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Dr. Christian Vaccaro, Research Associate

  • Christian Vaccaro

    Dr. Christian Vaccaro is a research associate at MARTI. His general area of research interest is in the field of sociological social psychology, including symbolic interactionism, social structure and personality, and mental health research. His current research is located in the domain of symbolic interactionism, where he studies how social processes impact gender, identity, emotion, and embodiment. His work has addressed the common thread of how social actors draw on these concepts in the attempt to shape and frame contexts in ways that further direct social action.

    In the past four years, Dr. Vaccaro has been involved in four research projects which have netted multiple manuscripts that are either prepared for submission, under review, in revision, or are in press. His dissertation is based on two years of field work, over one hundred interviews, and thousands of pages of archival-type data of male participants in the sport of mixed martial arts, a form of combat sport growing in popularity in the United States and elsewhere. This project has netted four journal manuscripts and a book proposal, which are at various stages in the publication process. In addition, he has worked on projects concerning how graduates of a batterer intervention program eschew the program’s preferred conversion narrative as “reformed” by telling relationship stories that represent themselves as victims of gender non-conforming and vindictive women; how the strategic use of the term “friendship” among marijuana users, “middlemen,” and dealers reduces perceptions of market harms, increases consumption patterns, and provides stability in the distribution network; and how individuals use role-identities to strengthen arguments they make to political actors. Although the papers are divergent in their substantive topics, they all share the common thread of understanding how social actors attempt to shape and frame reality in way that are consequential for further social action.

    Dr. Vaccaro currently serves as a research associate at MARTI in the capacity of the coordinator for the proposed interdisciplinary Veterans’ Reintegration Project. Our research team plans on examining the family processes involved in aiding veterans as they readjust to civilian life; including how veterans and family members negotiate the sharing of war experiences, how families manage support when problems of readjustment occur, the patterns and limitations of family emotional and physical support for veterans, and the circumstances and consequences when veterans and families seek outside intervention. Our research will provide innovative insights for new family-based interventions, will improve upon existing family-based interventions and treatments, and will be used to train future human service specialists how to apply our suggested treatment methods.

    Christian Vaccaro’s CV