I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. My dissertation has the working title “Public and Private in the Blogosphere” and uses personal bloggers as a lens through which to examine contemporary changes. I have presented portions of this research at Internet Research 5.0, Internet Research 8.0, the American Sociological Association meetings in 2010, and will be presenting a new piece of it at Internet Research 11.0. I workshopped the project at the 2004 Summer Doctoral Programme at the Oxford Internet Institute as well as at the Internet Research 8.0 Dissertation Workshop.
I tweet about sociology and Internet studies @Sarah_M_Ford; I also write about Introductory Sociology topics for The Social Lens and I teach Introductory Sociology, Internet & Society, Sexuality & Society, and Race & Ethnicity for a number of colleges in the Buffalo, NY area.
My comprehensive examinations were in the areas of social theory and social psychology. To be more specific, my research interests center around identity, gender, technology (specifically the Internet), and social theory. My comprehensive exams took the form of two research papers. The first, in the area of social theory, is entitled “Are We to Be Forever Trapped Between the Two?: Modernity, Postmodernity, and the Internet;” it was published in Social Thought and Research (volume 25, #1 & 2, pages 85-110). The second, in the area of social psychology, is entitled “’ROLFMAO! ‘: The Presence of the Body in Web-Based Chat Rooms” and won second place in the 2003 Carl Couch Internet Research Awards; I presented it in the awards session at Internet Research 4.0, the 2003 meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers. I presented smaller portions of that research project at the American Sociological Association meetings in August 2002 and at Internet Research 4.0.
Before coming to UMass, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton College. My senior thesis was entitled Contemporary Legends and Contemporary Values: A Cycle of Mutual Influence.