SOAN PhD candidate Maria Valdovinos Olson discussed her recently published work on the New Books Network podcast.
The episode of New Books in Sociology features Maria discussing her chapter "Reentry and Public Policy Solutions: Addressing Barriers to Housing and Employment" from the edited volume Beyond Bars: A Path Forward from 50 Years of Mass Incarceration in the United States (Policy Press, 2023).
The year 2023 marks 50 years of mass incarceration in the United States. This timely volume highlights and addresses pressing social problems associated with the US’s heavy reliance on mass imprisonment. In an atmosphere of charged political debate, including "tough on crime" rhetoric, the editors bring together scholars and experts in the criminal justice field to provide the most up-to-date science on mass incarceration and its ramifications on justice-impacted people and our communities.
Scholars in the Sociology of Race have extensively researched public policy sectors such as housing, taxation, and immigration. However, media policy research has often failed to effectively engage with the critical concept of racialization, driven instead by political and economic perspectives. Racializing Media Policy fills this gap in the sociological, communications, and media studies literatures with its focus on the racialized processes that construct media policy work in the United States.
Jessica Emami, a CSSR and SOAN alum, publishes new book, Social Media Victimization: Theories and Impacts of Cyberpunishment. The public has always appreciated communication technology for its ability to bring people together but every week we read more and more stories of someone who commits suicide, gets fired, gets "canceled", abandoned, or worse, because of a conflict or misunderstanding involving social media. By examining the technological shortcomings of online media platforms as well as the inhumane speed of information travel, Emami emphasizes that the technology itself is implicated in the current environment of ubiquitous conflict and the pursuit of punishing others online. Using theories that originated in studies of extremism and terrorism, Jessica Emami analyzes the processes that drive people to punish others using social media. Emami demonstrates that "cyberpunishment" is driven by outrage against our personal sense of morality, and a deep desire for our act of punishment to be acknowledged by others. This attitude is maximized on today's social media platforms which are, by their very structure, unable to curb or resist cyberpunishment. This book would be of interest to scholars and students in sociology, criminology, and media studies.
The Moving City is a rich and intimate account of urban transformation told through the story of Delhi's Metro, a massive infrastructure project that is reshaping the city's social and urban landscapes. Ethnographic vignettes introduce the feel and form of the Metro and let readers experience the city, scene by scene, stop by stop, as if they, too, have come along for the ride. Laying bare the radical possibilities and concretized inequalities of the Metro, and how people live with and through its built environment, this is a story of women and men on the move, the nature of Indian aspiration, and what it takes morally and materially to sustain urban life. Through exquisite prose, Rashmi Sadana transports the reader to a city shaped by both its Metro and those who depend on it, revealing a perspective on Delhi unlike any other.
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.