I feel fortunate that my professional life to date has built on the ethnographic work on poverty I did in the department. I had a pair of post-doc's in Berkeley (thru the school of public health) that moved me into health policy--something I'd studied as an undergrad. The transition included some extremely painful professional moments and miscues that taught me a lot about academic politics. Thanks to Laura Schmidt, a cohort-mate in the dept, I ended up doing ethnographic work on how welfare reform is affecting recipients with substance use problems. I am grateful to Laura and many others that my dissertation will come out as "The Price of Poverty" from UC Press in Dec, 2003.
I'm now at UCSF in a soft-money faculty position in health policy and medical anthropology. In addition to the work on welfare reform, I'm doing an ethnography of cancer care among the poor. I'm ambivalent about my arms-length relationship with the discipline of sociology. During grad school, my professional aspiration was a faculty position in a soc dept. But I'm comfortable in interdisciplinary and policy-oriented UCSF, and the sociology I learned at Berkeley--training in an intellectual approach more than a disciplinary field--serves me well here.
The good fortune I've enjoyed in my professional life is dwarfed by what I've had personally. I'm madly in love with my wife and daughter, and living in San Francisco is dreamy.