I am a full Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of Criminology. I received my PhD in Sociology from Carleton University in 2008 and my Masters in Criminology from the University of Ottawa in 2003. Prior to joining Laurier as a faculty member in 2009, I was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council postdoctoral fellow and invited professor at the University of Ottawa, Department of Criminology.
Broadly speaking, the corpus of my scholarly work is a sociology of the margins. My research in various substantive areas all draws on micro-sociology to excavate the lived experiences of marginalized people and engage critical analyses of how structural and institutional forces (including laws and policies) act to shape and reinforce their marginal location. In this sense, I am interested not just in the people who exist at the margins of our society, excluded from dominant discourse, but how society is structured and operates to maintain hegemonic privilege at their expense. My research across my career with sex workers and families affected by crime and incarceration has focused on marginalization as a gendered experience, but my work also cuts across race and class disparities, drawing on an intersectional framing.
My current scholarship includes two multi-year federally funded research projects that will produce journal articles and may develop into larger book projects. I am the PI on a $91,467 SSHRC Insight Grant (2018-2021 extended to 2022 due to coronavirus) investigating sex work policy and stigma. The project is an international comparative analysis of sex workers experience of regulatory response to prostitution with field sites in New Zealand, Nevada, and Canada. The goal of this research is to document and compare how different legal regulation of sex work affects sex workers access to health, safety, security and other social resources. I am also the co-PI on a $77,718 SSHRC Insight Grant (2020-2023, extended to 2024 due to coronavirus) investigating women’s experiences of risk in heavy metal and hard music scenes. The goal of this research is to document women's participation in heavy metal culture, including festival and concert attendance, as a means of better understanding the gendered dimensions of voluntary risk-taking and agency as exercised by women-identified people in male-dominated spaces.