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John Ziker Examines How Social Networks Translate to Wealth Inequality

John Ziker, a professor and chair of the anthropology department, currently is in the buffer zone of Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, working with the Sena people on a National Science Foundation funded project to investigate the inter-generational transmission of wealth and income inequalities in 40 small-scale communities around the world.

In particular, Ziker and ecology, evolution and behavior doctoral student Karl Mertensare exploring alternative theoretical models of how social networks (i.e. face-to-face cooperation and material social support) are leveraged into wealth inequalities.

“It’s a great project to be connected to,” Ziker said. “The hope is to develop theory that is applicable to global concerns about this issue.”

Ziker’s work in Mozambique is facilitated by a cooperative agreement between Boise State University and Gorongosa National Park.