Doctoral Candidate

BA, Anthropology, University of Kansas


What can a Chinese barbershop reveal about globalization, urbanization, and rural/urban migration flows?  This is what Benjamin is exploring in an ethnographic study of the urban Chinese hairstyling industry, in Fuzhou and Beijing.

For 3 years post-college, Benjamin (heretofore Ben) eked out a living in the Middle Kingdom as an English teacher, hired-gun ethnographer, C-list television actor, and barbershop hairwasher.  After relocating to Chicago in 2007, a nerdly obsession with neighborhood histories thrust him into the arms of Lewis Wirth, Robert Park, and Henry Zorbaugh.  He began his PhD in 2010, and also works as a teaching/program assistant at the UChicago Center in Beijing. 

Ben's area interests include urban sociology, urban geography, migration studies, and karaoke.  He speaks Mandarin, is proficient in ArcGIS, and knows nothing whatsoever about STATA.