Sean Doody

Sean Doody

Sean Doody

Graduate Research Assistant

Political economy, labor, class, platform capitalism, technology, historical sociology, social theory.

Sean Doody is a doctoral student of sociology at George Mason University who studies political economy, technology, and right-wing radicalism. He is a recipient of the Provost's Presidential Scholarship, and works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Social Science Research (CSSR), the Institute for Immigration Research (IIR), and the Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC).

His research has been published in Sociology Compass, presented at scholarly conferences, and featured in an academic encyclopedia detailing the challenges facing the American working class in the twenty-first century.

Current Research

My dissertation studies how different radical right-wing tendencies utilize the internet, technology, and digital media to disseminate their political messages, with a focus on the role that “myth” plays in legitimating political practices that sustain deeply unequal social relations (e.g., a renewed social Darwinism, the re-naturalization of gender, meritocratic fundamentalism, etc.).

The mythological bases of many radical right-wing premises and political objectives are obfuscated beneath layers of one-dimensional rationalizations (e.g., IQ tests, scientific racism, ahistorical syllogisms, etc.) and are often propagated by a cognitive elite (e.g., computer programmers, technocrats, charismatic internet personalities). This information is spread rapidly through mainstream mediums like YouTube, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter, while also disseminating through networks of chan boards, fringe sites, and gaming communities. The messaging can take the form of memes, extended video investigations, essays, purposefully antagonistic social media encounters, and even self-published eBooks and other texts, to name but a few.

The influence of these tendencies is evidenced by their leaking into the popular press and vernacular, as the recent explosion in concern with the “alt-right” shows,  as well as in the waves of right-wing populism sweeping across the world’s major democracies. They present a substantial social, intellectual, and political challenge to those committed to the pursuit of equality, democracy, and, borrowing from Marcuse, the pacification of human existence.

Other ongoing projects include studies in value-form theory, anti-work politics, and debates about emancipatory social change, particularly around issues of political mobilization, universal basic income, and the appropriate role of technology in the mitigation of social suffering.

My past work focused on how a renewed idealization of entrepreneurship, spearheaded by the rise of Silicon Valley, has permeated cultural discourses and changed the way we relate to the world of work. This is especially true for nonstandard and contingent workers who, under the influence of the "culture of entrepreneurship," are compelled to reimagine the risks of their precarity as an empowering and libertine entrepreneurial adventure.

Selected Publications

Doody, Sean, Victor Tan Chen, and Jesse Goldstein. 2016. “Varieties of Entrepreneurial Capitalism: The Culture of Entrepreneurship and Structural Inequalities of Work and Business Creation.” Sociology Compass, 10(10): 858–876. DOI:

Doody, Sean, and Jesse Goldstein. 2017. “The Work-Life Balance.” Pp. 324–327 in The American Middle-Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty, edited by Robert Rycroft. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/Greenwood.

Grants and Fellowships

2018, Presidential Scholar Summer Research Fellowship, George Mason University ($7,350.00)

2017, Presidential Scholar Summer Research Fellowship, George Mason University ($7,350.00)

2017, Graduate Student Travel Grant, Law & Society Association ($500.00)

2016, Presidential Scholarship, George Mason University

2014, Graduate Teaching Assistant Scholarship, Virginia Commonwealth University


Ph.D. in Sociology, George Mason University (In progress)

M.S. in Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University (2016)

B.A. in Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University (2014)

Recent Presentations

Upcoming Presentations:

Doody, Sean. 2018. "Abolishing Work: Negative Politics and the Value-Form." Presenting at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Philadelphia, PA, August 10th.

Past Presentations:

Dale, John, and Sean Doody. 2017. “Communitarian Entrepreneurship? Indigenous Governance, Impact Hubs, and Legal Challenges for Social Enterprise Development in Oaxaca, Mexico.” Paper presented at the International Meeting on Law and Society, Law and Society Association. Mexico City, Mexico, June 21st.

Doody, Sean. 2016. “Occupational Alienation: Marx’s Theory of Labor in the 21st Century.” Paper presented at the Annual Politics and Government Student Research Conference, Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond, VA, April 10th.

Doody, Sean. 2014. “Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: The Role of Private Enterprise in the Congolese Humanitarian Crisis.” Paper presented at the Annual Politics and Government Student Research Conference, Virginia Commonwealth University. Richmond, VA, April 14th.