Exiled In America


Chris P. Dum                                            David J. Harding

How we interact with each other does not get enough serious time in the press. It is a shame because judging from the success of social web sites there is plenty to ponder about sociology. Enough about me what about “we”.

Christopher P. Dum PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Kent State University started asking for his dissertation, whom among us is the most reviled, toxic person most of us recoil from, what is this person’s life like, how does he or she fit into society? A likely choice on anyone’s top ten list is the pedophile. What Dum found was the subject of his new book, ” Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel”.

For one year Dum lived along side pedophiles who were taken to an approved residence upon re-entry into society after a finished prison term. Many states use non-market viable motels for a reasonably low fee per week to house various fragile people for temporary housing until better opportunities presented themselves to the residents. These residential motels are privately owned, operated and open to the general public, too. Teaser, Dum’s research ended up examining far more than pedophiles and ex-cons. His research included people just down on their luck, the mentally challenged, the health challenged and the addicted.

David Harding PhD. Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California Berkeley, too has written a book, “Living the Drama: Community, Conflict and Culture Among Inner-City Boys”.

Both sociologists look at life on the margins from different angles. What is it and why is it that life on the margins keeps people from moving forward? What is nurturing despite all of the limitations? The listener and reader are likely to be surprised of the strength of community and fellowship that can develop in difficulty. What happens to the Golden Rule, treat people the way you want to be treated, falls apart? How important is the role of dignity to our mental health?

What are the chances of going to prison for the first time and what are the chances of re-entry? This is not a bleeding heart liberal, Kumbaya songfest but a realist’s inquiry about lowering the huge the number of incarcerated Americans. How can we bring these numbers down responsibly? What does it take to return to society as full productive citizen with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Introduction to Exiled in America:

Part 1 of Exiled in America:

Part 2 of Exiled in America:

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