Researching the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

As COVID-19 spread around the globe, Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Marc Settembrino worked to develop international research agendas to study the intersections of COVID-19, homelessness, and capitalism.

Settembrino served as the co-lead of the Homelessness, Housing Precarity & COVID-19 working group and as a member of the Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) network, supported by the National Science Foundation; the CONVERGE facility at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder; and the Disaster Capitalism and COVID-19 working group.

“Our team brought together researchers and practitioners from around the globe to examine the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness and housing precarity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Settembrino said. “The pandemic and homelessness present as dual crises and many individuals and organizations are developing innovative strategies to provide services for those who are homeless.”

The Homelessness, Housing Precarity, and COVID-19 working group’s research agenda seeks to document and evaluate the implications of government and community-based
interventions across scales and borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They hope to inform emergency managers and other practitioners to cultivate understanding of the intersections between COVID-19, housing precarity, and other hazards.

At Southeastern, Settembrino worked with Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Lisa Olson to organize a research team of graduate students to study transnational actors’ responses to the global pandemic. Currently, they are studying how GEO Group, one of the world’s largest private prison companies, has responded to the pandemic in Australia, South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

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