I hold a PhD in Sociology from Carleton University and a Masters in Criminology from the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining Laurier as a faculty member in 2009, I was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council postdoctoral fellow and invited professor at the University of Ottawa, Depar...
I hold a PhD in Sociology from Carleton University and a Masters in Criminology from the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining Laurier as a faculty member in 2009, I was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council postdoctoral fellow and invited professor at the University of Ottawa, Department of Criminology. In 2019 I was awarded the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction's Early in Career Award for "significant and potential contributions to the field of symbolic interaction."
I am a member of the Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) board of directors and was chair of the CCJA Policy Review Committee from 2008-15. I am past Vice-President (2018-19) and current Secretary of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.
My research in various substantive areas all draws on micro-sociology to excavate the lived experiences of marginalized people and engage critical analyses of how structural and institutional forces (including laws and policies) act to shape and reinforce their marginal location. In this sense, I am interested not just in the people who exist at the margins of our society, excluded from dominant discourse, but how society is structured and operates to maintain hegemonic privilege at their expense. Using symbolic interactionist and structural theories, I research the impacts of the criminal justice system on the lives of marginalized persons. I am a primarily qualitative researcher with a strong interest in classical and contemporary social theory and theories of stigma, in particular. I also am interested in developing and examining qualitative methodologies.
I am currently leading a multi-year SSHRC-funded international comparative study of the regulation of sex work in Canada, New Zealand, and Nevada, USA. I am also co-investigator on a multi-year SSHRC-funded study of women's experiences of risk and safety in the heavy metal music community and in festival spaces. Both of these projects engage with women's perceptions and understandings of their own agency and the regulatory and social control of women's bodies.
A forthcoming book with Dr. Christopher Schneider (Brandon University), Defining Sexual Misconduct: Power, Media, and #MeToo, investigates shifts in media coverage of sexual violence and details significant changes in public discourse about sexual harm (University of Regina Press, 2022).
Previously I have published on the effects of crime and incarceration on families and I retain a keen interest in this area of policy.