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Miall Charlene, Professor Emerita

Charlene Miall

Professor Emerita

Emeritus Faculty
Department of Sociology

Biography

Expertise

Social Psychology, Deviance, Family, Sociology of Science, Qualitative Methods
Theoretical Approaches : Interpretive Sociology - Social Constructionism; Symbolic Interactionism; Labeling Theory.
Substantive Areas : Environmental Sociology; Disciplinary Analysis; Adoptive Kinship; Reproductive Technology; Involuntary Childlessness.

Education

Ph.D., York University, 1984

Research

Recent Publications

2013 March, K. and C. Miall. "Talking about genetics: Community perceptions of the importance of biological inheritance for determining child outcome." Journal of Family Social Work, v. 16(2): 184-200.

2011 Miall, C. and A. Miall. "Misconceptions regarding climate change and energy: Challenges for social policy development." Pp. 61-80 in S. Gill and R. K. Dhawan (eds.) New Directions in Canadian Studies. Vedanta Books.

 

Research Grants

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Grant - 2005-2008. C. E. Miall, Principal Investigator. Co-Investigator: Dr. A. D. Miall, Department of Geology, University of Toronto.

Project Title : Earth Science Perspectives on Global Warming .

This research in progress is situated within the interpretive tradition in sociology, drawing on social constructionist research on social problems and professions. The focus of this research is on how disciplines develop and change; and how knowledge produced by disciplines is used or not used within the discipline itself and in the wider community. Our focus is on the earth sciences, and more particularly, geology. We are interested in how the climate change debate taking place today is impacting on the discipline itself in terms of funding issues, the focus of university departments in training students, and the current and future focus of energy producing organizations. This research will make contributions to social problems research, disciplinary analysis, environmental sociology, and the sociology of professions in transition.

McMaster Arts Research Board Grant - 2004-2005. C. E. Miall, Principal Investigator. Co-Investigator: Dr. A. D. Miall, Dept. of Geology, University of Toronto.

Project Title : Earth scientists' perspectives on global warming: A comparison of environmental geoscientists and petroleum industry geologists on climate change and contested climate science.

This seed grant money is being used to collect data to inform our larger study on earth scientists. Using a theoretical sampling approach, we have been identifying, recruiting and interviewing geologists identified as opinion leaders and key contributors in Canada to the scientific and social policy debate over global warming. This sample includes Canadian geologists involved in climate studies, fossil fuel exploration and extraction, universities, government, industry and professional organizations representing these specializations. A web-based survey instrument will be developed from the analysis of these interviews. The Geological Association of Canada and the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists are supporting the participation of their members in this research.

McMaster Arts Research Board Grant - 2002-03. C. E. Miall, Principal Investigator. Co-Investigator: Dr. A. D. Miall, Dept. of Geology, University of Toronto.

Project Title: The social construction of environmental degradation: Petroleum geology and earth science perspectives on global warming.

In this research, we used content and textual analysis to examine the roles, over a period of 25 years, of a petroleum industry publication (American Association of Petroleum Geologists - Explorer) and a broader based geology publication (American Geological Institute - Geotimes) in shaping the debate around environmental issues specifically linked to the "residues" of petroleum production - greenhouse gases and global warming. To date, this ARB research has resulted in the following papers presented on in preparation.

 

Refereed Journal Articles/Chapters in Books

2011 Miall, C. and A. Miall. “Misconceptions regarding climate change and energy: Challenges for social policy development.” Pp. 61-80 in S. Gill and R. K. Dhawan (eds.) New Directions in Canadian Studies. Vedanta Books.

2008 Miall, C. and A. Miall. “Canada-wide survey of earth scientists: A preliminary report on the state of the discipline, the fossil fuel industries and environmental science.” Geoscience Canada, v. 35(1):32-41.

 

Selected Publications

RECENT RESEARCH PROJECTS AND PUBLICATIONS:

A. Publications within the Sociology of Science and Knowledge Production

2009    Miall, A. and C. Miall., “The geoscience of climate and energy 1: Understanding the climate system, and the consequences of climate change for the exploitation and management of natural resources.”  Geoscience Canada, v. 36(1): 33-41.

2004    Miall, A. and C. Miall "Empiricism and model building: Around the hermeneutic circle in the pursuit of stratigraphic correlation."  Stratigraphy, 1: 27-46.

2002    Miall, C. and A. Miall,  "The Exxon factor: The roles of academic and corporate science in the emergence and success of a new global model of sequence stratigraphy."  Sociological Quarterly, 43: 307-334.

2001    Miall, A. and C. Miall,  "Sequence stratigraphy as a scientific enterprise: The evolution and persistence of conflicting paradigms."  Earth Science Reviews, 54: 321-348.

B. Qualitative Research

Refereed Edited Book:

Pawluch, D., W. Shaffir and C. Miall (Eds.) Doing Ethnography: Studying Everyday Life. Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press, 2005.

C. Issues in Adoptive Kinship

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Grant – 1997-2000 . C. E. Miall, Principal Investigator. Co-Investigator: Dr. K. March, Dept. of Sociology, Carleton University.

Project Title: Social support for adoption: Examining the community's role as a stakeholder n the adoption process.

Qualitative interviews were conducted with 82 respondents in two eastern Canadian cities and a Canada-wide telephone survey in English and French was conducted with a random sample of 706 respondents. A summary of results is available at:http://socserv2.mcmaster.ca/sociology/Miall-News.pdf

Refereed Journal Articles:

March K. and C. Miall (2006) "Reinforcing the motherhood ideal: Perceptions of biological mothers who make an adoption plan." Canadian Review of Sociology, 43(4): 367-385.

Miall, C. E. and K. March (2005a) “Social support for changes in adoption practice: Gay adoption, open adoption, birth reunions and the release of confidential identifying information. Families in Society, 86(1): 83-92. [Formerly Social Casework]

Miall, C. E. and K. March (2005b) “Open adoption as a family form: Community assessments and social support.” Journal of Family Issues, 26(3): 380-410.

Miall, C. and K. March (2005c)  "Community attitudes toward birth fathers" motives for adoption placement and single parenting.  Family Relations, 54: 535-546.

Miall, C. E. and K. March (2003) “A comparison of biological and adoptive mothers and fathers: The relevance of biological kinship and gendered constructs of parenthood.” Adoption Quarterly, 6: 7-39.

Refereed Chapters in Books:

Miall, C. and K. March (2006) "Adoption and public opinion: Implications for social policy and practice in adoption." Pp. 43-59. in K. Wegar, (ed.) Adoptive Families in a Diverse Society. Rutgers University Press.

Miall, C. and K. March (2005d)  "Interpretive practices and the role of qualitative methods in informing large scale survey research."  Pp. 38-51 in D. Pawluch, W. Shaffir and C. Miall (Eds.) Doing Ethnography: Studying Everyday Life.  Toronto: Canadian Scholars' Press.

Other Publications:

March, K. and C. E. Miall (Eds.) (2000) Adoption as family form: Research themes and policy implications. Special Issue of Family Relations, 49(4). 118pp.

This special edition includes 13 refereed papers on adoption issues including the social context of adoption, adjustment and adoption, openness in adoption, and transitions in adoption services.

PREVIOUS RESEARCH PROJECTS AND PUBLICATIONS:

A. Adoptive Reunion Registry

McMaster University Arts Research Board Grant - 1997-1998.

Project Title: Media constructions of adoption reunions .

Informed by a social constructionist approach, content analysis was used to examine the claims-making surrounding the establishment of the Ontario Adoption Registry found in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Toronto Sun from 1976 to the present.

Unpublished Paper:

Miall, C. E. (2000) Media constructions of adoption reunions. Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association Annual Meeting, Edmonton, Alberta, May 28th-31st.

B. Public Opinion and Reproductive Technologies

McMaster University Arts Research Board Grant – 1991-1992 .

Project Title: Legislation and reproductive technology: A comparative analysis of Great Britain and Canada.

Refereed Journal Article:

Miall, C. E. (1993) "The regulation of reproduction: The relevance of public opinion for legislative policy formation." International Journal of Law and the Family, 7:18-39. [Oxford University Press]

C. Community Attitudes Toward Involuntary Childlessness, Adoptive Kinship and Reproductive Technologies

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Standard Research Grant – 1986 - 1989.

Project Title: Public opinion and the new reproductive technologies: Implications for legislation.

Using a social constructionist approach, an exploratory pilot study examined community attitudes toward infertility, adoption, and the new reproductive technologies. A systematic random sample of 150 respondents (71 males and 79 females) was drawn from a large eastern Canadian city. Data were gathered through interviews in respondents' homes using a pretested, standardized interview schedule which combined fixed alternative and open-ended questions.

Refereed Journal Articles:

Miall, C. E. (1998) "Community assessments of adoption issues: Open adoption, birth reunions, and the disclosure of confidential information." Journal of Family Issues , 19: 556-577.

Miall, C. E. (1996) "The social construction of adoption: Clinical and community perspectives," Family Relations , 45:309-317.

Miall, C. E. (1994) "Community constructs of involuntary childlessness: Sympathy, stigma, and social support." Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 31(4):392-421.

D. Generic Social Processes in Qualitative Research

Refereed Journal Articles:

Herman, N. J. and C. E. Miall (1990) "The positive consequences of stigma: Two case studies of mental and physical disability." Qualitative Sociology , 13:251-269.

Reprinted in " Deviance: The Interactionist Perspective , 10th edition, Earl Rubington and Martin Weinberg (eds.) (2008) Boston: Pearson. Pp. 238-250.
Reprinted in " Deviance: The Interactionist Perspective , 9th edition, Earl Rubington and Martin Weinberg (eds.) (2005) Boston: Pearson. Pp. 237-249.
Reprinted in " Deviance: The Interactionist Perspective , 8th edition, Earl Rubington and Martin Weinberg (eds.) (2001). Boston: Allyn & Bacon Publishing Company. Pp. 207-219.

Chapter in Book:

Miall, C. E. and N. Herman (1993) "Generic processes of impression management: Two case studies of physical and mental disability," In N. J. Herman and L. T. Reynolds (eds.) Symbolic Interaction . New York: General Hall. Pp.208-223..

E. Involuntary Childlessness and Adoptive Motherhood

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship - 1976-79 and Ontario Graduate Scholarship - 1981-82

Project Title: Women and involuntary childlessness: Perceptions of stigma associated with infertility and adoption.

Symbolic interactionism and labelling theory were used to study the management of “spoiled identities” and potentially stigmatizing attributes by 71 involuntarily childless women who had adopted, or were adopting children.

Refereed Journal Articles:

Miall, C. E. (1989a) "Reproductive technology versus the stigma of involuntary childlessness." Social Casework , 70:43-50. [Now Families in Society ]

Miall, C. E. (1989b) "Authenticity and the disclosure of the information preserve: The case of adoptive parenthood." Qualitative Sociology , 12:279-302.

Miall, C. E. (1987) "The stigma of adoptive parent status: Perceptions of community attitudes toward adoption and the experience of informal social sanctioning," Family Relations , 36:34-39.

Refereed Reprint in Annual Editions: Marriage and Family 88/8 9, (1988) Guilford, Connecticut: Dushkin Publishing Group. Pp. 141-146.

Miall, C. E. (l986) "The stigma of involuntary childlessness." Social Problems , 33:268-282.

Reprinted in Deviants and Deviance: An Anthology , Richard Tewksbury and Patricia Gagné (eds.) (2000). Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Publishing Company. Pp. 128-136.
Reprinted in Family in Transition , 6th ed., A. J. Skolnick & J. H. Skolnick (eds.) (1989) Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company. Pp. 387-405.

Miall, C. E. (l985) "Perceptions of informal sanctioning and the stigma of involuntary childlessness," Deviant Behavior , 6:383-403.

Reprinted in Deviant Behavior: Readings in the Sociology of Norm Violations , C. D. Bryant (ed.) (1989). N. Y.: Hemisphere Publishing Company. Pp. 210-231.

Other Publications:

Miall, C. E. (2000) "Infertility as deviance (Childlessness)." Invited entry in C. Bryant (ed.) Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior , Volume 1 - "Historical, Conceptual, and Theoretical Issues." P. Adler, P. Adler & J. Corzine (eds.). Taylor & Francis Publisher. Pp. 177-181.

Miall, C. E. (2003) Invited book review of M. Adams, “Our son, A stranger: Adoption breakdown and its effects on parents.” Canadian Journal of Sociology , 28 (4): 571-572.

Miall, C. E. (1988) Invited book review of K. Wegar, “Adoption, identity, and kinship: The debate over sealed birth records.” Journal of Marriage and the Family , 60: 541-542.

Unpublished Documents:

March, K. and C. Miall (2005) Response to the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Paper on Bill 183 – Adoption Disclosure - A Review of the Literature on Adoption-Related Research: The Implications for Proposed Legislation. Submitted to the Standing Committee on Social Policy, Queen’s Park. Toronto, Ontario, September 13th, 2005.

Miall, C. and K. March (2002) Social Support for Adoption in Canada: Preliminary Findings of a Canada-Wide Survey. [11 pp.] Press Release, July. Available on website: http://socserv2.mcmaster.ca/sociology/Miall-News.pdf

Miall, C. and K. March (2001) Expert Submission of Written Brief for Bill 77 - Adoption Disclosure, Ontario Legislature, November.

Miall, C. E. (1994) Expert Witness for the Submission of a Charter Challenge by Adoptive Parents of Unemployment Insurance Act Matter No.703915. Ontario Court, General Division. [Charter of Rights challenge successful]