2-19-2015 Norman Conti
Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research
(CIQR -- "seeker": http://www.duq.edu/ciqr/)
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Date: Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Location: Berger Gallery (207 College Hall), Duquesne University
Title: More Like, Sons of Conformity: Motorcycle Clubs, Moral Careers and Normalization
Presenter: Dr. Norman Conti, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and the Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy, Duquesne University
Abstract: This presentation explores that landscape between the research imagination and practice as well as a concomitant transition in the sociologist's felt identity. Specifically, it describes the larger effect of building a persona for fieldwork on the self of the ethnographer. The work begins with an examination of the motives behind a proposed study of a deviant counterculture and the efforts that went into crafting a presentation of self appropriate for the milieu. It then offers a detailed analysis of how outlaw motorcycle clubs are depicted as well as how they represent themselves in popular culture and social media. Specifically, it examines iconic images of bikers and motorcycle gangs going back to their earliest cinematic representations up through recent television programs like Sons of Anarchy and True Detective. This fictionalization is juxtaposed with the self-generated images that the bikers and their clubs post on their official websites. Finally, both of these narratives are considered in relation to the ironies of how these clubs function in reality.
Bio: Norman Conti is an associate professor in the department of sociology and the Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy at Duquesne University. He has published ethnographies of recruitment, socialization, ethics training, and masculinity in policing as well as two analyses of the social networks that develop within recruit cohorts. He has also coauthored an article on destigmatization and book chapters on social crime prevention, sustained dialogue, and hate crime. Currently, he is examining the emergence of trust and the role of humor in police academy training.
All interested faculty, graduate students, and other parties are invited. Refreshments will be served.
For inquiries concerning CIQR, please contact the Center Coordinators, Dr. Matthew Schneirov, Dept. of Sociology, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 412.396.6494, Dr. Lisa Levers, Dept. of Education at email@example.com, 412.396.1871, or visit the CIQR http://www.duq.edu/ciqr
*The Center has been officially approved by the Dean of the College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, The Graduate Council of the College, and the Council of Deans for the University. It is based in the College but open to members of all the schools of the University. It includes interpretive and qualitative research in both the humanities and the social and behavioral sciences (including the practice of the latter in Nursing, Education, Occupational Therapy and other professional schools).