Ross Haenfler is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi. Growing up in the hardcore, straight edge, and punk rock scenes led to a lasting interest in youth subcultures, social justice, and do-it-yourself politics. His interests revolve around how people pursue social change in their daily lives as part of lifestyle movements such as slow food, voluntary simplicity, and green living. Since most people do not consider themselves "activists," he is interested in how they create changes in their own lives that reflect their values and how they understand these actions as contributing to social change.
While in graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Haenfler coauthored The Better World Handbook: Small Changes That Make a Big Difference, an action-oriented guide to creating a more just and sustainable world. He is also the author of Straight Edge: Clean Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change and Goths, Gamers, and Grrrls: Deviance and Youth Subcultures.
He currently studies abstinence/virginity pledges and how participants in youth cultures transition to adulthood. Haenfler has led workshops on masculinities and feminism, transformative teaching, and social change in daily life. He appeared in the documentary Edge: Perspectives on a Drug Free Culture and the National Geographic channel's Inside Straight Edge.
As an award-winning teacher, his courses include social movements, deviance and youth subcultures, men and masculinities, and political sociology. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his partner, Jennifer, and daughter, River. In his spare time, he enjoys backpacking in places such as Peru, Iceland, and Alaska.