2023-24 Distinguished Speaker Series | Dr. Michael Walker on April 16

Tuesday April 16, 2024
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
ANSO 134
6303 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver

Organizational Patterns of Sleep Hygiene in Jail

The Department of Sociology is excited to host Dr. Michael Walker on April 16 for the final lecture in our 2023-24 Distinguished Speaker Series.

Dr. Walker, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, will present a lecture titled “Organizational Patterns of Sleep Hygiene in Jail.”


Dr. Michael Walker

Problems associated with sleep hygiene are among the more unexamined issues in carceral organizations. We know that poor sleep hygiene is associated with increased risks for developing mood disorders, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and other physiological problems.

In this study, I use ethnographic data from a Southern California county jail system to show: (a) poor sleep hygiene is endemic penal living; (b) jail mental health staff were ill-equipped to address the interplay of sleep hygiene and mental health for penal residents; (3) the jail as an organizational setting patterned resident dreams into themes; and (4) carceral organizations stratify poor sleep hygiene. I offer the outline of a sensitizing scheme for the sociology of dreams.

Dr. Michael Lawrence Walker is the Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. His broad research concerns stratification, social control, punishment, and social psychology, which he translates into studies of race relations, carceral patterns, inequality, identities, emotions, and time.

Dr. Walker is the author of Indefinite: Doing Time in Jail, which won the 2022 Charles H. Cooley Award for Best Recent Book from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. Indefinite is a transformative ethnography of social life in a modern county jail. Conducted while Dr. Walker, himself, was incarcerated, Indefinite presents a visceral examination of the emotional landscape of penal living from the viewpoint of those locked away. Dr. Walker is also the recipient of the American Society of Criminology’s 2018 Joan Petersilia Outstanding Article Award for his paper, “Race Making in a Penal Institution,” published in the American Journal of Sociology.

Find out more about Dr. Walker here.



We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. To be respectful of those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we ask that you please refrain from wearing strong fragrances. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact us through the RSVP form or email us at soci.communications@ubc.ca.