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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Lisa Dodson

sociology department


Lisa Dodson

Research Professor

Ph.D., Brandeis University




Scholarly and Research interests

Substantive Areas

Poverty in the U.S.; Low-wage work and family life; Carework and moral economy; Social policy for lower-income families; Stigma, social mobility, and single-mother families; Immigrant labor and family migration experiences.

Research Methods

Field-based research in diverse, working-class communities; Collaborative research methods; Multidisciplinary research teams; Qualitative and mixed-method research; Development of Interpretive Focus Group methodology.

Academic profile

Lisa Dodson is a public sociologist whose research focuses on poverty, moral economy, and low-income work and family life. She specializes in original field-based research in diverse communities, collaborating with local organizations, practitioners, and parents. In the past she has presented research findings in U.S. Congressional hearings and to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as many community organizations.

Her latest book, The Moral Underground: How Ordinary People Subvert an Unfair Economy, is based on eight years of research about everyday resistance to an economy that harms millions of working families. Her previous book Don’t Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor America examined the daily lives and critical perspectives of women caring for low-income families in post-welfare America.

Working with BC graduate students, Dr. Dodson conducted national policy research on low wage work and family with Family Values @Work; the Institute for Child, Youth, Family Policy, Brandeis U; and the Training Fund, 1199/Service Employees International Union. She also received funding from the Ford and Annie E. Casey Foundations to research the link between youth development and the contemporary low-wage economy.


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