Brandon Hunter, Anthropology

Thinking Inside the Box: The Development, Meaning, and Implications of Washington DC’s “Ban the Box” Legislation

Date: 
Wed, 11/11/2015
Location: 
438 Robertson Hall
Audience: 
Graduate Students


LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students.

Brandon Hunter is a first year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology. His is interested in using ethnographic method to explores issues related to law and labor. Before coming to Princeton Brandon completed his BA and MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and his JD from Georgetown University Law Center. He is the recipient of the 2015 - 16 Lassen Fellowship with the Program for Latin American studies. At the moment he has two ongoing research projects; the first looking at the development of the "ban the box" law in Washington DC, and the second focusing on the hotel workers union in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. 

Summary:
In 2014 DC became another major American city to prohibit employers from asking about an applicant's criminal record during the hiring process. The passage of the law marked another important victory of ex-prisoner advocates and is part of a larger shift in the United States  around reintegration reform. My project's aims is to examine how the law was developed and to trace the changes it underwent during the political process. I argue that without this kind of ethnographic account of the law, further research on the law's effectiveness would be difficult, if not impossible. 

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