702 S Wright Street
Urbana IL 61801
I attended Washington & Jefferson College as an undergraduate where I was interested initially in the natural sciences.
Eventually, I became more involved with social scientists. During my senior year, I helped to design and work on a project surveying the county surrounding Washington & Jefferson about their views related to hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
As a graduate student I continued to pursue this line of inquiry into public opinion and in 2020 (online first) published “A Public Health Frame for Fracking? Predicting Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing” in The Sociological Quarterly with my colleague Matthew Schneider.
Staying within the frame of environmental sociology, my dissertation work builds on an ethnographic research project that I conducted from 2019-2020 into public policies and social movements for water, emerging technologies, and the finance of that sector. In that work, I concentrate on the contentious issue of desalination, creating potable water from the ocean, to explore the dynamics of environmental politics in the face of water scarcity and climate change in arid regions. I plan to continue this work with future investigations into the quickly emerging nexus of water and markets.
- environmental sociology
- transnational sociology
- public policy
- social theory
- political ecology
- visual sociology
My research agenda is at the nexus of environmental sociology and political ecology. I utilize quantitative and qualitative methods, informed by the macro-theoretical paradigms of World-systems Theory, Eco-Marxism, and the expanding debates on the Anthropocene. By problematizing the enduring role of industry in society, my research aims to understand the social, environmental, and health consequences of infrastructure and finance on everyday life, their environmental (in)justice implications, and how these concerns manifest in the sphere of ecological and political discourse.
- B.A. Washington & Jefferson College in Environmental Studies (2014)
- M.S. University of Arizona in Water, Society, and Policy (2016)
- M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Sociology (2018)
2019 Graduate Fellowship for Dissertation Research. Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ($4,567.62).
2018 Graduate Fellowship for Research and Travel. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate College ($2,400).
Awards and Honors
2nd Place – 2020 Midwest Sociological Society graduate student paper competition ($150) for paper titled: “A Public Health Frame for Fracking? Predicting Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing,” with Matt Schneider.
Winner – 2019 Beslow Award for outstanding unpublished graduate student paper in the Department of Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ($100) for paper titled: “A Public Health Frame for Fracking? Predicting Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing,” with Matt Schneider.
- SOC-100 Introduction to Sociology
- SOC-226 Political Sociology
- SOC-160 Global Inequalities and Social Change
Additional Campus Affiliations
Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
2021 O’Neill, Brian F. and Matthew Jerome Schneider. “A Public Health Frame for Fracking? Predicting Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing.” The Sociological Quarterly. Vol. 62, Issue 3: 439-463. DOI 10.1080/00380253
- 2nd Place – 2020 Midwest Sociological Society graduate student paper competition ($150)
- Winner – 2019 George L. Beslow Award for outstanding unpublished graduate student paper in the Department of Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ($100)
2020 O’Neill, Brian F. “The World-Ecology of Desalination: From Cold-War Positioning to Financialization in the Capitalocene.” Journal of World-Systems Research. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2020.987
2019 O’Neill, Brian F. “The Oral Tradition of Pierre Bourdieu – Classification Struggles, Manet, and On the State” International Sociology.September 2019, Volume 34, Issue 5. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0268580919870448
2019 O’Neill, Brian F., Hany Zayed, and Haba Khalil. “‘I’d Rather be Teaching’-Transforming Injustice into Action in a Graduate Labor Movement.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology. March 2019: Vol. 63. http://berkeleyjournal.org
2017 Brice, Becky, Christopher Fullerton, Kelsey L. Hawkes, Megan Mills-Novoa, Brian F. O'Neill, and Wincenty M. Pawlowski. “The Impacts of Climate Change on Natural Areas Recreation: A Multi-Region Snapshot and Agency Comparison.” Natural Areas Journal. January 2017: Vol. 37, Issue 1: 86-97 DOI: 10.3375/043.037.0111. https://bioone.org/journals/Natural-Areas-Journal/volume-37/issue-1/043.037.0111/The-Impacts-of-Climate-Change-on-Natural-Areas-Recreation/10.3375/043.037.0111.short