Tomas Almaguer (1971)

Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University

I became a graduate student in the Sociology Department at Berkeley in 1971 and ultimately received my doctorate in 1979. A postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford and then a stint as an Assistant Professorship at UCB followed. Then came tenured appointments at UCSC and the University of Michigan. At the latter,I cut my teeth on administrative work as Director of both the Latino Studies Programand the Center for Research on Social Organization. The publication of my book Racial Fault Lines and being awarded a named chair as the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor were the high points of my stay at the UM. In June 2000, however, I made my way back to the more welcoming environs of the San Francisco bay area.

In my current life form, I have become a full time administrator committed to dramatically redefining what was the first and still remains the only College of Ethnic Studies in the country. It has been a tough row to hoe. But thirty years of engagement with Ethnic Studies via the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity has made this daunting challenge managable. In all of these professional incarnations I have remained deeply identified first and foremost as a sociologist. It was the foundational experience at Berkeley that shaped that core identity. I remain deeply indebted to Bob Blauner, Troy Duster, and Michael Burawoy for helping to forge the sociologist within and for igniting my sociological imagination.

Dissertation Title: 
Class, race and capitalist development: the social transformation of a Southern California County, 1949-1902