Edgar C. McVoy

Name Edgar C. McVoy
Born April 8 1914
Died April 5 2002
Birth Location Birmingham, Alabama

Sociologist and labor economist, community analyst at Jerome .

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Edgar C. McVoy Jr. went to the University of Florida where he graduated with B.A. (education) and M.A. (sociology) degrees. He went on to a Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Minnesota in 1942, authoring a dissertation titled "A Study of Wants and Their Satisfaction among a Sample of Rural People in Minnesota." [1] Subsequently hired by the War Relocation Authority 's Community Analysis Section (CAS), McVoy was assigned to the Jerome, Arkansas, camp, arriving on April 23, 1943, where he worked out of an office in Block 36, presiding over a staff that included four Nisei fieldworkers and two Nisei clerical workers. McVoy instigated projects that included an analysis of population demographics by block as well as a survey of inmate attitudes toward "relocation" (WRA terminology for leaving the camp). WRA critic Peter T. Suzuki cites McVoy as one of the social scientists who effectively performed intelligence work, identifying inmates at Jerome whom he felt should be removed from the camp. Dispatched to Washington, DC after five months, inmate Kiyoshi Hamanaka took over as acting head of the Jerome CAS before resigning two months later. The Jerome CAS office subsequently shut down. Later, in April 1944, another analyst, anthropologist Rachel Reese Sady , spent three months in Jerome studying the closing of the camp. [2] After the war, McVoy held a wide variety of posts in academia and for the federal government, the United Nations, the International Manpower Institute and the Ford Foundation in the U.S., South America, the Middle East, and Asia. [3]

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

For More Information

[Final Report, Community Analysis Section, Rohwer]. Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk000404m5q/ .

McVoy, Edgar C. "Social Process in the War Relocation Center." Social Forces 22 (Dec. 1943): 188–90. [Brief description of camp society at Jerome in the early summer of 1943.]

"Obituary, McVoy, Edgar C., Jr." Roanoke Times , Apr. 7, 2002, B2.


  1. "Obituary, McVoy, Edgar C., Jr.," Roanoke Times , Apr. 7, 2002, B2; Edgar Cornelius McVoy, "A Study of Wants and Their Satisfaction among a Sample of Rural People in Minnesota," Ph.D dissertation, University of Minesota, 1942.
  2. [Final Report, Community Analysis Section, Rohwer], Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, accessed on May 20, 2014 at http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/28722/bk000404m5q/ ; Peter T. Suzuki, "Anthropologists in the Wartime Camps for Japanese Americans: A Documentary Study," Dialectical Anthropology 6.1 (Aug. 1981), 30.
  3. "Obituary, McVoy, Edgar C., Jr."

Last updated May 6, 2015, 1:20 a.m..