Summary

My research focuses on how both mainstream and 'gay' social media sites and applications are used by men who have sex with men (MSM) to facilitate experiences with drugs such as crystal methamphetamine, mephedrone and the gaba analogues (e.g., GHB; GBL). Through (virtual) ethnographic content analysis and ‘instant ethnography’, I explore how the various features of social media (e.g., avatars/profiles; photo sharing; webcam chatrooms; ‘like’ functions) are used to construct and perform drug- and sex-related identities and behaviours in and across virtual environments. My research is unique because it applies a criminological lens to the study of MSM drug use--a topic that is typically the purview of addiction science, behavioural health and epidemiology.

I am also interested in the role of in-group stigma among MSM in both physical and virtual environments, as well as the role this (and other factors) plays in online sex- and drug-related risk-taking. 

Biography

Originally from Los Angeles, California, I moved to the United Kingdom in 2012 to begin the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate in Cultural & Global Criminology programme at the University of Kent (School of Social Policy, Sociology & Social Research) and Universität Hamburg (Institut für Kriminologische Sozialforschung). This included attendance on the 'Advanced Qualitative and Legal Methods in Criminology' summer session at Utrecht Universiteit and participation in the Common Study Programme in Critical Criminology. Prior to completing my PhD, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice at California State University at Fullerton (2010) and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice at California State University at Long Beach (2012). 

In my past life ('pre-criminology'), I worked in the entertainment industry for 14 years as an executive assistant at such studios as Warner Bros., Paramount and Sony, and also as a talent agent assistant at various agencies, including the Agency for the Performing Arts, International Creative Management and Paul Kohner, Inc. I ended my career in 2002 as a talent agent with my own agency: Bliss, Frederick and Associates.

Research Interests

LGBTQ+ studies; marginalisation; mediated representations of crime, deviance and transgression; psychopathy; social media (in particular, gay 'hookup' applications and networks); stigma; subcultures; substance (mis)use; webcam technologies and platforms.

Media Availability

Presently, I've just completed work as a subject matter expert (SME) on 'Meet, Marry, Murder', a 20-episode television series which will air on the True Crime Network. The series is produced by U.K.-based 'First Look TV' and investigates real-life cases of intimate partner homicide in the United States.

Later this year, I'll begin production as an SME on the Series-3 of 'Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer', a U.K. television documentary series that offers a glimpse into the minds of serial killers and examines what drives them to commit their crimes.

I've also made several media appearances at the local, regional and national level and am available to speak on topics having to do with criminal justice-related issues pertaining to and/or affecting LGBTQ people.

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