Past Event

A Conversation with Lisa Dodson: The Moral Underground: How Ordinary People Subvert an Unfair Economy

A manager at a chain pizza restaurant pads his minimum-wage employees paychecks; A supervisor at a big box store secretly sends groceries home with a worker, who despite having a full-time job, can’t afford to feed her family; A pediatrician fudges an insurance form to get…care for the uninsured mother of her patient. Is this fraud? Lying? Stealing? Lisa Dodson, a Professor of Sociology at Boston College, calls it economic disobedience and in her book, The Moral Underground, she profiles the many people who quietly practice it.

Don’t forget to join us in conversation with  Dodson, who will discuss economic disobedience, her take on the moral paradox of breaking rules to do good, and why she believes it is in the tradition of the underground railroad and other acts of civil disobedience that have propelled social justice movements throughout history.

More about Lisa Dodson

Lisa Dodson worked as a union activist, an obstetrical nurse, and the director of the Division of Women’s Health for the state of Massachusetts before becoming a professor of sociology at Boston College. The author of Don’t Call Us Out of Name, she lives in Auburndale, Massachusetts.

Praise for The Moral Underground

“If only this book had been published in 2007. Then the hundreds of people interviewed by Lisa Dodson would have been able to pass along an important piece of advice: What’s good for business is not necessarily good for America.” -Time magazine

“Eloquent, rational analysis… Dodson writes clearly and unsentimentally. Important, encouraging reporting.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Dodson’s study is gripping and her argument is persuasive.” -Publishers Weekly

“Thoroughly footnoted and sourced, this timely study serve [s] as an intriguing record of the economic crisis and how some are choosing to survive it.” -Booklist

This event is presented by The Public Square and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

Free and open to the public. For more information, call 312.422.5580. 

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit