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Graduate Program in Communication & Culture

Faculty Profiles

Jennifer Brayton

Media and Culture

University   Ryerson University
E-Mail Address
Phone Number   (416) 979 5000 ext. 6212
Office Location   JOR-331
Office Hours   TBA


B.A. Film Studies (Queen's); M.A. Sociology (Queen's); Ph.D. Sociology (University of New Brunswick)


Jennifer Brayton joined Ryerson University in August 2003. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Brunswick, where her doctoral research examined the social meaning and experiences of virtual reality as a new technology. Since 1997, she has taught courses in Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Multimedia Studies. Her general areas of teaching, research, and publishing include popular culture and mass media, cyberculture studies, gender and technology, and sexual identity. She is currently planning social research on Canadian female DJ cultures. At present, she is writing a Canadian pop culture undergraduate textbook for Oxford University Press. She frequently appears in print and on TV as a media expert on popular cultures.

Research Interests

Fandom cultures, media stereotyping and representations, media advocacy, gender and technology, and Canadian pop culture industries.

Dr. Brayton is interdisciplinary in the scope of her research interests and has been published in a variety of diverse (though related) research fields including Sociology, Women's Studies, Technology Studies, Sexuality Studies, and Film Studies. At present, she is doing work in the areas of fans and fandom cultures, dj and hip hop culture, manga and anime cultural production, video gaming play, transformative literatures, representations of gender roles and sexual identities, disability representation, social power and language, technological reliance, and Canadian cultural production. With her background in Film Studies, Dr. Brayton is frequently engaged in visual cultural analysis and content analysis. Her research projects often use grounded theory, constructivism, feminist research methods, participant observation and qualitative interviewing. These are most often focused upon North American cultures, though she also concentrates upon cross-cultural similarities and differences and globalization issues in her research projects.

Selected Publications

Bereket, T. & Brayton, J. (2008). Bi No Means: Bisexuality and the Influence of Binarism on Identity. Journal of Bisexuality. 8.1

Brayton, J. (2008). Getting It On in Virtual Reality Narratives: “Sex” in The Matrix and Other Films. In M. Pomerance & J. Sakeris (Eds.) Popping Culture (5th edition), Boston: Pearson Education.

Brayton, J. (2007). Fic Frodo, Slash Frodo: Changing Fandoms and The Lord of the Rings. In E. Mathijs and M. Pomerance (Eds.) From Hobbits to Hollywood: Essays on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, Amsterdam and New York: Editions Rodopi.

Brayton, J. (2006) History of Feminist Approaches to Technology Studies. In Eileen M. Trauth (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology, Hershey: Idea Group Inc.

Ollivier, M., Robbins, W., Beauregard, D., Brayton, J., Sauvé, G. (2006). Feminist Activists Online. Observations from Canada: A study of the PAR-L Research Network. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 43.4 (November), 445-463

Brayton, J. (2005). Visual Art. In Leslie L. Heywood (Ed.) The Women's Movement Today: An Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism Vol. 1, Westport: Greenwood Press.

Current research projects/journals:

Dr. Brayton is currently focused upon the completion of her undergraduate textbook for Oxford University Press on Canadian Popular Cultural Studies.

She is also working on three research papers for academic publication that have been favorably presented at academic, peer-reviewed conferences:

“Fanatics and Hooligans: a cross-cultural analysis of hegemonic masculinity in contemporary sports fan film narratives.”

“The Everyday World of Technological Reliance: A recipe for progressive burnout”

“After the Apocalypse: Visual representations of future societies in North American narratives”

Link to expanded profile pages:

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Personal Research website:



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Harold [Innis] taught us how to use the bias of culture and communication as an instrument of research. By directing attention to the bias, or distorting power of the dominant imagery and technology of any culture, he showed us how to understand cultures.
~ Marshall McLuhan