Sean Doody

Sean Doody

Sean Doody

Graduate Research Assistant

Political economy, digital sociology, computational sociology, science & technology, critical theory

Sean Doody is a doctoral student of sociology at George Mason University who studies political economy, science and technology, and politically reactionary ideological and cultural production on digital platforms. He is a recipient of the Provost's Presidential Scholarship, and works as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. John Dale in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. He has previously worked at the Center for Social Science Research (CSSR) 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 class in the twenty-first century.

Current Research

My dissertation research studies the effects of the internet, social media, and digital platforms on the development of politically reactionary ideological and cultural assemblages. On both mainstream and little-known "alternative" platforms, a cadre of political actors with diverse ideological underpinnings has been building curated spaces for dissident political commentary and cultural criticism. These actors take strides to distinguish themselves from what they perceive to be a corrupt mainstream media system, and have effectively constructed a loosely networked, but highly influential, alternative digital political sphere in opposition to it.

My research uses a blend of computational and machine learning methods in conjunction with network analysis and qualitative content analysis in order to leverage the strengths of computational tools while carefully grounding them in empirically and theoretically sound sociological foundations.

Other ongoing projects include studies in critical realism, class politics and value-form theory, and debates about emancipatory social change, particularly around issues of political mobilization and the promises and perils of technological remedies to social suffering.

My past work focused on how a renewed idealization of entrepreneurship, spearheaded by the rise of Silicon Valley, has permeated cultural discourses and changed the way we relate to the world of work. This is especially true for nonstandard and contingent workers who, under the influence of a pervasive "culture of entrepreneurship," are compelled to reimagine the risks of their precarity as an empowering and libertine entrepreneurial adventure.

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

Doody, Sean. 2018. "Abolishing Work: Negative Politics and the Value-Form." Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Philadelphia, PA, August 10th

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. 2015. “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.