For all the Humorless Killjoys :-)

I recently published a book review of The Souls of White Jokes: How Racist Humor Fuels White Supremacy by Raúl Pérez in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies. It is much needed addition to the critical study of how racist jokes do the dirty work of constructing racism and racially hierarchical environments.

For a limited time you can download a free .pdf of the review using this link:


Punk Rock and British Fascism

I recently reviewed Music, Youth and International Links in Post-War British Fascism: The Transformation of Extremism, by Ryan Shaffer. He offers an interesting analysis of how punk as a cultural form was co-opted by British fascists after World War II as a strategy to keep what many thought was a dead ideology on life support. Shaffer’s work gives insight on the resurgence of fascist authoritarianism in the forms of Brexit, MAGA, and the Proud Boys. Here is the link to the book review recently published in the Journal for the Study of Radicalism.

Revisiting the Adolescent Society in the late 1990s and early 2000s

This is the link to my first published article as a co-author. This paper revisits James Coleman’s The Adolescent Society by using data from 7 schools in the Chicago metropolitan area. Studying school cliques and cultures is a window through which my current sociology students start to understand the constructed nature of society and the real social, political, and economic impacts of those constructed categories. This is an oldie-but-goodie that made me critically think through a classic sociological study and then perform hundreds of phone interviews and use other mixed methods to understand the adolescent society of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Sociology as a tool to teach Community Leadership

In this article I address how sociology as a discipline does and does not teach leadership to its students. A highlight of this article for me is my explanation of how students used a novel curriculum on community leadership (a program within the department of sociology which I direct) to lend their experiences with social work and immigration resettlement programs to create programming to encourage their college to consider becoming a sanctuary campus.

Using Environmental Sociology to Work Across Emotions-Based Political Differences

In this radio interview with Cindy Kamp on Catalyst WYCE, we discuss the recent work Strangers in their Own Land by Dr. Arlie Hochschild and the significance of using environmental problems as keyhole issues to work across political difference. We also discuss the history and significance the Community Leadership Program has on the Grand Rapids, MI area in giving students and communities hands on tools to work across political, identity, and emotional divides. We were then able to meet and have deep discussions about this issue when Dr. Hochschild came to deliver her Women’s Studies keynote lecture (pictured above).

Brewing and Environmental Sustainability in Michigan and Alabama

In early February, I gave a presentation of some of my research on how breweries attempt to “do” environmental sustainability. My focus is on water issues, but I am drawn to all the ways breweries attempt to do this important work. Most of my research to date has been on Michigan breweries, but my talk at Auburn University Montgomery allowed me to meet many brewing professionals and others interested in brewing and sustainability in the Montgomery area. One take away from the talk occurred during Q&A where we identified that most brewers are business people looking for a return on investment and that injecting a need to account for environmental and social impacts to the surrounding communities is often missed. In areas that are beginning to dabble in the brewing tourism economy, they have an opportunity to develop best practices that have been tried in other regions. It was also great to meet the robust home brewing community in Montgomery. Sláinte!

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