Life on the Margins

Emma Keating

Living life on the margins of society can be costly — at some residential motels, the rates go up to nearly a thousand dollars a month. But for many vulnerable Americans looking to get back on their feet with little money, the weekly or monthly rate of a motel room beats the lengthy lease and hefty security deposit of an apartment.

Christopher Dum, an assistant professor of sociology, spent a year in one of these residential motels, learning about its inhabitants and their daily lives. He published his findings in Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel. 

KentWired’s Emma Keating sat down to talk with him about the community he met.