Institute for Immigration Research

Sean Doody

Sean Doody

Sean Doody

Graduate Research Assistant

Political economy, labor, class, precarious employment, historical sociology, globalization

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 Data Services.

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 both a cultural and institutional disciplinary mechanism that has significant consequences for workers, economic inequality, and how we understand precarious labor practices.

Along with Victor Chen and Jesse Goldstein, he argues that a distinct "culture of entrepreneurship" has emerged in recent years. Highly influenced by the dynamism of Silicon Valley, this culture is imbued with discourses that celebrate innovation, risk, constant self-improvement, and personal and creative autonomy.

Under the influence of this culture, workers are compelled to "be entrepreneurial," which can be seen as an effort to normalize the proliferation of nonstandard work arrangements in a polarizing labor market, as well as an attempt to naturalize the social inequalities associated with entrepreneurial risk taking and the retreat of the standard employment relationship in recent years. In this way, entrepreneurship functions as a justifying mechanism for the social relations characteristic of contemporary political economy.

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

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

Dale, John, David Kyle, 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.