John M. Johnson has published eleven books and over 100 articles and chapters on topics such as existential and interactional theory, official corruption, domestic violence, religious crusades, qualitative methods, research ethics, justice theory, the death penalty, formal organizations, bureaucratic propaganda, drug laws, white collar crime, and prison reform. He usually does qualitative research, and his recent research interests have focused on human rights, the death penalty, orders of protection, stalking, and the nature of forgiveness. He loves teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His most recent undergraduate courses have included Justice Theory, Homicide and Serial Killers, Research Methods, Domestic Violence, and The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights.
At the graduate level, Johnson is a former winner of the Graduate Mentoring Award given by the ASU Graduate College, and his recent course offerings have included JUS 640 Theoretical Perspectives on Justice, JUS 650 Advanced Qualitative Methodology, and a special topics seminar on The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights. He is a life long community and political activist who has founded or co-founded seven non-profit agencies in the Phoenix area, has led the local chapter of Amnesty International for seven years, has served as the advisor for the local ACLU chapter, and has served as a leader of Arizona's campaign against the death penalty. He enjoys working with students in both research and community activities. In 2002 he was awarded the George Herbert Mead Award by the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, for his career scholarly contributions in the tradition of Mead and symbolic interaction.