Faculty Spotlight: Dr. James Jones in Teen Vogue: Most Congressional Interns are Still White

Updated: Jul 27


By James Jones and Carlos Mark Vera



Congressional internships matter. These work opportunities are an expression of democratic citizenship that support the day-to-day operations of the federal legislature, train and socialize political novices to lawmaking, and provide a pipeline to paid employment and elective office. Unequal access to these work opportunities means that whites are almost exclusively credentialed to work in Congress.


Dr. James Jones, Assistant Professor, African American and African Studies

P3 Corner: Hear from the author himself


Q: How does your research inform your teaching and service at the university? 


A: My research is motivated by questions about democracy, citizenship, and inequality, which are also relevant for the lives of Rutgers-Newark students. My goal as an instructor is to demonstrate how sociology is a powerful tool that they can use to answer these questions and their own about the social world. In this way, I hope to develop my students as sociological thinkers and lifelong learners by grounding sociology as a discipline that is necessary and relevant for their own lives.


Q: How does this work advance the university's mission as a publicly-engaged anchor institution?


A: The university’s mission as a publicly-engaged anchor institution is about how academic knowledge should reach beyond the walls of the classroom, past the boundaries of the university, and into communities we are a part of. A primary objective of my current research project is to increase access within Congress for historically underrepresented groups. I do this by conducting empirical research on inequality on Capitol Hill that is widely available for general audiences, but also by recruiting and training RU-N students as the next generation of social scientists to study democratic institutions and building their capacity as active civic participants. 



Read the full story on Teen Vogue.


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