Broadly speaking, my research uses quantitative and qualitative methods to study deviance, violence, and security from a sociological perspective. Specifically, my research addresses four topics:
- Cyberbullying and bullying: My research aims to identify the causes of cyberbullying and understand the social regulation of cyberbullying among youth. In relation to the latter, I am completing a study that explores the ways in which parents, educators, and police officers prevent and respond to cyberbullying. Specifically, this project addresses the extent to which groups of adults work collaboratively to address cyberbullying within a nodal governance framework. Findings from this project have been published in the Journal of School Violence and Policing & Society. Concerning the former, I am undertaking a study of cyberbullying from a social ecological perspective – that is, drawing on Bronfenbrenner’s well-known social ecological model, I am examining the nested individual, social, and structural factors that predict cyberbullying involvement.
- Deviant online youth subcultures: Specifically, I focus on a group known as “Columbiners” who identify with, sympathize with, or are fans of the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Connecting with one another on social networking websites, this subculture has sometimes drawn the ire of the public, but little is known about them. Drawing upon thousands of social media posts dating to 2012, this project seeks to understand those individuals who self-identify as Columbiners.
- Policing: My research on policing addresses criminal investigation and the policing of cyberspace. With Laura Huey (Western University), I have written about the impact of the 24-hour news cycle on police-media relations and the ways in which the public’s appetite for crime drama and reporting has affected criminal investigation. With Laura Huey and Johnny Nhan (Texas Christian University), I have studied the role of the general public (“digilantes”) in providing security and investigative support in cyberspace.
- Victimization: My research on victimization primarily addresses the social and emotional impact of violence on victims. For example, I have studied the “fear-risk paradox” – which suggests that women’s fear of crime is disproportionate to their risk of victimization – by showing that when intimate partner violence is considered as a form of victimization women’s fears align with their risks. In a book manuscript, co-authored with Laura Huey and Marianne Quirouette (University of Toronto), currently under review with University of Toronto Press, we explore the ways in which homeless women – one of society’s most vulnerable and highly victimized groups – is traumatized by violent crime, but also how they are resilient and work to overcome their traumatic experiences.
I welcome inquires about opportunities for collaboration and from graduate students interested in studying these or related topics. If you are a graduate student and would like to work with me, I encourage you to discuss your interests with me prior to applying to the graduate program. When making your inquiry, please include a copy of your CV, unofficial transcripts, and a writing sample.
Canadian Sociological Association Outstanding Graduate Student Award (PhD level)
Ellen Nilsen Award of Excellence (Department of Sociology, University of Western Ontario)