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 and issues pertaining to labor, work, and class. He 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 and middle classes in the twenty-first century.

Current Research

Most recently, Sean's research has focused on how entrepreneurship functions as a disciplinary technology that has significant consequences for workers, social inequality, and how we understand increasingly normalized precarious labor practices.

Along with Victor Chen and Jesse Goldstein, he argues that a distinct "culture of entrepreneurship" has emerged in the shadow of Silicon Valley. While the discourses constitutive of this culture celebrate innovation, risk, constant self-improvement, and personal and creative autonomy, for growing numbers of workers, they provide the justificatory frame for the normalization of nonstandard work arrangements and the ideological cover for a polarizing labor market.

Increasingly, workers are compelled to be entrepreneurial: perfecting their personal agencies, creating their own opportunities, and taking individuated risks so as to successfully navigate a labor market characterized by uncertainty, contingency, and diminishing opportunity. As the standard employment relationship recedes into history and precarious employment becomes the norm, entrepreneurship has emerged as a moralizing logic validating the social relations constituting the new terrain of contemporary political economy.

Sean's ongoing projects include studies in value-form theory, radical right-wing usages of internet-age technologies, and examining the political consequences of our deepening social mediation on and through digital, and often highly capitalized, platforms.

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.