I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Drexel University. I completed my PhD from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. I also previously co-founded Qualitative Health Research Consultants, LLC.
I'm an urban ethnographer of sexuality, especially queer enclaves and communities, focused on how issues of race, health, the body, and pleasure influence our perceptions of space and place.
My latest research projects examine these topics through: 1) Interviews with queer men on PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV), exploring how urban space influences the experience of PrEP differently for white and Black queer men; 2) analysis of Philadelphia's LGBTQ commercial spaces from 1945 to 2015 through a unique dataset; and 3) examining the pleasures, embodiment, and spatiality of consumption, through cases of experiences of inebriation in queer nightlife.
My most recent book, Boystown: Sex and Community in Chicago, is published with University of Chicago Press. You can find reviews in academic venues such as City and Community, Men and Masculinities, Sexualities, and Symbolic Interaction. Eater Magazine produced a documentary inspired by the book, which includes an interview with me.
““This is a book about sex” (p. 9). And whew! In Boystown, Jason Orne delivers on this statement.” — Men and Masculinities
“Boystown is a dark, sexy, and honest account, as well as a piece of strong research…The work is a rallying cry to bring sexual context to the social sciences…Boystown is a welcome addition to the literature on gay spaces and is likely to inspire ethnographers to break new ground.” — City and Community
Based on three years of ethnography in Chicago’s gay neighborhood, Boystown examines the importance of sex to queer communities. Boystown is trading its radical sexual culture for normality, transforming into a “gay disneyland” through heritage commodification by business owners. The “sexy communities” that embody radical sexuality foster racial diversity by building sexual kinship through ritual moments of collective effervescence, what I call "naked intimacy." Boystown is about the power of sex to connect across racial boundaries, the commodification of gay male culture, and the "intersectional knot" that supports respectability. I wrote Boystown in a creative nonfiction style that allows sociologists, their students, and lay readers to learn from Boystown’s queer lessons.
I am also lead author on a co-authored textbook on qualitative methods, Invitation to Qualitative Fieldwork: A Multilogical Approach, published with Routledge. We focus on the interacting logics within projects: the voice of participants, the voice of the academic community, and the researcher’s voice.
I use these exercises and frameworks to collaborate on a variety of qualitative components of research projects. I've collaborated on NIH-funded clinical trials, research scientist improvement awards, demonstration grants, and pilot studies.
You can find more information about my various projects and publications in my CV below.