Brittany Presson
Graduate Student
Areas of Study

Emotions, Identity, Family, and Interaction

Research and Teaching

Social Deviance, Self and Society, Sociology of Health


Brittany Presson, M.A. is a native Tennessean by way of rural West Tennessee but has lived in both Memphis and Nashville. She earned her Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Memphis in 2014 and is working on her doctorate at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Brittany’s research interests are broadly situated in areas of Emotions, Identity, and Families, with an emphasis in micro sociology, meaning-making, and everyday lives. She is currently working on multiple projects regarding two separate topics. The first looks at how people who self-injure make sense of their experiences. The second explores the life histories and lived experiences of gold star families – families of fallen soldiers – and the intersections of family, emotion, and politics within gold star organizations. 

Some of Brittany’s research on self-injurers is published in the Journal of Deviant Behavior as well as a co-authored chapter in Research Methods in Social Problems coming out later this year. Brittany has presented her research at regional, national, and international academic conferences, the most recent being at the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interactionism (SSSI) in Montreal, Canada. 

Brittany has autonomously taught social deviance (1650), self and society (2300), and introduction to sociology (1000). Her class population has ranged between 12 to 130 students. In the classroom, Brittany uses sociological and pedagogical tools to encourage critical compassion – that is thinking critically, interrogating the impact of one’s socio-historical position, and utilizing a variety of sociological lenses and theoretical perspectives to understand the world around them. 
In addition to teaching and research, Brittany has reviewed for the Journal of Deviant Behavior, assisted in organizing the 2017 Annual Conference for the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interactionism, is currently co-organizing the University of Missouri’s Women’s and Gender Studies Annual Conference, is the president of the sociology graduate student group, and the chair of the graduate student theory reading group. 

Select Publications

Rambo, C., B. Presson, V. Gaines and B. Barnes. (Conditionally accepted for Research Methods in Social Problems. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group: London.  Projected 2018). “Auto-Ethnography as a Research Method in the Study of Social Problems.”

Presson, B., & Rambo, C. (2016). Claiming, Resisting, and Exempting Pathology in the Identities of Self-Injurers. Deviant Behavior, 37(2), 219-236.
For more information, please view my CV, find me on research gate, or follow me @brittpress on Twitter.