Robert Wood (1967)

Professor Sociology, Rutgers University, Camden

My graduate years in residence at Berkeley (1967-72) were an exciting time, and I've always felt lucky to have been part of a generation that experienced both the thrill and efficacy of collection action. As part of a quite outstanding graduate student cohort, I was probably more shaped by my fellow graduate students--and by the study groups and debates we had--than by the faculty. In retrospect, I feel that I failed to take full advantage of the strengths of the Berkeley faculty. Wisdom, as they say, comes too late in life.

Nonetheless, my Berkeley experience set me on an intellectual and professional trajectory that I've found very satisfying. My interests in the political economy of development led to From Marshall Plan to Debt Crisis: Foreign Aid and Development Choices in the World Economy, and from there onto the study of globalization. Always an inveterate traveler--I left Berkeley in 1972 to travel around the world (including Afghanistan just before the monarchy was overthrown)--I developed along the way an interest in the complex changes being wrought by international tourism. Subsequently, the French anthropologist Michel Picard and I edited Tourism and Ethnicity in Asian and Pacific Societies, and I've explored these and other connections in a range of articles.

A less predictable thing that happened is my fascination in the past decade with the pedagogical possibilities of the internet and instructional technologies. Teaching has always been my first love as a sociologist, and somehow I morphed into something of a instructional technology guru. It's been a lot of fun, and has brought a kind of recognition that has meant a lot to me.

Dissertation Title: 
Foreign Aid and Social Structure in Underdeveloped Countries: U.S. Economic Aid Polities and Programs
Dissertation Book Title: 
From Marshall Plan to debt crisis : foreign aid and development choices in the world economy