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Brittany Presson

Brittany Presson, Instructor

Brittany Presson portrait
Brittany Presson, Instructor

Department of Sociology
653 McBryde Hall
225 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Dr. Brittany Presson is an instructor of Sociology at Virginia Tech, faculty co-advisor for the Sociology/Criminology club, and an incoming faculty co-advisor for AKD. After earning her bachelor’s at Bethel University, Dr. Presson worked alongside DCS in Tennessee while serving as a family advocate for a non-profit aimed at child abuse prevention. She then earned her Master’s in Sociology from the University of Memphis where she worked on a research team analyzing suicide ideation in online spaces and conducted independent qualitative research on former self-injurers. Dr. Presson earned her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 2021 and conducted ethnographic research on an organization of Gold Star Mother’s, investigating how the emotional, bureaucratic, familial, and national identities were constructed and maintained on both the individual and organizational levels. Broadly, Dr. Presson’s research centers on sense making, identity construction, and how emotions are managed in emotionally expressive sites.  Inside the classroom, Dr. Presson works to cultivate an energetic, interactive, and creative space to learn; encouraging intellectual risk taking and challenging students to think sociologically within their everyday lives and social spaces. 

  • Culture
  • Identity
  • Family
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Emotions and Social Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Missouri, 2021.
  • Master of Arts in Sociology, University of Memphis, 2014.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Bethel University, 2011.
  • Faculty Co-Advisor for the Sociology/Criminology Club
  • Faculty Co-Advisor for AKD

Highlighted awards and honors include:

  • Habenstein Dissertation Fellowship
  • University of Missouri Research and Training award
  • Travel grants from MSS, ICQI, and SSSI

Journal Articles

Presson, Brittany E., & Carol Rambo. 2016. "Claiming, Resisting, and Exempting Pathology in the Identities of Self-Injurers." Deviant Behavior, 37(2), 219-236.

Book Chapters

Presson, Brittany. 2022. “Shifting Codes, Continual Vetting, and Recurrent Rapport-Building in Ethnographic Fieldwork” Book chapter in Crafting Ethnographic Fieldwork Sites, Interaction & Social Worlds. Eds. Amir Marvasti and Jaber Gubrium. Routledge Press. Anticipated release in 2022.

Presson, Brittany, Brandi Barnes, Carol Rambo, and Author X. 2021. “Traces and Shards of Self-injury: Strange Accounting with “Author X””. Pp 123 - 141 in Advances in Autoethnography and Narrative Inquiry. Edited by Tony Adams, Robin Boylorn, and Lisa M. Tillman. Routledge.

Rambo, Carol, Brittany Presson, Victoria Gaines, and Brandi Barnes. 2019. “Auto-Ethnography as a Research Method in the Study of Social Problems.” Pp 122 - 138 in Researching Social Problems. Edited by Amir Marvasti and A. Javier Trevino. Routledge.