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Dr Brian Frederick

Senior Lecturer

Brian Frederick
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My research explores how harm reduction strategies are (or could be) employed by men who have sex with men (MSM) to facilitate safe(r) drug-related social-sexual experiences in virtual environments. Through virtual ethnographic content analysis and ‘instant ethnography’, I also explore how social media tools (e.g., avatars/profiles; photo sharing; webcam chatrooms; ‘like’ functions) are used to construct and perform countercultural drug- and sex-related identities and behaviours in and across virtual environments.

My research is unique because it applies a queer- and cultural-criminological lens to the study of MSM drug use (typically the purview of addiction science, behavioural health and epidemiology); it takes a critical stance towards current criminal justice policies and public health strategies, and advocates instead for decriminalisation and a non-interventionist, non-stigmatising, 'zero-discrimination' approach by service providers. 


Originally from Los Angeles, California, I moved to the United Kingdom in 2012 to begin the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate in Cultural & Global Criminology programme at the University of Kent (School of Social Policy, Sociology & Social Research) and Universität Hamburg (Institut für Kriminologische Sozialforschung). This included attendance on the 'Advanced Qualitative and Legal Methods in Criminology' summer session at Utrecht Universiteit and participation in the Common Study Programme in Critical Criminology. Prior to completing my PhD, I completed a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice at California State University at Fullerton (2010) and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice at California State University at Long Beach (2012). 

In my past life ('pre-criminology'), I worked in the entertainment industry for 14 years as an executive assistant at such studios as Warner Bros., Paramount and Sony, and also as a talent agent assistant at various agencies, including the Agency for the Performing Arts, International Creative Management and Paul Kohner, Inc. I ended my career in 2002 as a talent agent with my own agency: Bliss, Frederick and Associates.

Media Availability

Presently, I appear as a regularly-occurring subject matter expert on 'Meet, Marry, Murder', a new one-hour 'true crime' TV series which recently lanched on A&E's Crime+Investigation channel in the U.K. (to be released this year in the U.S. on the Investigation Discovery channel). The series is produced by U.K.-based 'FirstLook TV' and investigates real-life cases of intimate partner homicide in the U.S. and U.K.

I've also made several media appearances at the local, regional and national level and am available to speak on topics having to do with criminal justice-related issues pertaining to and/or affecting LGBTQ people.

Teaching Responsibilities

Presently, I am planning, teaching and/or coordinating:

Undergraduate Modules:

  • Crimes of the Powerful
  • Contemporary Criminologies
  • Cultural Criminology (2021/22)
  • Cyberspace, Subcultures and Online Deviance
  • Cybersecurity: Theory and Practice
  • Essential Skills for Criminologists
  • ICJS Criminology Dissertation
  • Questioning Criminology
  • Understanding Criminology

Postgraduate Modules:

  • Key Criminological Approaches: Past and Present 

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