Research connects two worlds

April 30th, 2010

Wazir Mohamed, assistant professor of sociology, did not plan for his life to lean toward academics and research.  Born and raised in a rural village with 12 families in Guyana in the 1950s, he was a rice farmer before he chose to pursue academics. He decided to go to college at the University of Guyana where he earned his Diploma in Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in Communications.

A recent video has been published on the
IU East YouTube website
featuring Mohamed’s research and academic work. In the video, Mohamed recounts the civil strife between the Indo-Guyanese (East Indians) and the Afro-Guyanese (Africans).

“ In my research, I was able to discover that actually the ethnic division that persists in my country has to do with the way that land is organized with colonial authorities,” Mohamed said.

The two ethnic groups have been the focus of Mohamed’s research and he has found that conditions improve for farmers who own large tracks of land, not only in Guyana but in Wayne County, Indiana, as well.

Today, Mohamed is teaching Social Change, the World at the Table, and the Anthropology of Food. He said students in his class have changed their eating habits once they learn the bad effects industrialized food has on their health with trying to eat organic and healthy foods.

“As a professor here, I’m bringing that experience. I’m trying to link theory with practice,” Mohamed said. “I’m giving students an opportunity to see themselves as part of a world that is changing.”

Mohamed received his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Prior to joining the faculty at IU East, Mohamed was an adjunct lecturer at Binghamton University.

For more information about the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at (765) 973-8219 or visit www.iue.edu/hss.

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