Offering insights based on years of original research, Redefining Murder, Transforming Emotion: An Exploration of Forgiveness after Loss Due to Homicide investigates the ideas and experiences of individuals who have lost loved ones to homicide (co-victims) in order to advance our understanding of the emotional transformation of forgiveness. It stands at the crux of two vibrant, growing fields: criminal victimology and the sociology of emotion. Analysis of 36 intensive interviews with co-victims and three years of participant observation of self-help groups and other victim-centered events offers a multidimensional understanding of forgiveness.
Specifically, this book answers the questions of "What?," "When?," "How?," and "Why?" forgiveness occurs by exploring co-victims’ ideas about forgiveness, the differential experiences of various groups of people, the processes through which forgiveness occurs in a variety of extreme circumstances of homicide, and co-victims’ motivations toward forgiveness. The book concludes with commentary on overarching conclusions based on this work; theoretical and practical implications; suggestions for directions for future inquiry; and an in-depth account of the methodological strategies employed to gather such rich and nuanced data.
This book will appeal to academics and students alike, within relevant fields, including sociology, criminology, restorative justice, victim services, psychology, and social welfare, as well as individuals seeking a better understanding of their own experiences, including co-victims or others whose lives have been altered by extreme forms of violence and upheaval. Its detailed postscript will also serve well those interested in qualitative methodology in social science research.
Learn more about my teaching endeavors, including information about my recent presentations at teaching and learning conferences.
Learn more about my research endeavors, including my book, Redefining Murder, Transforming Emotion, and other projects, including Vet Net Student Ambassadors and Exploring Identity, Emotion, and Social Support after Traumatic Loss.
Learn more about my service endeavors, including various service projects within the community, the discipline, CSULA, and the Sociology Department.
Read the March 2021 article in Forbes about my 2020 publication entitled “Girls 'Try,' Boys 'Aim High': Exposing Difference in Implied Ability, Activity, and Agency of Girls Versus Boys in Language on McDonald's Happy Meal Boxes."
Listen to the August 2020 This Week in Sociological Perspective Podcast, during which Professor Samuel Roundfield Lucas interviews me about my 2020 publication entitled “Girls Try, Boys Aim High: Exposing Difference in Implied Ability, Activity, and Agency of Girls Versus Boys in Language on McDonald's Happy Meal Boxes."
Learn more about my Criminal Victimology class in the Humanist Sociologist newsletter (Summer 2013)
I joined the faculty at California State University, Los Angeles in 2017 after completing my doctoral degree in the Sociology Department at the State University of New York, Albany. My areas of specialization are social psychology, with a focus on the transformation of identity and emotion, and crime and deviance, with a focus on individuals' experiences of traumatic loss and criminal victimization. My research is largely qualitative in nature, often including phenomenological explorations using intensive interviewing and participant observation. My passion for understanding and explaining social experiences has led to the research, teaching, service, and honors included in these pages.
Here you will find information related to my research, teaching, and service endeavors, including my ongoing research projects:
~ "Fear in the Classroom" in which I am investigating fear and anxiety in the college classroom through analysis of anonymous open-ended student surveys.
~ "Exploring the Veteran Experience" in which I am investigating issues related to identity, stigma, trauma, disclosure of veteran status, receipt of gratitude, and the college experience, as each relates to individuals who have served in the military. This project involves analysis of data collected through semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and open-ended surveys.
~ "Identity, Emotion and Social Support after Traumatic Loss" in which I am investigating the experiences of individuals who have suffered from the after-effects of severe spinal cord injury through semi-structured interviews and participant observation.
~ "Redefining Murder: A qualitative exploration of emotion, identity and social support following loss of a loved one to homicide" in which I am investigating the experiences of individuals who have lost a loved one to homicide through semi-structured interviews and participant observation.
I encourage you to reach out to me with questions or comments!