Areas of Research

 

Culture

It seems to me that truth and meaning are interpretive. As a budding sociologist, I am interested in studying the meanings, symbols, rituals, codes, beliefs, and values that exist in society. How do people define "truth"? Do beliefs motivate action, or is it the other way around? Or perhaps it is both, and there is a cultural dialectic at work in the social world. Questions and debates such as these fascinate me, and I am happy to participate in forums that entertain them, including (but not limited to) the Center for Cultural Sociology and the Strong Program at Yale.



religion / religious nationalism

Connected to my research on charismatic ideas and shared revelations, I am naturally interested in religion, both organized, classically understood religions, and religious-like phenomena. In the classic sense, I am mainly interested in Christianity, and currently working on a project on American Christian nationalism. I am also interested in phenomena that engender the same kind of religious-like affect and devotion but that are not oriented around the divine or supernatural. Topics include CrossFit, populism, tourism, and holistic healthcare.



charisma

Charisma is a hot topic these days. However, the majority of the the conversation on charisma tends to be focused on the charismatic individual, or instances of powerful and successful charismatic performances, and I don't think enough attention is being paid to (a) the power of the charismatic idea, and (b) the power generated by audiencesUsing social performance/cultural pragmatics theory, my research focuses on illuminating these two critical elements of social performance in understanding how charisma works in the social world.


 

Work on it's way to publication...

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CHARISMATIC COMMUNITIES & PURITAN MASSACHUSETTS

More information to come…