• Policing Brown Bodies: Sheriff Arpaio’s Reign and Immigration Law Enforcement

    While immigration law enforcement is taking place on a national level, Arizona’s reputation as “ground zero” in the immigration debate resulted from the intense immigration legislative activity and forceful law enforcement that included white nativist vigilante involvement over the last decade.1  Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, was a major set-back for immigrant and human rights activists who fought to remove him from office in 2016. The pardon is a pass for elected officials and police to violate the civil rights of Latinos.  Arpaio’s efforts to reinforce his reputation as the “toughest sheriff” included…

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  • Skipping Class: First-Gen, Working-Class, and Low-Income Students in College

    Were you the first in your family to graduate from college? If so, congratulations on defying the odds. During my dissertation fieldwork, I recently sat across the table from a young man who had tears in his eyes when he shared that he was the first in his family to finish high school. He hopes to go on to college, perhaps online, but he currently works as a laborer at a steel mill as he saves money and crafts his plan. Unfortunately, the data do not stand in favor of him finishing. A new study from the National Center for…

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  • Our Fight for Transparency

    On February 9, 2017, students from Transparent GMU filed a lawsuit against both George Mason University (GMU) and the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. “in hopes of obtaining grant and gift agreements between private donors and the Foundation, which serves as the University’s fundraising arm.” The lawsuit was filed after the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. claimed their 501(c)(3) private status exempted the organization from FOIA requests previously filed by Transparent GMU. This movement is a sustained effort by GMU students, which started in 2014, to push for more transparency regarding private donations to their public university. The group got…

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  • Art Exhibition Expands the Construction of “American Workers” in the Popular Imagination

    At points in American history, certain types of workers and forms of labor have been hypervisible, while others have been made invisible though processes of value assignment. By analyzing representations of laboring bodies, we can gain an understanding of how society has valued different workers and forms of labor. Similar to the category of “the working class,” “American workers” are often narrowly associated with whiteness, maleness, and industrial labor in the popular imagination. Contemporary dominant constructions of the working class elicit an image of a dirt-covered white man wearing a hard hat while standing, arms crossed, next to heavy machinery…

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  • Breakfast with a Side of Public Sociology

    In the last issue of The Sociologist I wrote about how Pancake Saturday (see Valdovinos February 2018) is not just about breakfast or pancakes for that matter (although there are plenty of them to go around), but rather about building a community and a positive social support network among returning citizens in the District. The most recent Pancake Saturday gathering was extra special; not only did we get to meet the newest cohort of the Aspire to Entrepreneurship program (see Valdovinos October 2017) but breakfast came with a healthy side of public sociology. There was far more listening, dialoguing, and…

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  • Reflections on March for Our Lives

    I attended the March for Our Lives rally in Washington D.C. with my family, including my one year old son. When we arrived at the Archives Square metro stop, the Metro Police offered to escort us (and our stroller) out of the station because of the volume of people congregating in the Square. As a Washington D.C. native, it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. The March brought an estimated 800,000 people to the nation’s capital on March 24th to rally around the urgency for gun control and demand an end to gun violence. There were also over 800…

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  • Ask The Sociologist

    The Sociologist has officially launched our latest resource called “Ask The Sociologist.” This is space for our readers and the general public to send us questions about everyday life and have an expert sociologist provide feedback. The “Ask The Sociologist” section is a resource for all who want nontechnical answers to life’s vicissitudes, social conundrums, and challenges.  (You are welcome to ask us technical questions too!) [caption id="attachment_805" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Source: pixabay.com[/caption]   All submissions will remain anonymous, but the questions and responses will be made public so that individuals with similar inquiries can use them as a resource. Check-out…

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About The Sociologist

The Sociologist is the mouthpiece of the District of Columbia Sociological Society (DCSS). The Sociologist began as a newsletter for members of DCSS. Beginning in 2014, we transformed the newsletter into a periodic magazine of public sociology for a general audience. The Sociologist is an open-access publication and is supported by DCSS and George Mason University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Our aim is to continue to foster our project as a meeting place for all sociologists in the Washington, D.C. area. The Sociologist is issued periodically to coincide with our public events. Send us the sociology of your neighborhood, where you learn and work, or your playground.