Michael Halpin

Donald Hill Postdoctoral Fellow


Related information

Email: michael.halpin@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-3403
Mailing Address: 
Room 3130, McCain Building, 6135 University Avenue
PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Critical health studies
  • Health
  • Knowledge, science and technology
  • Medical anthropology/sociology
  • Research methods
  • Social policy


  • BA, University of Calgary
  • MA, University of British Columbia
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Research interests

I am a sociologist studying science, medicine, and health. I maintain two interconnected lines of research. The first line of research investigates the everyday experience of illness, particularly attending to how the experiences of ill people can inform health policy. The second line of research examines how emerging science impacts medical practices and health. I have previously published research on masculinity and cancer, sex work and health, suicide, genetics, and mental health.

I am currently studying how emerging brain science is applied to social issues, with specific attention to how brain-based approaches are impacting the definition, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. At Dal, I will be expanding my research on the neurobiology of social issues by also considering how brain-based approaches are applied to crime and poverty. 

Selected publications 

  • Halpin, M. (Forthcoming). “Science and suffering: Genetics and the lived experience of illness.” Social Problems.
  • Halpin, M. (2016). “The DSM and professional practice: Research, clinical and institutional perspectives.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 57, 153-167.
  • Halpin, M. (2012) “Accounts of suicidality in the Huntington Disease community.” Journal of Death and Dying, 65, 317-334.
  • Halpin, M. (2011). “Diagnosis, psychiatry and neurology: The case of Huntington Disease.” Social Science & Medicine, 73, 858-865.
  • Bungay, V., Halpin, M., Atchison, C., & Johnston, C. (2011). “Structure and agency: Reflections from an exploratory study of Vancouver indoor sex workers.” Culture, Health & Sexuality, 13, 15-29.
  • Halpin, M., Phillips, M & Oliffe, J.L. (2009). “Prostate cancer in Canadian newspaper media: A case of inconsistent messaging.” Sociology of Health & Illness, 2, 155-169.