Josh Seim

Josh Seim's picture
Research Interests: 
poverty governance, medicine, punishment, labor, urban
483 Barrows
Curriculum Vitae: 

My research focuses on how a fragmented American state manages social marginality and I am especially interested in the lived experiences of both governed and governing actors. In my dissertation, I use ethnographic and statistical methods to reimagine the ambulance as an institution that regulates the urban poor. This study motivates what I call the “labor theory of poverty governance,” a framework I detail in American Sociological Review (2017). Additional analyses from my dissertation can be found in a recent publication in Prehospital Emergency Care (2017). I have also examined the carceral experience of soon-to-be released prisoners (Punishment and Society, 2016) and I am currently researching the ways parole supervision might function like workfare.

I recently co-authored an article on instructing social theory in Teaching Sociology (2016) with some of my closest friends in the department.


Seim, Josh. 2017. “The Ambulance: Toward a Labor Theory of Poverty Governance.” American Sociological Review 82(3):451-475. (lead article)

     2017 James D. Thompson Graduate Student Paper Award. American Sociological Association’s Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section.

Seim, Josh, Joshua English, and Karl Sporer. 2017. "Neighborhood Poverty and 9-1-1 Ambulance Contacts." Prehospital Emergency Care. (online first)

Seim, Josh. 2016. “Short-Timing: The Carceral Experience of Soon-to-be-Released Prisoners.” Punishment & Society 18(4):442-458.

Herring, Chris, Manuel Rosaldo, Josh Seim, and Benjamin Shestakofsky. 2016. “Living Theory: Principles and Practices for Teaching Social Theory Ethnographically.” Teaching Sociology 44(3):188-199. (equal author)

PhD Date:: 
May, 2018
Dissertation Title: 
The Ambulance: On the Frontlines of Poverty Governance
Dissertation Committee: 
Michael Burawoy (chair), David Harding, Armando Lara-Millán, Seth Holmes (Public Health)