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Leslie Martin - University of Mary Washington. Fredericksburg, VA, US

Leslie Martin

Associate Professor of Sociology | University of Mary Washington

Fredericksburg, VA, UNITED STATES

Dr. Martin specializes in urban sociology, race/ethnic relations, welfare and poverty issues.





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More than 600,000 Americans live without homes. The general public often believes that the homeless themselves are to blame.

Leslie E. Martin, University of Mary Washington associate professor of sociology, would disagree. A specialist in urban sociology, Dr. Martin studies neighborhood and community change and housing-related attitudes, including public debate and media coverage of affordable housing in growing urban areas.

Dr. Martin won a 2011-2012 faculty development grant for the project “Making Sense of Need: Organization Constructions of Homelessness and Solutions.” In addition to housing and society, her specialties include ethnic relations, welfare and poverty, the sociology of education and social welfare.

A member of the Urban Affairs Association, Dr. Martin has served as a counselor for fair housing and AIDS service organizations, and consulted on housing issues with city leadership in Boise, Idaho.

She has served as secretary and on the executive committee of Fredericksburg Continuum of Care, a regional coalition of homeless service organizations and on George Washington Regional Commission’s Affordable Housing Task Force.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Urban Sociology

Race / Ethnic Relations

Welfare and Poverty

Sociology of Education

Public Housing

Social Welfare & Social Policy

Housing and Society

Accomplishments (2)

Faculty Development Grant (professional)


Awarded by the University of Mary Washington for the project "Making Sense of Need: Organization Constructions of Homelessness and Solutions".

Sabbatical 2014-15 (professional)


Sabbatical awarded for the 2014-15 academic year for a project titled "Constructing the Neighborhood School: Gentrification, Parents and Schools.”

Education (3)

Emory University: Ph.D., Sociology 2003

Temple University: M.A., Urban Studies 1994

The College of William and Mary: B.A., History 1989

Affiliations (3)

  • American Sociological Association : Member
  • Urban Affairs Association : Member
  • Fredericksburg Continuum of Care : Member, Executive Committee

Media Appearances (3)

Hundreds Depend on College Food Banks

WVTF Radio IQ  online


Many schools around Virginia try to attract students from low-income families with scholarships, grants and loans – but with the cost of living going up, some of those kids run out of cash.

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Community helps homeless

The Blue & Gray Press  online


The Fredericksburg area participated in the campaign through the Central Virginia Housing Coalition, setting a goal of housing 35 local families. Leslie Martin, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at UMW, heard about the campaign and asked other faculty to help spread the word. “I still can’t get over how generously people responded. So many people sent money and passed the email on to everybody in their department, or to other people they knew. I got a few donations from people I didn’t know, which is just amazing,” Martin said...

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The History of "White Flight"

With Good Reason  radio


The home foreclosure crisis is driving more and more Americans out of their homes. Many of them were long-time renters who only recently--and briefly--had a piece of the American dream of home ownership. Leslie Martin (University of Mary Washington) says the government has pushed home ownership for years, but maybe it’s time to rethink that policy...

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Articles (1)

Good Deals for Homebuyers, Not for the Poor: Erasing Poverty from Affordable Housing Discourse

Journal of Poverty


The usage of the term affordable housing has changed over time, from meeting the housing needs of the poor, to the relatively unproblematized workings of the home ownership market. Qualitative analysis of media discourse in the Boise, Idaho, metropolitan area, from 1990 to 2009 demonstrates this shift in meaning...

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