I am a cultural, computational, and medical sociologist. My research investigates mental health and illness through a cultural lens, namely (1) how the cultural context influences mental health experiences and decision-making and (2) how mental health operates as a cultural framework. In my ongoing book project, I document cultural change around mental health and illness by applying computational text analysis to the news media and social media.

I’m also passionate about equitable and inclusive teaching, particularly of quantitative methods and statistical software.

I currently hold the position of Assistant Professor of Sociology and Health, Medicine, and Society at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. I have a PhD in Sociology from Stanford University and BA in Sociology and Spanish from Wellesley College.

Contact me at aljohnson [at] lehigh [dot] edu

My academic interests fall into three main areas:

Research on mental health

How are mental health and illness conceptualized in our cultural imagination?

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Research on gender

How do young people make sense of gender (inequality)?

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Teaching and learning

How can our sociology classrooms (especially our quantitative methods) be more inclusive and equitable?

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Recent Publications

*please contact me for access to paywalled papers

Psychotic White Men and Bipolar Black Women? Racialized and Gendered Implications of Mental Health Terminology.

Social Science & Medicine 352:117015.

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Deportation threat predicts Latino US citizens and noncitizens’ psychological distress, 2011 to 2018

with Asad L. Asad, Neil Lewis, Jr., and Christopher Levesque. PNAS 121(9):e2306554121.

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Changes in Mental Health and Treatment, 1997-2017

Journal of Health and Social Behavior 62(1):53-68.

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All images courtesy of Unsplash.