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.
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.