Dissertation: “Physicians, Occupational Autonomy and The Opioid Epidemic: How Physicians Manage Patients Suffering from Addiction and Maintain Professional Autonomy in an Increasingly Regulated Profession”
Committee: Mary Nell Trautner (chair), Hanna Grol-Prokopczk, Debra Street
Research Areas: Drug Use and Addiction; Crime; Sociology of Law; Inequality
I am a Ph.D. candidate and instructor in the Department of Sociology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. My dissertation is a qualitative study of physicians and how they deal with patients who are addicted to medications. I am specifically interested in their prescribing habits pertaining to opioid pain medications. This project combines my interests of drug use and addiction with my other interests of crime and the law. The big questions that guide my work are “How do physicians manage patients who are dealing with addiction?”, “How do physicians manage to effectively treat patients with pain while minimizing the likelihood that they will be subject to some sort of professional or legal sanction due to their prescribing practices?” and “How has the opioid epidemic and the threat of sanctions affected the autonomy of physicians and their ability to effectively treat patients with pain?” My project also seeks to examine under what conditions (if any) do physicians find themselves being scrutinized and possibly even sanctioned due to their prescribing practices. When I am not teaching at UB, I often teach courses at another college in the area.
Dissertation: “A Search for Affordable Housing: Strategies, Normalization, and Individualism in Precarious Housing Situations. Minority Low-income Renters and Ex-Convicts”
Committee: Christopher Mele (chair), Robert Adelman, Mary Nell Trautner
Research Areas: Criminology; Urban sociology; Community; Housing inequality; Inequality and stratification; Culture
Gregory Hall is a graduate student in the UB Department of Sociology. An urban sociologist studying housing inequality in the U.S., he asks how housing instability and structural pressures shape the ways that low-income individuals construct their actions, behaviors, and lives. He looks to extend his current research to focus on how marginal groups, such as the formerly incarcerated, construct their housing searches and situations post-incarceration and how a collective identity may benefit the construction of better housing policy.
Dissertation: “Life in a Leaded Landscape: Understanding Housing, Stigma, and Struggle in the Rest Belt”
Committee: Erin Hatton (chair), Christopher Mele, Veronica Horowitz, and Anya Bernstein (law school)
Research and Teaching Interests: Urban Sociology; Social & Sociological Theory; Law & Society; Qualitative Methods; Poverty & Inequalities; Environmental Sociology; Social Problems; Cultural Sociology
Recent Courses Taught
Matthew H. McLeskey is a Ph.D. candidate and lecturer in the Department of Sociology at University at Buffalo, SUNY, and was a 2019-20 Advanced Dissertation Fellow at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute. Broadly speaking, his research program focuses on how lead poisoning as an environmental risk contributes to urban poverty. His dissertation, funded by UB’s Mark Diamond Research Fund, documents the material and cultural processes defining the threat of lead exposure for tenants and landlords in disinvested communities to further understand how this urban epidemic contributes to housing inequality and place-based stigmatization processes. His teaching has been recognized with the Department of Sociology’s Adeline Gordon Levine Excellence in Teaching Award and an ASA Teaching & Learning Section SAGE Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award. He has also expanded his pedagogical repertoire as a teaching assistant in the Center for Excellence in Writing from 2017-20, where he oversaw social science writing instruction, and he will be a teaching assistant in the Curriculum Capstone Program for the 2020-21 academic year. His work has appeared in Teaching Sociology; City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action; and The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics and is forthcoming in The Sociology of Housing: An Edited Volume.