Photo of Matthew Johnston

Matthew Johnston

Contract Instructor

Degrees:Ph.D. (Carleton University), M.A. (University of Ottawa), BSocSc (University of Ottawa)
Office:A713 Loeb Building

Areas of Interest

Matthew’s research interests include the sociology of mental health, critical criminology, gender and violence, men and masculinities, labour and resistance, radical social movements, narrative inquiry, qualitative methods, and reflexivity. Matthew’s dissertation research explored questions of agency and resistance in the Canadian mental health system, and he was awarded a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship for his new work on Home Treatment Programs in Canada. 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 2445A Sociology of Deviance (Fall 2019)
SOCI 2001B Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (Winter 2020)

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Johnston, M.S. (accepted). Through madness and back again: An autoethnography of psychosis. Journal of Autoethnography.

Johnston, M.S., & Sanscartier, M.D. (accepted). Our madness is invisible: Notes on being privileged (non)disabled researchers. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies.

Steckle, R., Johnston, M.S., & Sanscartier, M.D. (2019). Flying through the Cuckoo’s nest: Countering the politics of agency in public criminology. Crime, Media, Culture. 1-20.

Sanscartier, M.D., & Johnston, M.S. (2019). Learning the language of craft: A publishing workshop for graduate students. Teaching in Higher Education. 1-14.

Johnston, M.S. (2019). “He sees patients as lesser people”: Exploring mental health service users’ critiques and appraisals of psychiatrists in Canada. Disability & Society. 1-22.

Johnston, G., Sanscartier, M.D., & Johnston, M.S. (2019). Retail therapy: Making meaning out of menial labour. Journal of Sociology. 55(3), 446-462.

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

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

Gervais, C., Johnston, M.S., Romano, E., Dastouri, S., & McGowran, L. (accepted). 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. 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).