Talk examines Guatemalan housing assessment

Guatamalan housingJeff Peterson, associate professor of sociology, will present “X-treme Housing Assessment in Guatemala” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield College.

As Habitat for Humanity changes its focus from producing new houses to also improving houses, data are needed to measure the impact of houses, but also to produce the organizational change required to meet the housing needs of Guatemala. Changes are analyzed using a three-year survey, examining the health and economic impact of a HFH-G house on 250 families in five states. However, the survey is also used to produce organizational change, sending coded messages to the field staff regarding the change in mission, distribution of resources, and their roles in working on the constructed environment in both urban and rural communities. Peterson’s presentation examines the navigation of this complex assessment process in the field.

Peterson joined the Linfield faculty in 1994, after earning his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. He has an extensive background in guiding students into the rigors of fieldwork conducted both domestically and abroad, including month-long courses in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, as well as a homelessness immersion experience in Portland. He has served as field director for the college’s semester-long field schools in Cuernavaca and Oaxaca, Mexico, a program he and Ron Mills, Linfield professor of art, helped establish. Peterson continues an ongoing collaborative research program with students on entrepreneurship within the Willamette Valley Latino community.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.