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Dr. Justin Snyder

Justin Snyder

Title: Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice
School: Arts & Letters
Academic Department: Sociology and Criminal Justice
Phone: 814-471-1125
E-mail: jsnyder@francis.edu
Office Location: Scotus 204


  • Ph.D. University of Virginia (Sociology)
  • M.A. University of Virginia (Sociology)
  • B.A. University of Illinois (History)


I love sociology, and I love to teach it. I want students to feel how alive sociology is. Sociology shows us that things are not as we usually think they are. And we can use our sociological knowledge in everything we do. Sociology teaches us about our friends, our enemies, our families, our coworkers, our customers, what we fear, what we should fear, what people watch on TV, and what people learn in church. It also teaches us about ourselves and shows us grand possibilities.



Medical Sociology, Mental Disorder, Trauma, Violence, Self-Identity, Cognitive Sociology, Memory, Qualitative Methods.


My major areas of research are mental disorder and violence. Most of my research is qualitative -- interviews, watching movies, reading medical histories -- and can easily incorporate students. Currently, I am involved in two research projects. I am conducting interviews with veterans who have served in combat, focusing specifically on veterans who suffer posttraumatic stress disorder. In addition, I am interviewing mental health professionals on the process of diagnosis.


Selected Professional Activity

  • “War.” Cultural Sociology of Mental Illness, edited by Andrew Scull. SAGE Reference, forthcoming.
  • Review of What is Mental Illness? by Richard McNally, Medical Sociology Online. 6(2): 54-6, May 2012. (Co-authored with Caitlin Rivers, Saint Francis University undergraduate)
  • “A Sociology of Psychosis and Violence: The Case of the Virginia Tech Massacre.” American Society of Criminology, Washington D.C., November 2011. Invited presentation at the session “The Logic of Violence.”
  • "Taking a Pounding: Trauma, Humiliation, and Violence." Trauma Conference: New Approaches to Trauma: Bridging Theory and Practice, Phoenix, October 2010.
  • Review of The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood by D. Fassin and R. Rechtman, Sociology of Health and Illness, 32(4): 370-2, May 2010.
  • "An Introduction to Trauma and Politics: Victimhood, Regret, and Healing." Amalgam 2(1): 15-38, September 2008.
  • "The World is Vietnam: The Phenomenology of the Vietnam War as the Standard Model of PTSD," Eastern Sociological Society, New York, February 2008.
  • "The Problems with Boundaries: Critical Reflections on Symbolic Boundaries," Southern Sociological Society, Atlanta, April 2007.

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