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Research Themes

“Living Right, Feeling Good” – Professor Andrew Miles researches the effects of moral action on positive emotion

Professor Andrew Miles’ new research project looks into the “feel good” effects of moral behaviour. While previous research has shown that helping others makes people feel good, morality scholars recognize that people moralize many ideals in addition to helping, such as fairness, loyalty to groups, respect for authority, and physical and metaphorical purity. Professor Professor … Read More

Dr. Michelle Pannor Silver interviewed in “University Affairs” for her book release

University Affairs recently published an interview with Professor Michelle Pannor Silver regarding her new book, Retirement and its Discontents: Why We Won’t Stop Working, Even if We Can. In an attempt to better understand why people in high performance careers perceived retirement as difficulty rather than reprieve, Dr. Silver interviewed doctors, CEOs, athletes, professors, and … Read More

Professor Owusu-Bempah discusses cannabis justice measures on “Vice”

Professor Owusu-Bempah discussed cannabis justice measures in a video on VICE. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been charged with cannabis-related offences, and racialized communities have been hit especially hard. In response, Professor Owusu-Bempah explains a three-pronged approach to reparations: cannabis amnesty and expungement of records; inclusion in the list of the cannabis industry; and reinvestment … Read More

Professor Melissa Milkie talks to CNN about Millenial women and household labour

Professor Melissa Milkie spoke to CNN about gender and household work. As women contribute to household income more than ever before, they are still also doing the majority of the unpaid domestic work. According to Professor Milkie, although both men and women are working more paid hours than previous generations, women are also contributing many … Read More

Professor Gail Super discusses the ‘blurry’ space between policing and collective punishment in South Africa in “U of T News”

Professor Gail Super was featured in U of T News for her research in the ‘blurry’ space between policing and collective punishment in South Africa. After receiving a SSHRC Insight Development Grant in 2018, Professor Super has been attempting to untangle complex factors affecting the landscape of law and justice in South Africa, such as … Read More

Religion and Fandom: Sofia Jelovac published in U of T’s Undergraduate Sociology Journal

Sofia Jelovac  published an article entitled “Religion and Fandom” in Volume I of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal. Her work explores the parallels between religious form (as outlined by Durkheim) and fandom through a study of the dynamics of Coldplay and the Coldplayer fanbase. By examining the division of the sacred and the profane, within the … Read More

Helen Yang examines the sociology of gluten-free diets in U of T’s Undergraduate Sociology Journal

Helen Yang published  “The Seed of Contempt” in Volume I of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal (USJ).  Her work explores the emergence, expansion, and effects of the gluten free market. Under this framework, she discusses both the immunological and sociological influences and implications of the gluten-free diet trend. Although celiac disease  only occurs in 1% of … Read More

“The Medicalization of Mental Illness in Canada” by Jessica Rapson published in U of T’s Undergraduate Sociology Journal

Jessica Rapson published “The Medicalization of Mental Illness in Canada”in Volume I of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal (USJ). Her work examines Marxist conflict theory to understand how mental illness is medicalized through the marketization of health care in Canada. Specifically, the article focuses on how pharmaceutical companies affect mental illness treatments and exacerbate existing mental … Read More

The Dark Knight’s Stark Encounters with Provisional Selves and Frame Breaks: Antonio Scarfone published in U of T’s Undergraduate Sociology Journal

Antonio Scarfone  published an article entitled “The Dark Knight’s Stark Encounters with Provisional Selves and Frame Breaks” in Volume I of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal (USJ).  His work examines how individuals must overcome unmet expectations that require strength, adaptation, and perseverance while shaping their identities and careers. Throughout these identity formations, individuals adopt provisional selves … Read More

Decolonizing Suicide and Saving Lives through Language: Julia Li published in U of T’s Undergraduate Sociology Journal

Julia Li published “Language Revitalization and the Indigenous Youth Suicide Epidemic in Canada: Decolonizing Suicide and Saving Lives through Language” in Volume I of the Undergraduate Sociology Journal (USJ). Her work examines the connection between the presence of Indigenous language knowledge and lower rates of Indigenous youth suicides in Canadian communities, and builds on Cwik’s … Read More

Professor Neda Maghbouleh featured on the “Ajam Podcast”

Professor Neda Maghbouleh spoke on the Ajam Podcast, a platform that challenges simplistic representations of the ‘Ajam’ region in Western media, and brings academic debates on the topic to a wider audience. After discussing the major themes and reception of her book, The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race, Professor … Read More

Professor Sida Liu breaks down legal challenges for two detained Canadians in China on CBC

Professor Sida Liu spoke on CBC News about the legal challenges that two Canadians detained in China could face, as Canada pushes for their release. The Canadians are currently in Chinese custody for allegedly retaliating the arrest of a top Chinese executive, Meng Wanzhou, in British Columbia. Professor Liu explains how, legally speaking, there is … Read More

Professor Gail Super SSHRC-funded research studies “precarious penality on the periphery” – a study on crime and punishment in South Africa’s informal settlements

Professor Super’s study of crime prevention and punishment in informal (shack) settlements in South Africa seeks to shed light on the overlaps between lawful community-based crime prevention initiatives and unlawful forms of non-state punishment. The objectives of her research include researching the blurred boundaries between law, legitimacy and violence on the margins of the state; … Read More

Professor Andrew Miles sheds light on the foundations of moral differences

How do differences in morality emerge? Professor Andrew Miles is currently conducting SSHRC-funded research (IDG 2018) to understand the foundations of moral differences. While morality’s effects are often beneficial for individuals and societies, moral differences can also generate sharp disagreement, as evidenced by continued controversies in Canada and elsewhere surrounding abortion, same sex marriage, and … Read More

Professor Jooyoung Lee Discusses Canadian Gun Control on “The Annex”

Professor Jooyoung Lee was interviewed on The Annex, an American academic sociology podcast, to discuss gun control. Speaking to a largely US-based sociology audience, Professor Lee discussed the gun violence policy debate in Canada. In comparison to the United States, Canada remains a relatively safe place. Nonetheless, as rates of violence have gone up in … Read More

Professor Jerry Flores op ed in TheConversation.ca speaks to the Cyntoia Brown sentencing and incarceration of disadvantaged women

Professor Jerry Flores recently updated his published article in The Conversation Canada, “Cyntoia Brown needs support, not 51 years in prison,” to address her recently granted clemency. It is now entitled “Clemency for Cyntoia Brown was long overdue,” where Professor Flores discusses the surprising and welcome development of the case of a teenager who was convicted … Read More

Professor Jooyoung Lee writes in Vice on healthcare workers and gun violence

Professor Jooyoung Lee recently published an article in VICE entitled “Doctors and Emergency Workers Tell Us About the Toll of Treating Gunshot Victims.” After a tweet from the NRA criticized doctors for speaking out in favour of gun control, doctors and Emergency workers responded by tweeting about the gunshot victims they see in their working … Read More

Professor Kristin Plys studies a Tea House in Lahore to learn about Resistance to Authoritarianism

Coffee and tea have a long history of brewing resistance.  Professor Kristin Plys received funding from the Connaught New Researcher Award to study the role of the Pak Tea House in Lahore, Pakistan to understand the role the tea house played as a site of socialization for artists and intellectuals resisting authoritarianism in the twentieth … Read More

“There’s Inequality in Death”: Professor Monica Alexander Featured in UofT News

Professor Monica Alexander was featured and interviewed in UofT News for her research on how marginalized populations are disproportionately vulnerable to conditions or events that can cause an early or unnatural death. By analyzing data on when, how and who dies, researchers like Professor Alexander can learn a lot about how to improve or even … Read More

Professor David Pettinicchio on Disability and Cumulative Economic Disadvantage

Professor David Pettinicchio’s research was highlighted and discussed in The Society Pages, in the Discoveries section of the blog.  The Society Pages  (TSP) is an open-access social science project operated from Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota with support from individual donors. The Discoveries page highlights “new and exciting research from the journals, … Read More