Mark Gaspar is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture at Concordia University. He completed his MA in Social and Political Thought at York University in Toronto. His primary discipline is sociology and his main research fields include health and illness studies, risk studies and sexuality studies.
For his dissertation he is examining how the epistemological notions of risk that operate within the field of HIV prevention research and services, compare to the actual experiences of those who are living as subjects at-risk, with particular emphasis on how young gay and queer men are coping with the burdens of prevention. Data from this research is drawn from in-depth interviews, ethnographic observation, and policy and program analysis. Mark is also working on a project examining the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on social theory.
Mark is currently a research assistant for The Atlantic Interdisciplinary Research Network for Social and Behavioral Issues in Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS (AIRN). Through AIRN he is collaborating on a media project with Direction 180, an organisation which offers health care services to intravenous drug user in Halifax. He is also working on a landscape research study to access the needs of HIV/AIDS organisations in the Atlantic region, in preparation for the implementation new Public Health funding structures.