Professor Emeritus of Anthropogy:
Phone: +1 401 863 9343
Ph.D. U California-Berkeley 1992
Professor Townsend studies social reproduction; families and social structure; men's lives in political-economic context; spatially dispersed social groups; the United States and Southern Africa.
At increasing levels of generality, my research is about: the relationships and roles of men in families in the United States and in Southern Africa; the social organization of domestic lives in a comparative perspective; and the cultural meanings and social organization relevant to social reproduction and cultural continuity. I have investigated the cultural meanings of fatherhood in three different groups: the contemporary American middle class (reported in my recent book The Package Deal); migrant men from Botswana, one of the labor reserves of apartheid South Africa; and a poor, rural population in South Africa. My current research in South Africa is on children's well-being and social connection in rural South Africa. My teaching in the department's program in Anthropology and Population and my affiliation with the Population Studies and Training Center reflect my dual conviction that anthropology can make theoretical and methodological contributions to population studies, and that studying population processes can illuminate fundamental anthropological issues.