Meet the Professor: Adam Green

The Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto has a diverse faculty of professors who have a wide range of experiences. While they share backgrounds in sociology and its intersecting disciplines, each faculty member has individual experiences that have shaped their academic careers. In this series, we interview faculty at the St. George campus to acknowledge and share these stories, and get to know the influences behind their journeys.

Professor Adam Green is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of sexuality and medical sociology, and aims to develop theory relevant to both areas. In this interview, he discusses the experiences that led to his career in sociology.

What led you to pursue a career in sociology?

As a gay man coming of age in the 1980s, I felt a deep sense of marginality from the dominant culture.  My interest in sociology sprung out of that experience. I wanted to know more about the sociology of homosexuality and further, the sociology of sexualities more generally. How was my perceived marginality a function of institutional and cultural processes? How do social structures shape the lived experience of being gay? How does heteronormativity shape the choices sexual minorities make with respect to sexual practice and sexual identity? These were a few of the questions that led me to pursue a career in sociology.

What, in your own undergraduate experience, was important for you?

Mentorship was extremely important for me as an undergraduate student. Finding professors with whom I had shared interests reaffirmed for me that a career in the academy and that graduate work in sociology were pathways that fit with my interests and capacities.

What do you love about sociology?

What I love most about sociology is its breadth. Sociology  encompasses such a broad range of substantive areas and from such a diversity of methodologies. Literally, any topic that intersects with society can become a focal point of research. And one is not bound by a methodological orthodoxy, as in some other fields, but can find a wide array of methodological tools and approaches to their topic of choice.

PhD Graduate Kat Kolar and Professor Adam Green on HIV Prevention Science

PhD graduate Kat Kolar and Professor Adam Green published an article in Sociology of Health & Illness that outlines their content analysis of HIV prevention science funded by the National Institute of Health. Green & Kolar find that research into intervention takes a biomedical approach, but prevention research that focuses on risk factors tends to be more sociological in nature.

Kat Kolar obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2018. Her dissertation is titled Differentiating the Drug Normalization Framework: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Substance Use among Undergraduate Students in Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UBC researching the social integration of substance use and health inequities impacting people who use illicit drugs. Adam Green is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of sexuality and medical sociology, and aims to develop theory relevant to both areas.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through Research Gate here.

Green, Adam and Kat Kolar. 2015. “Engineering Behaviour Change in an Epidemic: The Epistemology of NIH-Funded HIV Prevention Science.” Sociology of Health & Illness, 37(4):1-17.

Social scientific and public health literature on National Institutes of Health-funded HIV behavioural prevention science often assumes that this body of work has a strong biomedical epistemological orientation. We explore this assumption by conducting a systematic content analysis of all NIH-funded HIV behavioural prevention grants for men who have sex with men between 1989 and 2012. We find that while intervention research strongly favours a biomedical orientation, research into the antecedents of HIV risk practices favours a sociological, interpretive and structural orientation. Thus, with respect to NIH-funded HIV prevention science, there exists a major disjunct in the guiding epistemological orientations of how scientists understand HIV risk, on the one hand, and how they engineer behaviour change in behavioural interventions, on the other. Building on the extant literature, we suggest that the cause of this disjunct is probably attributable not to an NIH-wide positivist orientation, but to the specific standards of evidence used to adjudicate HIV intervention grant awards, including randomised controlled trials and other quantitative measures of intervention efficacy.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Jenna Valleriani and Professor Adam Green on Marital Monogamy

Jenna VallerianiPhD Graduate Jenna Valleriani and Professor Adam Green, in collaboration with Barry Adam (University of Windsor), published an article in the Journal of Marriage & Family. The article discusses the evolution of conceptions of marital monogamy over time and its role as an ideal in marriage today.

Jenna Valleriani obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2017 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use. Her research looks at illegal and legal cannabis markets in Canada. Adam Green is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of sexuality and medical sociology, and aims to develop theory relevant to both areas.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Green, Adam Isaiah, Jenna Valleriani, and Barry Adam. 2016. “Marital Monogamy as Ideal and Practice: The Detraditionalization Thesis in Contemporary Marriages.” Journal of Marriage & Family, 78(2):416-430.

Within the sociological literature on intimate life, a detraditionalization thesis outlines a marked shift in the construction of marriage in post-World War II Western societies, suggesting a growing focus on emotional and sexual satisfaction within the marital dyad (Cherlin, 2004; Giddens, 1992). In this article the authors investigated one aspect of marital relations in light of the detraditionalization thesis: marital monogamy. Drawing from 90 in-depth interviews with both heterosexual and same-sex married participants in Canada, they found that the detraditionalization thesis appears to capture best the extension of multicultural norms to abstract ideals about marital monogamy, rather than an actual shift in marital sexual practices, particularly among heterosexual respondents. These data call out for greater attention to both the social mediation of Giddens’s detraditionalization thesis and a more nuanced concept of marital fidelity than a simple binary axis of ‘monogamous/nonmonogamous’ permits.

Read the full article here.

 

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Jenna Valleriani and Professors Adam Green and Barry Adams, recipients of the Anselm Strauss Award for Qualitative Family Research

Jenna VallerianiCongratulations to PhD Candidate Jenna Valleriani and Professor Adam Green who received the 2017 Anselm Strauss Award for Qualitative Family Research from the National Council on Family Relations for their article on marital monogamy. Jenna is currently completing her dissertation, ‘The Green Rush’: Social Movements, Entrepreneurship and the Emerging Medical Cannabis Industry in Canada, supervised by Professor Candace Kruttschnitt. Professor Green is an Associate Professor of sociology at the St. George campus.

We have posted the citation and abstract of their winning article below. The full article is available through the University of Toronto library portal here.

“Marital Monogamy as Ideal and Practice: The Detraditionalization Thesis in Contemporary Marriages,” Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(April), 416-430.

Within the sociological literature on intimate life, a detraditionalization thesis outlines a marked shift in the construction of marriage in post‐World War II Western societies, suggesting a growing focus on emotional and sexual satisfaction within the marital dyad (Cherlin, 2004; Giddens, 1992). In this article the authors investigated one aspect of marital relations in light of the detraditionalization thesis: marital monogamy. Drawing from 90 in‐depth interviews with both heterosexual and same‐sex married participants in Canada, they found that the detraditionalization thesis appears to capture best the extension of multicultural norms to abstract ideals about marital monogamy, rather than an actual shift in marital sexual practices, particularly among heterosexual respondents. These data call out for greater attention to both the social mediation of Giddens’s detraditionalization thesis and a more nuanced concept of marital fidelity than a simple binary axis of “monogamous/nonmonogamous” permits.