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, head injury, mental health, substance use, and law violation.
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 attitudes about crime and justice. Current projects include: the role of crime in campaign ads; the extent to which media consumption influences how people rank the severity of crimes and appropriate punishment; and the gamer’s view of the purported relationship between video gaming and criminal behavior
An emerging line of research explores the brain as cultural icon. New technologies make the brain more visible than ever before, while also (re)shaping how our culture envisions bodies and behaviors. As a starting point, I am developing a project that analyzes visual representations of the brain in popular culture and in the news.
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.
At the undergraduate level, I teach courses in health and society (SOCI 252), delinquency (SOCI 311), and public opinion research (SOCI 333). At the graduate level, I teach a seminar in medical sociology (SOCI 903). I received the UNL College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013 and 2018.
Health and Well-Being
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., and Colleen M. Ray*. Forthcoming. “Public Support for the Death Penalty in a Red State: The Distrustful, the Angry, and the Unsure.” Punishment & Society, https://doi.org/10.1177/1462474518795896
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.
*Indicates student co-authors.