Disability Studies, Early American Sociology, Social Psychology, Ethnic Studies
Office: Science Hall, room 287
Ph.D. – Oklahoma State University, 1999
M.S. – Oklahoma State University, 1995
B.A. – Humboldt State University, 1993
I have benefited from the opportunities to study a wide variety of social phenomena. I have conducted research and published on people with developmental disabilities; bereavement; race/ethnicity, as well as early American sociological thought. I approach social phenomena from a social psychological perspective, specifically that of pragmatism blended with realism. I recently returned to a theory I developed with J. David Knottnerus called Strategic Ritualization, and am applying that to some of my new research. As I approach the twilight of my career, I am focusing more on research that I find ‘fun’ and that will blend some of my ‘off-work’ interests with my career.
My current research involves four projects: First, with Erin Rider and Stephanie Arnett, we are studying fans of college football in the Southeast Conference (SEC). This is a 76-item survey addressing various aspects of fandom for these fans. We had over 300 respondents and we should be writing-up this in early 2016.
The second project involves more fun stuff. This research will involve the relationship of ritual and identity found at Star Trek conventions. I’m using participant and unobtrusive observation, plus in-depth interviews. My goal is to have this completed by 2017.
I am also working on some game simulation ideas with Computer Scientists regarding immigration as a means of facilitating the development of critical thinking skills among high school students. An NSF grant application is in the works.
Lastly, much of the research was collected in 2010. This is an analysis of Edward Alsworth Ross’s place within the early days of American Sociology. The presentation of this information should follow a similar model as what I did on Charles A. Ellwood in 2005 which resulted in three journal articles. The hope is to remind sociologists in the 21st century of the people who shaped Sociology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.