As a scholar/activist/ethnographer, my research focuses on the intersection between the criminal justice system, public policy, and inequality. Specifically, I am interested in how incarceration affect individuals and society, how the public perceives those with incarceration histories, and the effects of sex offense policy.
In my book, Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel, (Columbia University Press) I draw upon a year of ethnographic fieldwork at a residential motel to explore how residents experiencing homelessness go about their lives in the context of social policy and stigma that pushes them to the margins of society.
My current projects involved a qualitative study of families who are relocating to be closer to incarcerated loved ones, and well as quantitative public opinion studies looking at how stigma against formerly incarcerated individuals can reduced.
I am the co-founder of the ID13 Prison Literacy Project, which aims to amplify the creative voice of incarcerated individuals. More information can be found at: www.id13project.com
Teaching and Research Interests:
- Prisons and Reentry
- Public Opinion Research
- Sex Offense Policy
- Qualitative Research Methods
Grants and Awards:
Farris Family Innovation Award for, “The Impacts of Inmate Writing on Participants and Society.” The project will focus on the products and experiences of an inmate writing group at Lake Erie Correctional Institution. Specifically, studies will examine how participating in this writing group affects inmates and how the writings products that emerge from this group can impact the general public, including Kent State University. The project received $8,000 a year from 2017 through 2020, for data collection and public sociology efforts. The funding resulted in publications in The Prison Journal and Journal of Experimental Criminology.
National Science Foundation Law and Social Sciences Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant: The Consequences of Sex Offender Legislation on Residents and Offenders in a Single Room Occupancy Motel (SES 1323945) Association of Doctoral Programs in Criminology & Criminal Justice Student Research Scholarship American Society of Criminology Graduate Fellowship for Ethnic Minorities
ASA speaks with sociologist Christopher Dum at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting on August, 2016, in Seattle, WA. Dum talks about what it means to “do sociology,” how he uses sociology in his work, highlights of his work in the field, the relevance of sociological work to society, and his advice to students interested in entering the field.
Christopher Dum being interviewed on NPR's Marketplace about his new book.