Christopher Dum is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Kent State University, and an expert on homelessness and motel life. His research is driven by a desire to explore the lived experience of those who have been pushed to margins of society by various social forces, such as inequality and the criminal justice system. He received a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University at Albany in 2014, an M.S. in Justice & Public Policy from American University (2008) and a B.A. in Law & Society from American University (2005). His work has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the American Society of Criminology.
His book, "Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel" (Columbia University Press) is based on a year of ethnographic fieldwork with residents of a low-budget motel used by social services to house a variety of vulnerable populations including: the homeless, the mental and physically disabled, and registered sex offenders. This book presents the experiences of motel residents as they attempt to carve out meaningful lives in a society that relegates them to the shadows of existence.