregon State University where he has served for 47 years. His teaching responsibilities for 27 years at OSU included the human development and adjustment courses that focused on personal growth and overcoming obstacles in the human journey. That experience, in turn, contributed to the current book being considered. Professor Larsen’s interests have included cross-national and cross-cultural research and education. Over the years Larsen was a frequent visitor to University of Oslo and the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) Norway. He was a guest professor twice at both the University of Copenhagen and the University of Aarhus. Larsen also lectured at Northeast London Polytechnic and Cambridge universities. He participated in his early career in scholarly activities in Hungary lecturing at Eotwas Lorand University in Budapest and Joseph Attila University in Szeged. Two years were spent in Australia on a fellowship at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies and at the Aboriginal and Islander Medical Center in Townsville where he did pioneering research on discrimination and related issues. Larsen also trained indigenous social workers in Northern Queensland. Larsen has visited Vietnam over several decades, authored or co-authored a number of articles in Vietnamese journals, and spoken at conferences like the Leontiev's 100-year memorial meeting in Hanoi. His involvement in Vietnam also includes establishing libraries at psychological institutes of higher learning and lending support to these institutions. Dr. Larsen has traveled broadly in Vietnam, an interest that grew out of his activism in opposing the war on Vietnam. In Bulgaria, Professor Larsen was a participant in research and scholarly work for 27 years at the University of Sofia and was the recipient of two Senior Fulbright Specialist Awards. In Hanoi, Vietnam, Larsen was also the recipient of two Fulbright Senior Specialist awards. In more recent years Dr. Larsen was a guest professor at the Eurasian National University in Astana, Kazakhstan.
In addition to these scholarly activities, Larsen served as a probation officer for Los Angeles County, as president for the Benton Humane Society and volunteered for 6 years at the Benton Hospice Service. He was the academic advisor to several international student groups at Oregon State University across several decades, experiences that broadened and framed the views expressed in the current book.
More broadly, Dr. Larsen is the author of several books on aggression, conflict and psychology, dialectics and ideology in psychology, and conflict and social psychology. He has authored many articles in refereed scholarly journals and numerous papers presented at international and national conferences. On Research Gate he is ranked higher than 90 % of scholars listed. Professor Larsen’s scholarly record includes a total of 144 publications with 117 articles in refereed journals and 14 books. The research Larsen generated has so far produced 1024 citations in scholarly publications. He was also the recipient of two senior Fulbright Specialist awards to the University of Sofia. In 2010 Larsen was awarded the St. Kliment Ohridski Blue Ribbon medal for contributions to social science and in 2014 he was elected Academician of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Dr. Larsen is married to his wife Kathy of almost 60 years with 3 children, 10 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren and resides in the state of Oregon when not on overseas assignments.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Peace and Conflict Research
Social Action Research
Being older than I was, I have found that I take a personal interest in my health and well-being. In particular, I have taken an interest in my physical fitness and have joined a nearby health club where I try and often succeed getting the minimum exercise necessary for good health. Exercise in the outdoors is even more valuable to well-being. Oregon is a beautiful state and I enjoy visiting our many natural attractions. I find it very peaceful to take a stroll along the ocean and let the winds and waves soothe the weary spirit. I enjoy my garden and each year look forward to planning and planting my summer and fall flowers. There is something very healing in getting hands dirty and spending time outdoors.
I have explored over the years most of our state. Likewise I have been motivated to see and explore most of the states in the union. From the possibilities of work and interest I have also visited all regions in the world except Antarctica (although I got very close sailing around the cape). I look for what I have in common with the people I meet, but also enjoy learning new perspectives about culture and unique environments. My work allowed me to visit most of the world. Looking back I experienced some life changing events including my two-year fellowship working with Australian Aborigines and visiting most areas of the continent. My work in Bulgaria spanned some 25 years where I met individual friends and visited most parts of that culturally rich country. Likewise, my work in Vietnam spanned several decades and led to collaboration in the publication of books and research articles. I have sustained a lifelong friendship with Vietnam and her peoples. In more recent years I have taught at the National University of Kazakhstan. I shall not forget the kindness and keenness to learn of my Kazakh students and the culture that is rooted in several religions.
Another interest is my support of children that live in challenged parts of the world. My support for these programs span some 30 years or longer.
Finally, let me mention my joy in reading books. In particular I enjoy reading biographies of the great who made their mark on the world. By reading biographies it is possible to learn at more intimate levels the strivings and thinking that bought a place in history for the subject. Related topics I enjoy are books on historical development, war and other social crises. I have read many hundreds of books and they inform and is a shortcut way to understand much of the human journey.
Finally, but by no means least, is my interest in my 60 year marriage and family. I feel so fortunate to have lived to see and enjoy my relationship with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. At my stage in life the little children are a source of much happiness and their innocence is a balm for an otherwise contentious world. We have family traditions that we look forward and celebrating in various seasons of year.
In many ways my work is my lifelong hobby and of great personal interest, in particular as expressed in the current book.