I received my PhD in sociology from McMaster University in 2010.
In 2009 I joined Wilfrid Laurier University as an assistant professor in the Contemporary Studies program (now known as Society, Culture and Environment). In 2011, I joined the Department of Criminology. Prior to coming to Laurier, I taught as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University.
My teaching focuses mainly on research methods (both qualitative and quantitative) and criminological theory.
My primary academic interests are in social constructionist and symbolic interactionist theory. I'm particularly interested in how claims-makers convince the public to view certain acts as criminal or problematic. My work also examines how academics themselves construct normality and criminality.
I tend to focus on the types of research questions that lend themselves to qualitative inquiry.
Currently, I am working with Stacey Hannem on a project examining how the clients of sex-workers manage the stigma associated with their participation in the sex industry.
I am also working on a study investigating the effectiveness of active learning strategies in helping students grasp key concepts involved in statistical analysis and reasoning.
I am willing to supervise graduate students who are interested in using qualitative approaches or who wish to apply a social constructionist/symbolic interactionist approach to their research.
Sanders, Carrie. B., Tony Christensen & Crystal Weston. “Constructing Crime in a Database: Big Data and the Mangle of Social Problems Work.” Qualitative Sociology Review. (2015)
Eaton, Judy & Tony Christensen. “Closure and its myths: Victims’ families, the death penalty, and the closure argument.” International Review of Victimology. (2014)
Christensen, Tony. “No path to paradise: Deconstructing the promise of public sociology.” The American Sociologist. (2013)
Adorjan, Michael, Tony Christensen, Benjamin Kelly & Dorothy Pawluch. “Stockholm syndrome as vernacular resource.” The Sociological Quarterly. (2012)
Christensen, Tony. “Presumed guilty: Constructing deviance & deviants through techniques of neutralization.” Deviant Behavior. (2010)
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