Academic writing

The following articles and papers were written by me over the past six years or so, primarily as part of my undergrad degree. As such, they tend to all be on topics sociological or economic. Except where noted, everything here is unpublished and unrefereed; please keep that in mind if you decide you want to cite me.

I welcome (and reserve the right to publish here) your comments and criticism. I also welcome better abstracts; I’m not very good at abstracting my own work.

You’ll need a PDF viewer to read what’s here. I recommend Acrobat Reader. (The PDF files here work particularly well in Acrobat’s full-screen mode.)


Sociology of Deviance and Social Control

Devil’s Advocate: Converging claims and the construction of Satanic ritual abuse (2001)

The Satanic ritual child abuse panic of the 1980s and early 1990s is analyzed using Spector and Kitsuse’s claims-making theory of social problems. The role of a convergence of claims-making behavior amongst three groups — fundamentalist Christians, the Anti-Cult Movement, and the Child Savers — in establishing Satanic ritual abuse as a social problem is discussed and used to explain how Satanic ritual abuse became a social problem without any abuse taking place. Spector and Kitsuse’s theory is found to be successful in explaining the causes of the Satanic ritual abuse panic. (bibliography)


Queerly Ill: The Rise and Fall of the Illness of Homosexuality (2000)

This article traces the development of the illness of homosexuality from
its legal origins through its political demise within a framework of social
control exerted by the medical profession. The rise of an authoritative medical
profession and the stigmatizing effects of its positivist ideology are examined
in the context of Goffman’s theory of stigmatization, and the development of
positive homosexual identity from within a negative illness model is explained
using David Matza’s naturalist theory of deviance. Recent developments
suggesting remedicalization of homosexuality by the gay community are explored.