Lisa A. Kort-Butler

Associate Professor and Vice Chair Profile Image
Associate Professor and Vice Chair Sociology 718 Oldfather Hall

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Curriculum Vitae

Current Research

My research projects are varied but draw from my interests in criminology and medical sociology. In one line of research, I examine the intersection of physical, mental, and behavioral health, particularly among adolescents and young adults.  Ongoing projects focus on people’s experiences with stress, coping, physical well-being, mental health, substance use, and law violation. For example, I am exploring how the well-being of self-identified gamers may differ from other players and people who do not play video games.

In another line of research, I focus on the role of the media in making meaning about crime, justice, and related issues. This work also extends to public opinion and attitudes about crime and justice. One current project investigates how people’s media consumption informs their attitudes about the purported relationship between media violence, video gaming, and criminal behavior.

An emerging line of research explores the brain as a cultural icon. New technologies make the brain more visible than ever before, while also (re)shaping how our culture envisions bodies and behaviors. I am working on a project that analyzes visual representations of the brain in popular culture and in the news media.

Student Opportunities

Much of my research relies on primary data collection, through both surveys and qualitative analysis. I frequently incorporate students into my work. Both undergraduate and graduate students have contributed to several data collection projects.  I have presented and published articles with undergraduate and graduate students.  

Current Teaching

At the undergraduate level, I teach courses in sociology of crime (SOCI 209), health and society (SOCI 252), delinquency (SOCI 311), and public opinion research (SOCI 333).  I received the UNL College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013 and 2018.

Selected Publications

 Health and Well-Being

Kort-Butler, Lisa A.  2020.  “Gamers on Gaming: A Research Note Comparing Behaviors and Beliefs of Gamers, Video Game Players, and Non‐Players.”  Sociological Inquiry,   

Kort-Butler, Lisa A. 2017. “Head Injury and Substance Use.”  Substance Use & Misuse 52: 1019-1026.

Kort-Butler, Lisa A. 2017. Health-Related Strains and Subsequent Delinquency and Marijuana Use.”  Youth & Society 49: 1077–1103.

 Media and Representations of Crime

Kort-Butler, Lisa A. 2020. “Crime in Televised Presidential Campaign Ads: The Making of Visual Metaphor.” Deviant Behavior 41: 628-648. 

Kort-Butler, Lisa A., and Colleen M. Ray. 2019. “Public Support for the Death Penalty in a Red State: The Distrustful, the Angry, and the Unsure.” Punishment & Society 21: 437-495.

Kort-Butler, Lisa A., and Patrick Habecker. 2018. “Framing and Cultivating the Story of Crime: The Effects of Media Use, Victimization, and Social Networks on Attitudes about Crime.”  Criminal Justice Review 43: 127-146.


Ph.D. North Carolina State University

Areas of Specialization:  

  • Adolescent and young adult well-being
  • Criminology
  • Sociology of health and mental health
  • Media representations of deviance and control