Early American Sociology, Social Psychology, Popular Culture
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. Currently I am focusing more of my time on popular culture topics. 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. After a few years of focusing more on administrative duties, I am jumping in with many new projects.
I just finished the second edition to my Introduction to Sociology textbook, Sociology and Thinking Critically: An Introduction, by Green River Technologies. I am especially pleased that I added two new chapters in that textbook, one on living in a post-fact world, and the other on popular culture.
The second project involves Star Trek. This research is based on the relationship of the Star Trek franchise with its fans. The focus of this work is social psychological, largely coming from a Symbolic Interactionist perspective, though I also include others, including Habermas and Foucault in the work. I have a contract with Lexington Publishers on a book, and that manuscript was submitted to Lexington in August of 2019. Expectation for publication is in 2020. The tentative title is: ‘Social Movements and the Collective Identity of the Star Trek Fandom’. I am also continuing this exploration and expect to present new Star Trek research in 2020.
A third project involves cartoons and their socialization on children, currently looking at morality, with a focus on the relationship of modernity, postmodernity and their influences on content of present-day cartoons. We have data going back some 70 years and will continue to work on this throughout the next decade. This research is being conducted with Dr. David G. Ortiz, Lorissa Humble and others.
With Drs. Erin N. Rider and Stephanie M. Arnett, we are studying fans of college football in the Southeast Conference (SEC). This research is based on a 76-item survey that was conducted from 2015-2019. Two papers have been written to this point. One should be submitted for publication in late 2019, early 2020.