Christopher Dum, Department of Sociology
Christopher Dum, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, was recently featured on NPR's Marketplace, speaking with Kai Ryssdal about his new book.
Dum is an expert on homelessness and motel life. His research is driven by a desire to explore the lived experience of those who have been pushed to margins of society by various social forces, such as inequality and the criminal justice system. He received a Ph.D. in criminal justice from the University at Albany in 2014, an M.S. in justice and public policy from American University (2008) and a B.A. in law and society from American University (2005). His work has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the American Society of Criminology.
His book Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel (Columbia University Press) is based on a year of ethnographic fieldwork with residents of a low-budget motel used by social services to house a variety of vulnerable populations including the homeless, the mentally and physically disabled, and registered sex offenders. This book presents the experiences of motel residents as they attempt to carve out meaningful lives in a society that relegates them to the shadows of existence.
This book was nominated for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Nonfiction by the American Library Association.