Mike Mtika

Mike Mtika

Professor Emeritus of Sociology


Dr. Mike Mtika joined Eastern University in August 2001.  He retired as Emeritus Professor in August 2022 but still teaches as an Adjunct Instructor. A major interesting exercise he engaged in was taking Eastern University students to Zowe, his original home community in Malawi, Africa, in 2004. This led to the founding of Pamoza International, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization incorporated in Pennsylvania, which carries out holistic Christian Outreach and Community Development work in northern Malawi.  The work is guided by the contiguity principle, starting in a community and contiguously expanding to other communities. Thus, Pamoza International started work in Zowe, a community with a population of 1,200 people in 2004. The program contiguously expanded to 4 communities with a population of 6,000 by 2008.  The organization is now (2023) serving 20 communities with 10,500 households in 460 villages with a total population of 45,000 people. Contiguity follows the start “in Jerusalem then all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8b) principle. Pamoza plans are to start from somewhere and expand contiguously.


B.S.c. in Agriculture (Bunda College, University of Malawi, 1978)
M.S.c. in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development (Reading University, United Kingdom, 1980)
Ph.D. in Sociology (Washington State University, 1998)
At Eastern Since 2001

Courses Taught

Contemporary Social Problems; Socialization and Group Relations*; Collective Behavior and Social Movements; Social Inequality and Stratification; Poverty, Oppression, and Development in Africa*; Social Institutions and Justice*; Contemporary Sociological Theory; Community Development in Developing Nations*; Justice in Pluralist Society; The Triple Heritage of Africa and the Modern World; Livelihoods in Developing Society*; Development Policy-Making and Implementation in Malawi*; and Malawi Society and Culture*.

*These are courses that Dr. Mtika designed and introduced into the Sociology Program and university based on interests of the students and global outreach concerns of the university.

Why I Teach at Eastern

Eastern University is committed to the preparation of students for thoughtful productive lives of Christian faith, leadership, and service.  Towards this end, understanding the social forces that affect how people live and improve their lives is critical.  This is the business of sociology, hence my interest in teaching at this institution.  My teaching involves engaging students in the critical analysis of social forces that entrench people into disadvantages.  Understanding these social forces helps to find ways of how people can address the disadvantages or social injustices they face to improve their lives.

Research Interests
  • Capital in Community Development in developing nations.
  • Political Economy of Food and HIV/AIDS.
  • Poverty, Oppression, Social Injustice, and Development Challenges in sub-Sahara Africa.
Books and Book Chapters
  • Mtika, Mike. 2009. Social Relations and Cultural Demands in Economic Action: AIDS, Food Security, and Change in Peasant Societies. Lambert Academic Publishing.
  • Mtika, Mike. 2011. “Livelihood Demands and the Spread of AIDS: The Case of Malawi” in HIV/AIDS and Food Insecurity in Sub-Sahara Africa: Challenges and Solutions. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2011.
  • Mtika, Mike. 2015. “Subsistent and Substantive Communities Under Attack: The Case of Zowe in Northern Malawi” pp. 179 – 210 in Christian Mission and Economic Systems: Critical Survey of the Cultural and Religious Dimensions of Economies edited by John Cheong and Eloise Meneses. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library.
Select Articles
  • Mtika, Mike and Kistler, Matthew. 2017. Contiguous Community Development. Journal of Rural Development Studies 51:83-92.
  • Mtika, Mike: 2013. “Economic Security in an Agrarian Society.” Africa Development vol. 38 Nos. 1 & 2: 1-24.
  • Mtika, Mike.  2007. “Labor Migration, Political Economy, and the AIDS Epidemic in Rural Malawi” Social Science and Medicine 64:2454-2463.
  • Mtika, Mike. 2003. Family Transfers in a Subsistence Economy and Under a High Incidence of HIV/AIDS: The Case of Malawi.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 21(1):69-92.
  • Mtika, Mike and Henry V. Doctor. 2002. “Matriliny, Patriliny, and Wealth Flows in Rural Malawi” African Sociological Review 6(2):71-97.
  • Mtika, Mike. 2001. “The AIDS Epidemic in Malawi and its Threat to Household Food Security.” Human Organizations 60(2):178-188.
  • Mtika, Mike. 2000. "Social and Cultural Relations in Economic Action: The Embeddedness of Food Security in Rural Malawi Amidst the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Epidemic." Environmental Planning A 32(2):345-360.
  • Mtika, Mike. 1983. "The Role of Evaluation and Action Research in Extension Media Production". Training for Agriculture, Rome: The Food and Agricultural Organization.