Previous Students

MA Theses


Ma. Sociology, 2018.


I am a theatre artist and a social researcher. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Manitoba and a Theatre Arts diploma from the George Brown Theatre School in Toronto. I received multiple awards for my academic research at the University of Manitoba and was the recipient of acting scholarships from the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Soulpepper Theatre, and Shakespeare in the Ruins. I recently completed my Master’s degree in Sociology at Concordia University, which was funded by a Canada Graduate Scholarships Master’s award from SSHRC. My project drew primarily on the fields of critical obesity studies and performance studies and was informed by my experiences as a professional actor as well as previous research projects I conducted relating to the embodied identities and health practices of men in the performing arts. My research also incorporates media and the creative arts as methodology, employing documentary film and sound art as research tools. I produced a video short about my thesis for the 2017 SSHRC Storytellers Competition entitled “The Actor’s Dude Dilemma” which was subsequently selected as a top 25 finalist. I produce and host the podcast “Best, Concordia”, a showcase for new research at Concordia which is funded by the Dean of Arts and Science, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Concordia Ethnography Lab.




Shaver, F. M., Bryans, J., & Bhola, I. (2017). Perceptions of Sex Work: Exploring the Narratives of Police and Regulatory Officials. In E. van der Meulen, (ed.) Gender, Law, & Justice 2nd ed.


Safai, P., Johnson, J., & Bryans, J. (2016). The absence of resistance training? Exploring the politics of health in high performance youth triathlon. Sociology of Sport Journal. ssj 2015-0151.


Bryans, J., Bhola, I., Shaver, F. M. (2018) Perceptions of Sex Work: Exploring the Narratives of Service Providers. Law & Society Association Annual Meeting, 2018, Toronto, Canada


Bryans, J. (2018).  Type Cast(e)-ing: gendered fatness/embodied identities of male film and television actors. Conference on Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Society, 2018. Réseau Masculinités et Société, Montreal, Canada


Bryans, J. (2017). The Actor’s Dude Dilemma. SSHRC Storytellers Finalist Showcase. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2017, Toronto, Canada


Ma. Social and Cultural Anthropology, 2013.


I hold both a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Concordia University. My Master’s thesis project, entitled “A Crisis of Masculinity? The Intersection of Gender, Illness and Selfhood in the Narratives of Prostate Cancer Survivors”, explored the way that prostate cancer influences the masculinity and identity of survivors. It drew on theory from the subfields of Medical Anthropology and Critical Masculinity Studies to demonstrate the complex relationship between gender, illness, and selfhood. Based on data collected during fieldwork in Montréal in 2012-2013, my research demonstrated the importance and benefits of using a narrative method in anthropological methodology, particularly when exploring issues related to prostate cancer and identity. It proposed possible future avenues of study in prostate cancer research such as how medical professionals should be trained to consider the cultural background, gender, and sexuality of their patients and how biomedical institutions should aim to develop post-treatment care for survivors and their families to assist them in coping with the social implications of the illness experience. I won the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award and my research was featured in the Concordia University Magazine in February 2015:


Ma. Sociology, 2015.


In 2013, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology (honours) with distinction, along with a minor in Psychology, from Concordia University. The cross-pollination between these two disciplines is a key feature of my research, and I have had an ongoing interest in the medical and psychiatric literature on body-image related disorders. In 2015, I completed my Master’s degree under Marc Lafrance’s supervision. My research focused on masculinity, the ever-pervasive fitness industry and body dysmorphic disorder, more specifically, muscle dysmorphia among men. My Master’s thesis was entitled “Diagnosing Problems of Embodied Subjectivity: Discourses of Biopolitics, Healthism, and Masculinity on a Social Anxiety Forum.” Through a thematic analysis of online forum posts, the research sought to understand how discourses of health and fitness are constructed, experienced, and enacted by men. In Fall 2016, I began my teaching career at Marianopolis College and am currently a part-time Sociology professor at Vanier College. In an attempt to continually bolster my interdisciplinary capacities, I am presently taking courses in Psychology, with the intention of pursuing a Master’s in Counselling Psychology next fall.




Gartner, I. (2014). “Managing Male Bodies and Identities: Double-Binds, Health, Aesthetics, and Hegemonic Masculinity” Paper presented at the Sociology and Anthropology Graduate Student Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec (Canada).


Gartner, I. (2015). “Diagnosing Problem of Healthy Living: An Exploration of Masculinity, BDD, Health, and Fitness” Paper presented at the Sociology and Anthropology Graduate Student Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec (Canada).


Ma. Sociology, 2018.


The purpose of my Master's thesis, "Inked Identity: How Tattoos Play a Role in the Development and Perception of Identity, Self, and the Body for Trans Men, " was to see if there is a link between one's trans (masculine) identity and having tattoos, as many people in the community have tattoos. Although I found that tattoos can be linked directly and indirectly to a person's trans identity,  I found that tattoos play a much more significant role when dealing with one's identity, self-love, self-acceptance, and body image. Tattoos can also be directly and indirectly linked to a person's trans identity.


I am currently working as a contracted consultant, recruiter, and co-investigator on a project which looks at trans people in the workplace. I have my own business where I work on over 15 different projects at the same time. I am currently focusing on my YouTube channel (uppercaseCHASE1) where I discuss many different topics related to being in the trans community, my co-owned podcast (You're So Brave), collaboration channel (FTMtranstastic), I am also almost finished writing my book (related to my transition and growing up on YouTube as a trans person), and many, many more things.




To see research I have conducted:


For more information on the projects I am currently working on:

casey scheibling

Ma. Sociology, 2014.


I am a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Before arriving at McMaster, I was an M.A. student in Sociology at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 2012 to 2014. Under Lafrance’s supervision, my thesis study uses theories of masculinities and embodiment to examine advertising for the burgeoning market of men’s grooming products. As a Ph.D. student, my interests and expertise are in the areas of social psychology, gender studies, and media communications. My dissertation is a product of ongoing ethnographic research on a North American community of men who write online parenting blogs—known as “dad bloggers.” This project is supported by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC). In 2018, I also received SSHRC funding to be a visiting scholar at the University of Florida where I worked under the supervision of Dr. William Marsiglio on a new study directed toward the social construction of fatherhood, health, and fitness. My published research can be found in peer-reviewed journals such as Men and Masculinities, Journal of Men’s Studies, and Journal of Communication Inquiry. I hope to defend my dissertation and graduate in the summer of 2019.

KAsia Tolwinski

Ma. Sociology, 2010.


I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher under Jennifer Fishman in the Social Studies of Medicine Department at McGill University. My research is part of a large-scale Genome Canada grant to study ethical concerns related to new pediatric brain tumor treatments and clinical trials. Prior to joining McGill, I was a postdoctoral fellow at Geisinger, a rural health system in Pennsylvania, studying bioethics, precision medicine, and genetic testing. I hold a Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University, where I studied the impact of biomedical research on society. I am interested in empirical topics such as gene-environment interaction, neuroscience, genetics and epigenetics, genomic medicine, healthcare policy, and health disparity. Before going on to pursue doctoral studies, I did my MA in Sociology at Concordia University, where I was co-supervised by Marc Lafrance. My thesis was entitled: “A fate worse than death: Pregnancy weight gain and the thinness ideal.”


Research Activities:


Tolwinski, K. “Fraught Claims at the Intersection of Biology and Sociality: Managing Controversy in the Neuroscience of Poverty and Adversity.” Social Studies of Science. (Forthcoming)


Tolwinski, K. 2013. “A New Genetics or an Epiphenomenon? Variations in the Discourse of Epigenetics Researchers.” New Genetics & Society, 32(4).

PhD Theses


PhD, Social and Cultural Analysis, 2016.


I graduated in 2016 as the first ever graduate of the PhD in Social and Cultural Analysis at Concordia University.  My doctoral dissertation was titled “’Yo! You can’t say that!’: Understandings of Gender and Sexuality and Attitudes Towards Homosexuality Among Male Major Midget AAA Ice Hockey Players in Canada”.


The research focused mainly on surveys and interviews directed at obtaining a sense of how young male ice hockey players felt about the idea of having an openly gay teammate in a sporting climate characterised by a lack of openly gay men in the National Hockey League.  The results indicated that the players’ levels of understanding and acceptance varied, which suggests that boys’ and men’s elite hockey is at an in-between; views of gender and sexuality in hockey are more progressive than they once were, but there is still some work to be done in order for closeted players to feel comfortable enough to come out.


After Concordia, I went to the University of Alberta Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services as a postdoctoral scholar and continued to study gender and sexuality in a hockey context. I interviewed former National Hockey League players and current openly gay hockey players to determine the status of homophobia in ice hockey through their experiences. I also held the position of co-chair of the Canadian Western board of the You Can Play Project, an organisation geared towards the inclusion of LGBTQ2+ athletes. I am presently a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) postdoctoral scholar at the Saint Mary’s University Centre for the Study of Sport and Health. I am in the midst of formulating a new study on gender, sexuality, and ice hockey and I teach part time in the Atlantic Canada Studies program.  I contribute regularly to a blog called Hockey In Society, I present or organise sessions annually for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, and I am a two-time host of The Hockey Conference (a biennial academic conference on ice hockey).




MacDonald, C. and Lafrance, M. (Forthcoming) “’Girls love me, guys wanna be me’: Representations of men, masculinity and Junior ice hockey in Gongshow Gear magazines”. Sport & Society.


MacDonald, C. (2018). “Tweeting Homophobia and Misogyny: The Role of Gender and Sexuality in the Digital Lives of Male Major Midget AAA Ice Hockey Players in Canada.” Hockey: Challenging Canada’s Game. Canadian Museum of History. University of Ottawa Press.


MacDonald, C. (2017). “Insert Name of Openly Gay Player Here: Attitudes towards homosexuality among Canadian male Major Midget AAA ice hockey players”. Sociology of Sport Journal (ahead of print).




2018: Featured on Oilers TV “Hockey is for Everyone Press Conference.” Andrew Ference, February 21st


2018: Featured in The Star Edmonton article “A deeply personal story of anti-gay attitudes in hockey comes to Edmonton.” Kieran Leavitt, July 3rd. Accessible here


2018: Featured in article “Oilers continue to foster a culture of change.” Meg Tilley, February 23rd. Accessible here