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Roger Reitman

Roger Reitman

Professor of Sociology

Tel: 301-696-3749
Office: Alumnae Hall, Room 315
Office hours: As noted on syllabus or by appointment.


  • Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • M.A., University of Maryland
  • B.A., University of Maryland

Courses taught

  • SOC 101 Principles of Sociology
  • SOC 323 Ethnicity in America
  • SOC 318 Global Social Problems


For the last 15 years Sub-Saharan Africa has been my research interest. I study the the effect of global and local government policies at the village level. My family and I lived for two years in the rural areas of a small country in Sub-Saharan Africa called Malawi (the country made famous by Madonna's adoption of two children). During the first year I lived in Malawi I was supported by a Fulbright Fellowship and during the second year (2003-04) two students from Hood spent the summer in Malawi with me and my family. I have written, presented, and published articles on the effect of international policies on gender, work, social services, health care, and transportation. Most recently, I presented a paper on the relationship between local politics and the availability of water. I am currently working on two articles.  The first is an analysis of the emergence and continued existence of village dependency and the second is a critical review of a recent book by William Kamkwamba entitled, The Boy who Harnessed the Wind. During both years I lived in Malawi.  I taught at Chancellor's College, the liberal arts component of the University of Malawi.

Research and teaching interests

While I was in Malawi I used what is called a key informant interviewing strategy. I interviewed Village chiefs in approximately 15 villages in the area I lived. I used a translator (I speak some of the local language, but not enough to conduct an interview) and asked questions about a wide variety of village characteristics. For example, for each village I visited I have information on the availability of water, access to health care, schools, transportation, jobs, and other variables. Using this research I have written and presented several papers on a variety of topics. Coincidentally, the first year my family was in the Malawi we witnessed the first multi-party election in the history of the country, the birth of democracy. My experience in Malawi continues to inform both my scholarship and teaching. My family and I are always planning our return to "the warm heart of Africa:" Malawi.

Publications and Presentations

  • Social and Cultural Obstacles to Human Factor Development in an Underdeveloped Economy: The Case of Malawi in Journal of the International Institute for Human Factor Development, Harare, University of Zimbabwe Press, 1996."
  • Bretton Woods Meets Gro Harlem Brundtland in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Environmental Consequences of Macro Economic Policy in Malawi, The International Society for Intercommunication of New Ideas, Volume 1, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma De Mexico, 2000.
  • Death, Debt, and Gender: Death and Dying as Women's Work in Sub-Saharan Africa, presented at the meetings of the Southern Sociological Society, 2001
  • Functions, Dysfunctions, and Unanticipated Consequences of Debt in Malawi, presented at the meetings of the Southern Sociological Society, 2003.