Jason Smith

Receiving his Bachelors from Christopher Newport University in 2006, Jason has been having a passionate love affair with Sociology ever since.  Having completed his MA thesis and coursework this past spring (2011), the next step for Jason will be figuring out what his dissertation will be on…oh yeah, and comps.

In trying to give back to the discipline, Jason has helped out here and there on projects and initiatives, both in an academic sense and to help strengthen the public aspect of sociology.  Serving as managing editor for This Week in Sociology, coming up on its second semester in (online)print, he has sought to collaboratively work with other sociologists to produce an outlet that addresses current hot topics in clear and non-jargony language from a sociological point of view.  He also just wrapped up a fellowship at the New America Foundation’s Media Policy Initiative, sponsored by the Consortium for Media Policy Studies.  His work there focused on issues related to media policy, the state of journalism, and diversity in media ecosystems.  On campus Jason has been involved (ongoingly) with the Graduate Student Sociological Association as a co-founder, treasurer, and conference committee member for the first annual Public Sociology Graduate Conference.  He has also been involved (for shorter intervals) with the Middle East Etc Film Club and the Graduate and Professional Student Association.

Generally, his research interests gravitate around the areas of race/ethnicity, the media, and representation.  Past work has focused on the portrayal of African Americans and formations of whiteness in popular culture through the medium of Hollywood films.  Currently, issues of media policy and how it limits/expands diversity within the media landscape have been on Jason’s mind.  The tension between what media policy and the overseers of media outlets allows for citizens to do with media and the developing technologies that break up that one-way street are a growing concern.  If that wasn’t enough of a handful already, Jason is also intrigued by developing media systems globally and what that means for international relations.  Other fun subjects that he also has a research interest in are: news and journalism; cosmopolitan theory; white people; pop culture; democracy(!!).

Curriculum Vitae
Email: jsm5@gmu.edu
Twitter: jasonsm55

Available Works Online

Hometown News, Why it Matters
Blog Post | Nov 29, 2011 | This Week in Sociology

Shaping 21st Century Journalism
Policy Paper | Oct 27, 2011 | New America Foundation – MPI

Nothing to Laugh At: Humor in the Post-Race Era
Blog Post | Oct 11, 2011 | This Week in Sociology

Improving Governance Through Symbiotic Media Structures
Article | Summer 2011 | Democracy & Society

Media is Growing More White.  What’s the FCC Doing About It?
Op-Ed | Aug 11, 2011 | Colorlines

The Internet and the Collaborative Spirit of Art and Community Media
Blog Post | Feb 22, 2011 | National Alliance for Media Art + Culture

Race and the Summer Blockbuster
Newsletter Article | July 2010 | Society for the Study of Social Problems

Avatar: Recasting the Veil with Special Effects
Blog Post | Feb 8, 2010 | Everyday Sociology

Digital Television, Convergence, and the Public: Another Digital Divide?
Article | Spring 2009 | Sociation Today

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