GB's Profile


My research interests are related to the sociology of knowledge, broadly conceived. My more specific interests include social theory; health and illness; mental health and illness; social organization of knowledge; the sociology of quantification, statistics, and classification; surveillance; and governance.

My prior work has dealt with knowledge and governance by examining the social construction of categories of “good” and “bad” homeless people in attempts to govern public behaviour; and the classification of “mentally ill” individuals that led to their increased institutional control in "non"-institutional environments. I have been trained in a variety of research methods and methodologies including discourse analysis, grounded theory, institutional ethnography, social network analysis, statistics (e.g., GLM, SEM, HLM), and have grounding in both classical and contemporary social theory. I have used these techniques and perspectives in academic work, as an independent consultant, and as a government employee.

My doctoral research examined a global trend in institutional and personal practices related to creating categories that direct human activity (.e.g, performance metrics). In particular, I studied organizational surveillance, performance and strategy through an examination of university ranking systems and related practices within universities. You can read my dissertation here: Universities in the Making: Rankings, Performance Metrics and Control in Academia

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One of my scholarly priorities and interests is effective teaching and mentorship. I believe that one of the most important aspects of scholarly work is to engage in developing students who have a passion for learning and are able to be adaptive, critical thinkers, and engaged citizens. I strive to provide undergraduate and graduate students with guidance and support based on my knowledge and experience at every opportunity (read my teaching philosophy).  I find joy in teaching and observing students grow, as such I take every opportunity to develop as an excellent teacher. In 2011 I completed a University Teaching Certificate at the University of Calgary, have taken part in aa series of teaching workshops at the University of Alberta, an co-founded the Teaching Practice Research Cluster of the Canadian Sociological Association.



I find great pleasure in service work, as it is an activity in which I can exercise my skills, follow my interests, and engage in collaboration with colleagues. My service work has derived directly from reflecting on my own experiences and position within institutions, and I find inspiration from my personal and professional milieu. As such, the service I have engaged in has been shaped by these institutions. As an undergraduate student I studied social problems, crime, and deviance, and soon found myself volunteering at the Calgary Young Offender Centre, and The Doorway. Noticing that fellow undergraduate students were often apathetic toward univeristy life and their sociology degrees I took on the role of Vice President Events for the University of Calgary (U of C) Sociology Student's Association and drastically increased membership while providing informative, fun, and practical events such as career workshops and non-acadmic social events. As a master's student I served as Chair of the U of C Sociology Graduate Student Caucus, and was also elected President of the University of Alberta Sociology Graduate Student Association during my doctoral program. I have also served as Western Canada Representative for the Student Concerns Subcommittee of the Canadian Sociological Assocation (CSA). I have been a University of Alberta General Faculties Council Member at Large, and worked on the Academic Standards Committee, and Subcommittee on Standards. I have also served on the Bow Valley College research ethics review board.