My absorption with anthropology dates to the very first college class that I enrolled in (all too many years ago!). While many professors provided me with role models for how to conduct anthropology and how to communicate about it to students, what appeals to me about our field is its underlying assumption about culture. The anthropological imagination means never taking anything for granted, never assuming that social arrangements are immutable, universal or that there is somehow a "right" solution for all cultural contexts. I think the greatest compliment that students have paid me was not that I provided them with interesting new information about the world, but that I changed their way of viewing it.
My work has taken a number of different paths since I came to U.S.A. in 1989. Trained as a Latin Americanist and political economist, I have conducted extensive research on class and ethnic relations in Belize. While my early work focused on peasant responses to global economic change, my most recent research has examined the social and cultural effects of immigration into that country -- a process that has fundamentally redefined the country's ethnic identity and language within a twenty year period. Although my first love remains Central America and the Caribbean, I am also one of an increasing number of anthropologists who works in his own backyard. In Mobile, my work has taken me to shrimp boats and the living rooms of environmental activists, as I examine the ways that people here, too, respond to the global economic forces that impinge on their workplaces and environments.