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In today’s interview, we speak with Dr. Jon Gordon, incoming Assistant Professor of Sociology at Appalachian State University, who tells us about his research with criminalized men in an armed group in a marginal neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia. Jon tells us how his experiences as a teacher in both Chicago and Medellín got him interested in studying gangs and violence. He explains how doing 45 months of fieldwork allowed him to track changes in the group he studied and talks about the value—and marginalization—of long-term ethnographic fieldwork. He also reflects on how he dealt with the psychological toll of witnessing violence, and how the men he studied subverted traditional gender roles in surprising ways. Finally, he describes what happened when his mother and partner entered his field site, and the ethnographic importance of a bologna sandwich.
Learn more about Dr. Gordon’s research here.
Alex Diamond is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago. Dr. Sneha Annavarapu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.
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