Christopher Dum

Christopher Dum

Assistant Professor
Contact Information


My research focuses on social stratification associated with inequality, poverty, homelessness, and the justice system. Specifically, I am interested in how stratified groups form, how they behave, and how society acts with them through public policy and community efforts. In the forthcoming 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 welfare motel to explore how motel residents go about their lives in the context of social policy and stigma that pushes them to the margins of society. My current research projects use both qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the social control of registered sex offenders, as well as the homeless.

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • Punishment and Inequality
  • Corrections and Reentry
  • Sanitization of Social Space
  • 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 will receive $8,000 a year for three years, starting with the 2017-2018 academic year.

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

doing sociology

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.

NPR INterveiw

Christopher Dum being interviewed on NPR's Marketplace about his new book.


What happens when a motel becomes home

Kai Ryssdal talks with Christopher Dum about his new book “Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel”


Ph.D. University of Albany, 2014


Inequalities (class/gender/race/ethnicity), Criminology and Deviance


  • Dum, Christopher P., Kelly M. Socia, Jason Rydberg. 2017. Public support for emergency shelter housing interventions concerning stigmatized populations: Results from a factorial survey design. Criminology & Public Policy, 16(3), 835-877.
  • Dum, Christopher P. and Jamie J. Fader. 2013. “These Are Kids’ Lives!”: Dilemmas and Adaptations of Juvenile Aftercare Workers. Justice Quarterly, 30(5), 784-810.
  • Fader, Jamie J., & Christopher P. Dum. 2013. Doing Time, Filling Time: Bureaucratic Ritualism as a Systemic Barrier to Youth Reentry. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(5), 899–907.