Practice Job Talk  
 
This Friday, November 9 I will be giving a practice job talk at CGIS Knafel in room K109 at 1:30pm. Feel free to stop by!
 
Economic Insecurity and American Political Culture: An Ethnographic Study of Americans Going Through Personal Bankruptcy
 
ABSTRACT:
 
Drawing on original ethnographic research with Americans in Chapter 13 personal
bankruptcy, this paper, based on my dissertation, examines the process through which economic insecurity shapes political culture, which is understood as a process of meaning making. I take the novel approach of using personal bankruptcy as a research site that provides a window into economic insecurity. This not only allows for a close examination of the processes of economic insecurity, but highlights one of its most understudied aspects: its connection to household debt. I find three distinct semiotic signatures that we can think of as social roles available in the American cultural toolkit. One role, the “young liberal” occurs infrequently in my sample, and although its existence suggests fascinating avenues for future research, I focus on the other two roles in this paper. The two remaining social roles, that I call Archie and Edith in reference to the characters from the 1970s sitcom All in the Family, roughly divide the rest of the sample and share several features such as a context of hard work and a deep story against entitlement. Ultimately, however, Archies and Ediths give different meaning to “the entitled” reflecting differences in their experiences of economic insecurity.
 
 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018