Photo of Matthew Johnston

Matthew Johnston

Contract Instructor

Degrees:Ph.D. (Carleton University), M.A. (University of Ottawa), BSocSc (University of Ottawa)

Areas of Interest

Matthew’s research interests include the sociology of mental health, criminology, gender and violence, men and masculinities, labour and resistance, radical social movements, narrative inquiry, qualitative methods, and reflexivity.

Matthew has a proven and consistent track record of publications in highly respected international journals such as Punishment & Society; Crime, Media, Culture; Contemporary Justice Review; Journal of Interpersonal Violence; Qualitative Research; Disability & Society; Social Movement Studies; Men and Masculinities; and Gender, Work & Organization.

Matthew’s broader research program is interdisciplinary and borrows conceptually from: critical criminology, sociology, critical health studies, critical disability studies, and feminist and gender studies. Under the supervision of Dr. Shelley Reuter, his current postdoctoral research at Concordia University explores how psychiatric patients experience care outside of more formal institutional settings, such as through Home Treatment Programs. Home Treatment Programs are the most recent form of deinstitutionalized community care in Canada, whereby caregivers visit patients with serious mental illnesses several times a day in their own homes. Drawing on patients’ qualitative narratives and experience, Matthew analyzes how they are afforded the necessary autonomy, community support, care, and resources to ensure their suffering is (and remains) managed.

Matthew has also begun a new postdoctoral research program at Memorial University of Newfoundland, supervised by Dr. Rosemary Ricciardelli. There, he is analyzing how provincial correctional workers in Canada experience mental health and illness in prison settings.

In terms of pedagogy, Matthew is a dedicated, accommodating, and passionate instructor who believes in delivering lectures that are both inspiring and challenge students to think critically on their own terms.


SOCI 2001A Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (Summer and Fall 2021)

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Ricciardelli, R., Johnston, M.S., Bennett, B., Stelnicki, A., & Carleton, N. (under review). “It is difficult to always be an antagonist”: Ethical, professional, and moral dilemmas as potentially psychologically traumatic events among nurses in Canada. Nursing Inquiry.

Johnston, M.S., Ricciardelli, R., & McKendy, L. (revision submitted). Suffering in silence: Work and mental health experiences among provincial correctional workers in Canada. Corrections: Policy, Practice and Research.

Gervais, C., & Johnston, M.S. (revision submitted). Caregivers’ considerations of remorse and responsibility among youth who sexually offend. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Johnston, M.S., Sanscartier, M.D., & Steckle, R. (revision submitted). Patient resistance to psychiatric discourse and power. Disability Studies Quarterly.

Gervais, C., & Johnston, M.S. (2021). Reconsidering reconciliation within families of youth who sexually offend. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 1-33.

Sanscartier, M.D., & Johnston, M.S. (2021). Learning the language of craft: A publishing workshop for graduate students. Teaching in Higher Education, 26(2), 197-210.

Johnston, M.S. (2020). Through madness and back again: An autoethnography of psychosis. Journal of Autoethnography, 1(2), 137-155.

Johnston, M.S. (2020). “He sees patients as lesser people”: Exploring mental health service users’ critiques and appraisals of psychiatrists in Canada. Disability & Society, 35(2), 258-279.

Johnston, G., & Johnston, M.S. (2020). “Until every cage is empty”: Frames of justice in the radical animal liberation movement. Contemporary Justice Review, 23(4), 563-580.

Steckle, R., Johnston, M.S., & Sanscartier, M.D. (2020). Flying through the Cuckoo’s nest: Countering the politics of agency in public criminology. Crime, Media, Culture. 16(2), 287-306.

Johnston, M.S., Coulling, R., & Kilty, J.M. (2020). Digital knowledge divides: Sexual violence and collective emotional responses to the Jian Ghomeshi verdict on twitter. Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research, 9, 167-205.

Johnston, M.S., & Sanscartier, M.D. (2019). Our madness is invisible: Notes on being privileged (non)disabled researchers. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 8(5), 120-140.

Johnston, M.S. (2019). When madness meets madness: Insider reflections on doing mental health research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1-13.

Johnston, G., Sanscartier, M.D., & Johnston, M.S. (2019). Retail therapy: Making meaning out of menial labour. Journal of Sociology55(3), 446-462.

Johnston, M.S., Johnston, G., Sanscartier, M.D., & Ramsay, M. (2019). “Get paid, get out”: Online resistance to call centre labour in Canada. New Technology, Work and Employment, 34(1), 1-17.

Johnston, M.S., Sanscartier, M.D., & Johnston, G. (2018). Dirty work, dirty resistance: Digital warfare in the era of precarious labor. Canadian Review of Sociology / Revue canadienne de sociologie, 55(2), 278-297.

Johnston, M.S., & Steckle, R. (2018). Psychiatric post-anarchism: A new direction for insurrection in the mental health system. Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research, 7, 232-257.

Johnston, M.S., & Johnston, G. (2018). Uncovering misogyny in semi-structured interviews: How reflexivity and the “disgruntled” insider status shape knowledge production in qualitative masculinity research. SAGE Research Methods Cases. 1-18.

Coulling, R., & Johnston, M.S. (2018). The criminal justice system on trial: Shaming, outrage, and gendered tensions in public responses to the Jian Ghomeshi verdict. Crime, Media, Culture. 14(2), 311-331.

Johnston, G., & Johnston, M.S. (2017). “We fight for all living things”: Countering misconceptions about the radical animal liberation movement. Social Movement Studies, 16(6), 735-751.

Johnston, M.S. (2016). Men can change: Transformation, agency, ethics and closure during critical dialogue in interviews. Qualitative Research, 16(2), 131-150.

Johnston, M.S. (2016). “Until that magical day…no campus is safe”: Reflections on how transgender students experience gender and stigma on campus. Reflective Practice, 17(2), 143-158.

Johnston, M.S., & Kilty, J.M. (2016). “It’s for their own good”: Techniques of neutralization and security guard violence against psychiatric patients. Punishment & Society, 18(2), 177-197.

Johnston, M.S., & Kilty, J.M. (2015). You gotta kick ass a little harder than that: The subordination of feminine, masculine, and queer identities by private security in a hospital setting. Men and Masculinities, 18(1), 55-78.

Johnston, M.S., & Hodge, E. (2014). “Dirt, death and danger? I don’t recall any adverse reaction…”: Masculinity and the taint management of hospital private security work. Gender, Work & Organization, 21(6), 546-558.

Johnston, M.S. (2014). “Telling masculine tales”: Tracing my embodied experience as a psychiatric ward security guard through ethnographic narrative writing. Sociology Mind, 4(2), 161-173.

Book Chapters

Ricciardelli, R., & Johnston, M.S. (forthcoming). Strategic masculinities in the face of vulnerability: Establishing gender in Canadian correctional work. In M. Lafrance, J.M. Deslauriers, & G. Tremblay (eds.), The Forgotten Realities of Men. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Gervais, C., Johnston, M.S., Romano, E., Dastouri, S., & McGowran, L. (2020). Beyond judgment: How parents and professionals negotiate In/Exclusion and [In]Security among youth who sexually offend. In C. Côté-Lussier, D. Moffette, & J. Piché (eds.), Contemporary Criminological Issues: Moving Beyond Insecurity and Exclusion (pp. 119-144). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

Johnston, M.S. (2018). Politics and tensions of doing transgender research: Lessons learned by a straight-white-cisgender man. In S. Kleinknecht, L.J. van den Scott, & C.B. Sanders (eds.), The Craft of Qualitative Research: A Handbook (pp. 85-91). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Johnston, M.S., & Kilty, J.M. (2014). Power, control and coercion: Exploring hyper-masculine performativity by private guards in a psychiatric ward setting. In D. Holmes, J.D. Jacob, & A. Perron (eds.), Power and the Psychiatric Apparatus: Repression, Transformation and Assistance (pp. 61-90). Surrey: Ashgate.

Book Reviews

Johnston, M.S. (2018). “Psychiatry Interrogated: An Institutional Ethnography Anthology,” edited by Bonnie Burstow (2016). Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 7(1), 126-139.


Sanscartier, M.D., & Johnston, M.S. (June 04, 2018). How to thrive on academic criticism: Finding success in rejection. University Affairs, (June-July Issue).


Johnston, M.S. (2020). Out of my mind and back in again. Birdsong Foundation.

Sanscartier, M.D., & Johnston, M.S. (2019). Learning the language of craft: A publishing workshop for graduate students. Teaching in Higher Education Blog.