Department of Sociology

Brandon Robinson

M.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Brandon Robinson



Gender & Sexualities; Race & Ethnicity; Health & HIV/AIDS; LGBTQ Studies; Cyberspace; Poverty & Homelessness; Qualitative & Mixed Methodologies


Brandon Andrew Robinson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Brandon has established a body of work that probes the interplay between culture and social inequality by analyzing how the intersections of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and health unfold within emerging spaces such as new media technologies and the urban South. This work informs his current research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) homeless youth.

Brandon's current project, supported by the National Science Foundation and the Equality Knowledge Project, is a multi-site ethnographic study on LGBTQ youth homelessness in central Texas. LGBTQ youth comprise 40% of the youth homeless population in the United States, despite comprising only about 5% of the U.S. youth population. However, scholars have yet to examine LGBTQ homeless youth’s perceived pathways into and experiences of homelessness. To address this lacuna, Brandon conducted a year and a half of ethnographic fieldwork, 50 in-depth interviews, and a survey at a homeless youth drop-in center and at the first LGBTQ youth homeless shelter in the South. Through this research, he brings to the forefront the lived experiences of LGBTQ homeless youth in the rapidly urbanizing South to highlight how norms around gender and sexuality within the context of poverty and being a racial minority contribute to the struggles of homeless youth. 

This current project expands on Brandon's previous investigations of how the intersections of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and health generate social inequalities. In a digital ethnographic study, Brandon investigated how gay men interact on a dating website. In an award-winning article in Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, Brandon shows how a website’s infrastructure affords people the ability to racially cleanse bodies of color from their viewing practices. A Social Currents article from the same study explores the online quantification of bodies and its discriminatory effects toward fat people. In Sexuality Research & Social Policy, Brandon demonstrates the mechanisms through which LGBT Dutch assimilation practices marginalize gender non-conforming people. His quantitative study on men seeking men online and their sexual behaviors is in Culture, Health & Sexuality, and his discourse analysis of the racial and gender stereotypes in online sexual advertisements appears in Deviant Behavior. In Social Theory & Health, Brandon expounds a Weberian theoretical exposition regarding HIV and sexual health. All of this work has culminated in co-authoring an upper-division undergraduate textbook Race and Sexuality.

Aside from his own projects, Brandon was the project manager for Debra Umberson's Health and Relationships Project. He has also published two book chapters, an encyclopedia entry, in the official newsletter for the American Sociological Association, and on The Huffington Post


SOC 308M • Sociology Of Identity

44455 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CLA 1.104

Course Description

The New York Times called 2015 “The Year We Obsessed Over Identity.” From Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner to Rachel Dolezal and “Key & Peele” – identities and categories around race, class, gender, and sexuality have been called into question. So, who are we? And how do we know who we are? Although the answers to these questions may seem personal and inherent, in this course, we will explore these questions through a sociological lens. We will examine how the self is produced by society and what the relation is between the self and society. Essentially, this course will tackle how our identities are socially produced and how the social production of identities is bound up with power, privilege, and oppression. The beginning of the course will focus on general theories and concepts about identities, the self, and society. We will then consider the roles that race, gender, class, and sexuality play in understanding our identities. We will end the course by looking at more thematic areas around identities.

Required Texts & Readings

Mock, Janet. 2014. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. New York: Atria Books.

All other required readings will be posted on Canvas.

Course Grading

Short Paper                  10%

Reading Summaries      15% (5 total/3% each)

Midterm Exam              25%

Final Paper                  25%

Final Exam                   25%




Robinson, Brandon Andrew. 2016. “The Quantifiable-Body Discourse: ‘Height-Weight Proportionality’ and Gay Men’s Bodies in Cyberspace.” Social Currents 3(2):172-185.

Robinson, Brandon Andrew. 2015. "'Personal Preference' as the New Racism: Gay Desire and Racial Cleansing in Cyberspace." Sociology of Race & Ethnicity 1(2): 317-330.

Robinson, Brandon Andrew. 2014. "Barebacking with Weber: Re-enchanting the Rational Sexual Order." Social Theory & Health 12(3): 235-250.

Robinson, Brandon Andrew and David A. Moskowitz. 2013. “The Eroticism of Internet Cruising as a Self-Contained Behaviour: A Multivariate Analysis of Men Seeking Men Demographics and Getting Off Online.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 15(5): 555-569.

Robinson, Brandon Andrew and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz. 2013. “Displacing the Dominant ‘Down Low’ Discourse: Deviance, Same-sex Desire, and” Deviant Behavior 34(3): 224-241.

Robinson, Brandon Andrew. 2012. “Is This What Equality Looks Like? How Assimilation Marginalizes the Dutch LGBT Community.” Sexuality Research & Social Policy 9(4): 327-336.


Vidal-Ortiz, Salvador and Brandon Andrew Robinson. 2016. “The Racial and Sexual Stereotypes of the ‘Down Low’ on” Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, 3rd edition, edited by Nancy Fischer and Steven Seidman. New York: Routledge. 

Robinson, Brandon Andrew. 2013. "The Queer Potentiality of Barebacking: Charging, Whoring, and Breeding as Utopian Practices." Pp. 101-128 in A Critical Inquiry into Queer Utopias, edited by Angela Jones. New York: Palgrave MacMillian.

  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086