The Department of Sociology





Come Out Swinging
The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason's Gym 

Professor Lucia Trimbur



The State of Sex 

Barbara G. Brents
Crystsal A. Jackson
Kathryn Hausbeck



Upscaling Downtown 

Professor Richard E. Ocejo



Heroin and Music in New York City 

Professor Barry Spunt



Tightrope - A Racial Journey to the Age of Obama 

Professor Gail Garfield



Sociologists in Action On Inequalities

Shelley C. White
Jonathan M. White
Kathleen Odell Kongen



Women, Crime and Criminal Justice: a Global Enquiry 

Professor Rosemary Barberet 




Professor Carla J. Barrett

This book examines a unique judicial experiment called the Manhattan Youth Part, a specialized criminal court set aside for youth prosecuted as adults in New York City. Focusing on the lives of those coming through and working in the courtroom, Barrett’s ethnography is a study of a microcosm that reflects the costs, challenges, and consequences the “tough on crime” age has had, especially for male youth of color.

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Professor Richard E. Ocejo

This book is the only collection of its kind on the market, gathering the work of some of the most esteemed urban ethnographers in sociology and anthropology. Broken down into sections that cover key aspects of ethnographic research, Ethnography and the City will expose readers to important works in the field, while also guiding students to the study of method as they embark on their own work.

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Professor David C. Brotherton & Luis Barrios

The 1996 U.S. Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act has led to the forcible deportation of tens of thousands of Dominicans from the United States. Following thousands of these individuals over a seven-year period, David C. Brotherton and Luis Barrios use a unique combination of sociological and criminological reasoning to isolate the forces that motivate emigrants to leave their homeland and then commit crimes in the Unites States violating the very terms of their stay. Housed in urban landscapes rife with gangs, drugs, and tenuous working conditions, these individuals, the authors find, repeatedly play out a tragic scenario, influenced by long-standing historical injustices, punitive politics, and increasingly conservative attitudes undermining basic human rights and freedoms.

Brotherton and Barrios conclude that a simultaneous process of cultural inclusion and socioeconomic exclusion best explains the trajectory of emigration, settlement, and rejection, and they mark in the behavior of deportees the contradictory effects of dependency and colonialism: the seductive draw of capitalism typified by the American dream versus the material needs of immigrant life; the interests of an elite security state versus the desires of immigrant workers and families to succeed; and the ambitions of the Latino community versus the political realities of those designing crime and immigration laws, which disadvantage poor and vulnerable populations. Filled with riveting life stories and uncommon ethnographic research, this volume relates the modern deportee's journey to broader theoretical studies in transnationalism, assimilation, and social control.

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Professor Lydia S. Rosner

The book is a collection of lively autobiographical stories about growing up in a Russian-American Jewish household in the stifling political atmosphere of the Red Scare.

At the center of these memories is Lyduce’s father, whose complex personality mixes a passion for social justice, the desire to protect his family, and intellectual snobbery. In this revelatory memoir, international politics shadow a child’s gradual awakening to the world around her. As she tells her family’s story, Rosner shows how complicated autobiography can be, more a matter of pursuing the truth than of asserting it.

Dr. Lydia S. Rosner, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, has been on the faculty at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York since 1985. Mentioned in Two Thousand Notable American Women, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the East, Dr. Rosner has traveled the world with a keen interest in cultures and social structures.

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Knowing What We Know
Professor Gail Garfield

 Knowing What We Know offers readers a rare and valuable opportunity to travel with African American women as they move through the emotional and bureaucratic maze that surrounds their experiences of violence and victimization."—Beth E. Richie, author of Compelled to Crime "This work makes a distinctive contribution to the feminist literature on violence against women. The author includes riveting accounts about the lives of nine African American women and emphasizes differing forms of ‘violation and violence’ that they have experienced."—Traci West, author of Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, Violence, and Resistance Ethics.

 In recent years there has been an attempt by activists, service providers, and feminists to think about violence against women in more inclusive ways. In Knowing What We Know, activist and sociologist Gail Garfield argues that this effort has not gone far enough and that in order to understand violence, we must take the lived experiences of African American women seriously. Doing so, she cautions, goes far beyond simply adding voices of black women to existing academic and activist discourses, but rather, requires a radical shift in our knowledge of these women’s lives and the rhetoric used to describe them.

Bringing together a series of life-history interviews with nine women, this unique study urges a departure from established approaches that position women as victims of exclusively male violence. Instead, Garfield explores what happens when women’s ability to make decisions and act upon those choices comes into conflict with cultural and social constraints. Chapters explore how women experience racialized or class-based violence, how these forms of violence are related to gendered violence, and what these violations mean to a woman’s sense of identity. By showing how women maintain, sustain, and in some instances regain their sense of human worth as a result of their experiences of violation, Garfield complicates the existing dialogue on violence against women in new and important ways.

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New York Murder Mystery: The True Story Behind the Crime Crash of the 1990s

Professor Andrew Karmen

Andrew Karmen tracks a quarter century of murder in the city Americans have most commonly associated with rampant street crime. Providing both a local and a national context for New York's plunging crime rate, Karmen tests and debunks the many self-serving explanations for the decline. While crediting a more effective police force for its efforts, Karmen also emphasizes the decline of the crack epidemic, skyrocketing incarceration rates, favorable demographic trends, a healthy economy, an influx of hard working and law abiding immigrants, a rise in college enrollment, and an unexpected outbreak of improved behavior by young men growing up in poverty stricken neighborhoods. New York Murder Mystery is the most authoritative study to date of why crime rates rise and fall.


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Professors David Brotherton and Susan Will

“How They Got Away with It: White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown” is the first book that examines the criminology of the 2008 world financial crisis in a compilation of essays written by a cross-section of national and international experts. The book is edited by Assistant Professor Susan Will of the Sociology Department, Director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice Stephen Handelman, and Professor David C. Brotherton, co-chair of the Department of Sociology.

Will, Handelman and Brotherton gathered contributions from sociologists, economists, criminologists, and lawyers after a conference called: Financial Meltdown: How Did They Get Away With It? that was organized by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice with support from the McCormick Foundation for national financial journalists, academics and practitioners.

“The media and expert commentators were focused on the economic reasons for the breakdown, and individual cases of malfeasance, especially after the accusations of Occupy Wall Street,” said Handelman. “We wanted to gather the best minds in criminology, sociology and finance from around the world and ask the hard questions about whether there were larger systemic issues of white collar criminality involved, why no one caught them, and how we can prevent similar crises from happening again.”

Handelman and Will said that in the last 20 to 30 years no other book or textbook has examined financial crime as a systemic international challenge.

“It’s unique because we took a global approach and a highly interdisciplinary perspective,” said Brotherton. “We’re trying to educate people around the global significance, and not allow this crisis to become just another event from the past. We are teaching people about real analysis; it’s happening in real time. We hope it teaches our students to think globally and comparatively, to put themselves in other positions, and to see links between crime and sociology.”

The distinguished contributors looked at financial crime from a multitude of perspectives. Authors include Gilbert Geis who is Professor Emeritus of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine; Jock Young who is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at John Jay and the CUNY Graduate Center and Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent in the UK; Laureen Snider who is Professor of Sociology (Emerita) at Queen’s University; David O. Friedrichs who writes text books on white collar crime; and William K. Black, a former federal regulator who is considered the leading expert on the nation’s financial regulatory structure, and who helped bring down the so-called “Keating Five---five U.S. Senators accused of corruption for their part in the 1989 Savings and Loan scandal.

“The approach has been that there are a couple of bad apples,” said Will. “(It’s considered) soft criminality: we will get away with as much as we can. There are a lot of reasons for this that the authors give, the structure of the financial systems, obviously the weakness of regulators, lobbying efforts. But we don’t seem to learn our lessons. This book is a first step.”

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Professor Mucahit Bilici

The events of 9/11 had a profound impact on American society, but they had an even more lasting effect on Muslims living in the United States. Once practically invisible, they suddenly found themselves overexposed. By describing how Islam in America began as a strange cultural object and is gradually sinking into familiarity, Finding Mecca in America illuminates the growing relationship between Islam and American culture as Muslims find a homeland in America. Rich in ethnographic detail, the book is an up-close account of how Islam takes its American shape. In this book, Mucahit Bilici traces American Muslims’ progress from outsiders to natives and from immigrants to citizens. Drawing on the philosophies of Simmel and Heidegger, Bilici develops a novel sociological approach and offers insights into the civil rights activities of Muslim Americans, their increasing efforts at interfaith dialogue, and the recent phenomenon of Muslim ethnic comedy. Theoretically sophisticated, Finding Mecca in America is both a portrait of American Islam and a groundbreaking study of what it means to feel at home.

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Outside Justice: Immigration and the Criminalizing Impact of Changing Policy and Practice

Professor David C. Brotherton, Shirley P Leyro and Daniel L Stageman


Outside Justice: Undocumented Immigrants and the Criminal Justice System fills a clear gap in the scholarly literature on the increasing conceptual overlap between popular perceptions of immigration and criminality, and its reflection in the increasing practical overlap between criminal justice and immigration control systems.  Drawing on data from the United States and other nations, scholars from a range of academic disciplines examine the impact of these trends on the institutions, communities, and individuals that are experiencing them. 

Individual entries address criminal victimization and labor exploitation of undocumented immigrant communities, the effects of parental detention and deportation on children remaining in destination countries, relations between immigrant communities and law enforcement agencies, and the responses of law enforcement agencies to drastic changes in immigration policy, among other topics. Taken as a whole, these essays chart the ongoing progression of social forces that will determine the well-being of Western democracies throughout the 21st century.  In doing so, they set forth a research agenda for reexamining and challenging the goals of converging criminal justice and immigration control policy, and raise a number of carefully considered, ethical alternatives to the contemporary policy status quo.​​

Contemporary immigration is the focus of highly charged rhetoric and policy innovation, both attempting to define the movement of people across national borders as fundamentally an issue of criminal justice.  This realignment has had profound effects on criminal justice policy and practice and immigration control alike, and raises far-reaching implications for social inclusion, labor economies, community cohesion, and a host of other areas of immediate interest to social science researchers and practitioners.

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Professor Robert Garot

The color of clothing, the width of shoe laces, a pierced ear, certain brands of sneakers, the braiding of hair and many other features have long been seen as indicators of gang involvement. But it’s not just what is worn, it’s how: a hat tilted to the left or right, creases in pants, an ironed shirt not tucked in, baggy pants. For those who live in inner cities with a heavy gang presence, such highly stylized rules are not simply about fashion, but markers of "who you claim," that is, who one affiliates with, and how one wishes to be seen.

In this carefully researched ethnographic account, Robert Garot provides rich descriptions and compelling stories to demonstrate that gang identity is a carefully coordinated performance with many nuanced rules of style and presentation, and that gangs, like any other group or institution, must be constantly performed into being. Garot spent four years in and around one inner city alternative school in Southern California, conducting interviews and hanging out with students, teachers, and administrators. He shows that these young people are not simply scary thugs who always have been and always will be violent criminals, but that they constantly modulate ways of talking, walking, dressing, writing graffiti, wearing make-up, and hiding or revealing tattoos as ways to play with markers of identity.

They obscure, reveal, and provide contradictory signals on a continuum, moving into, through, and out of gang affiliations as they mature, drop out, or graduate. Who You Claim provides a rare look into young people’s understandings of the meanings and contexts in which the magic of such identity work is made manifest.



Professor Jayne Mooney

‘This is an exciting and innovative book which provides a thorough introduction to contemporary social theory by examining the way in which the widespread existence of violence against women is explored. A wide range of theories from liberalism to evolutionary psychology are considered culminating in the development of a distinctive feminist realist position. The theories discussed are tested against a large-scale survey, the findings of which challenge many conventional wisdoms as to the patterning of violence in contemporary society’



'...will make a fundamental and longlasting impact on the direction of research and policy making.' - Professor Sandra Walklate, Manchester Metropolitan University

'...well written, provocative...' - Kate Cavanagh, Contemporary Sociology


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Professor Andrew Karmen

A first in the field when initially published and now a true classic, Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology, offers the most comprehensive and balanced exploration of victimology available today. The author examines the victims' plight, carefully placing statistics from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report and Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization Survey in context. The text systematically investigates how victims are currently handled by the criminal justice system, analyzes the goals of the victims' rights movement, and discusses what the future is likely to hold.

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Globalizing the Streets: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Youth, Social Control, and Empowerment

Professor David C. Brotherton & Fabiola Salek

Not since the 1960s have the activities of resistance among lower- and working-class youth caused such anxiety in the international community. Yet today the dispossessed are responding to the challenges of globalization and its methods of social control. The contributors to this volume examine the struggle for identity and interdependence of these youth, their clashes with law enforcement and criminal codes, their fight for social, political, and cultural capital, and their efforts to achieve recognition and empowerment. Essays adopt the vantage point of those whose struggle for social solidarity, self-respect, and survival in criminalized or marginalized spaces. In doing so, they contextualize and humanize the seemingly senseless actions of these youths, who make visible the class contradictions, social exclusion, and rituals of psychological humiliation that permeate their everyday lives.

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Professors Rosemary Barberet, Cindy J. Smith, Sheldon X. Zhang

The Routledge Handbook of International Criminology brings together the latest thinking and findings from a diverse group of both senior and promising young scholars from around the globe. This collaborative project articulates a new way of thinking about criminology that extends existing perspectives in understanding crime and social control across borders, jurisdictions, and cultures, and facilitates the development of an overarching framework that is truly international.

The book is divided into three parts, in which three distinct yet overlapping types of crime are analyzed: international crime, transnational crime, and national crime. Each of these perspectives is then articulated through a number of chapters which cover theory and methods, international and transnational crime analyses, and case studies of criminology and criminal justice in relevant nations. In addition, questions placed at the end of each chapter encourage greater reflection on the issues raised, and will encourage young scholars to move the field of inquiry forward.

This handbook is an excellent reference tool for undergraduate and graduate students with particular interests in research methods, international criminology, and making comparisons across countries.

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Keeping Out the Other: A Critical Introduction to Immigration Enforcement Today

David C. Brotherton & Philip Kretsedemas

America's reputation for open immigration has always been accompanied by a desire to remove or discourage the migration of "undesirables." But recent restrictions placed on immigrants, along with an increase in detentions and deportations, point to a more worrying trend. Immigration enforcement has become the fastest growing sector for spending over the past two decades, dwarfing the money spent on helping immigrants adjust to their new lives. Instead of finding effective ways of integrating newcomers into American society, the United States is focusing on making the process of citizenship more difficult, provoking major protests and unrest.

David C. Brotherton and Philip Kretsedemas provide a history and analysis of recent immigration enforcement in the United States, demonstrating that our current anti-immigration tendencies are not a knee-jerk reaction to the events of September 11. Rather, they have been gathering steam for decades. With contributions from social scientists, policy analysts, legal experts, community organizers, and journalists, the volume critically examines the discourse that has framed the question of immigration enforcement for the general public. It also explores the politics and practice of deportation, new forms of immigrant profiling, relevant case law, and antiterrorist operations. Some contributors couch their critiques in an appeal to constitutional law and the defense of civil liberties. Others draw on the theories of structural inequality and institutional discrimination. These diverse perspectives stimulate new ways of thinking about the issue of immigration enforcement, proving that "security" has more to do with improving legal rights, social mobility, and the well-being of all U.S. residents than keeping out the "other."

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Professor David Green

Winner of the 2009 British Society of Criminology Book Prize













The book explores the reasons underlying the vastly differing responses of the English and Norwegian criminal justice systems to the cases of James Bulger and Silje Redergard respectively. James Bulger's killers were subject to extreme press and public hostility, held in secure detention for nine months and tried in an adversarial court. Redergard's killers were shielded from public antagonism and carefully reintegrated into the local community. This book argues that English adversarial political culture creates far more incentives to politicize high-profile crimes than Norwegian consensus political culture. Drawing on a wealth of empirical research, Green suggests that the tendency for politicians to justify punitive responses to crime by invoking harsh political attitudes is based upon a flawed understanding of public opinion. The book proposes a more deliberative response to crime that accommodates the informed public in news ways - ways that might help build social capital and remove incentives for cynical penal populism.

"Many people talk of the need for comparative method in criminology, few have attempted it and even fewer contribute so imaginatively to the forefront of scholarship as does David Green in this study. Here we have comparison placed in the contrasting contexts of English and Norwegian politics and media with clear and innovative policy implications; incisive theory informing future practice." -Jock Young, Distinguished Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York. Author of The Criminological Imagination

"A master class in comparative criminology, this study proves there is an alternative to demonization in response to child-on-child homicide." -David Downes, Mannheim Centre for Criminology, London School of Economics

"David Green uses comparative analysis of two high-profile child-on-child homicides to explore the complex interconnections between media processes, public opinion and political culture. It would be impressive enough to achieve Green’s analytical sophistication in just one of these areas. The extraordinary achievement of When Children Kill Children is to demonstrate theoretical and empirical sophistication, resulting in compelling and cogent analysis, across all three. A remarkable feat of critical scholarship. A genuinely enlightening book." -Chris Greer, City University London

"this important, stimulating book has the potential to become a landmark contribution to the development of comparative penology." -John Pratt, Punishment and Society

"a most valuable and informative work which provides new insights and ways forward in the face of the destructive potentialities of penal populism." -Dennis Eady, Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Professor Jayne Mooney


Fifty Key Thinkers in Criminology brings the history of criminological thought alive through a collection of fascinating life stories. The book covers a range of historical and contemporary thinkers from around the world, offering a stimulating combination of biographical fact with historical and cultural context. A rich mix of life-and-times detail and theoretical reflection is designed to generate further discussion on some of the key contributions that have shaped the field of criminology. Featured profiles include:


·         Cesare Beccaria


·         Nils Christie


·         Albert Cohen


·         Carol Smart


·         W. E. B. DuBois


·         John Braithwaite


Fifty Key Thinkers in Criminology is an accessible and informative guide that includes helpful cross-referencing and suggestions for further reading. It is of value to all students of criminology and of interest to those in related disciplines, such as sociology and criminal justice.


“...places a human face on the study of criminology through thoughtful "intellectual biographies" of the discipline's top international theorists from the 18th through the late 20th century. The theoreticians emerge as groundbreaking human beings in six-page essays written by a distinguished group of 54 contributors drawn from the ranks of an international faculty of criminologists, sociologists, and historians.

 What emerges…is an invaluable work.”  – D. K. Frasier, Indiana University- Bloomington, USA 


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Encyclopedia of Gangs

David C. Brotherton & Lou Kontos

In light of Los Angeles' gang state of emergency, ethnic and minority gangs are arguably more high profile now than at any other time in our history. News media typically focus on the crime and violence associated with gangs, but not much else. This encyclopedia seeks to illuminate the world of gangs, including gang formations, routine gang activities, aberrations and current developments. One hundred essay entries related to gangs in the United States and worldwide provide a diffuse overview of the gang phenomenon. Each entry defines and explains the term, provides an historical overview, and explains its significance today. As the following entries demonstrate, gangs are part of the fabric of American society. They are not only in our communities but also our schools and other social institutions. Understanding the world of gangs is therefore needed to understand American society.

Entries include: Bikers, Bloods, Cholas, Crips, gang mythology, gang warfare, graffiti, Hell's Angels, Hong Kong Triads, Latin Kings, law enforcement, occultic gangs, mafia, media, prison gangs, rites, Skinheads, Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act, tattoos, trafficking, Wanna-bes, West Side Story, Witness Protection programs, and youth gangs.

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 Through Our Eyes: African American Men's Experiences of Race, Gender, and Violence












Professor Gail Garfield

How have African American men interpreted and what meaning have they given to social conditions that position them as the primary perpetrators of violence? How has this shaped the ways they see themselves and engaged the world? Through Our Eyes provides a view of black men’s experiences that challenges scholars, policy makers, practitioners, advocates, and students to grapple with the reality of race, gender, and violence in America.This multi-level analysis explores the chronological life histories of eight black men from the aftermath of World War II through the Cold War and into today. Gail Garfield identifies the locations, impact, and implications of the physical, personal, and social violence that enters the lives of African American men. She addresses questions critical to understanding how race, gender, and violence are insinuated into black men’s everyday lives and how experiences are constructed, reconstructed, and interpreted. By appreciating the significance of how African American men live through what it means to be black and male in America, this book envisions the complicated dynamics that devalue their lives, those of their family, and society.

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 Gangs and Society

Professors Lou Kontos, David C. Brotherton, and Luis Barrios  

Compiled by three leading experts in the psychological, sociological, and criminal justice fields, this volume addresses timely questions from an eclectic range of positions. The product of a landmark conference on gangs, Gangs and Society brings together the work of academics, activists, and community leaders to examine the many functions and faces of gangs today. Analyzing the spread of gangs from New York to Texas to the West Coast, the book covers such topics as the spirituality of gangs, the place of women in gang culture, and the effect on gangs of a variety of educational programs and services for at-risk youth. The final chapter examines the "gang-photography phenomenon" by looking at the functions and politics of different approaches to gang photography and features a photographic essay by Donna DeCesare, an award-winning journalist.

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Ric Curtis, Interim Chairperson
North Hall, Room 3263,
524 West 59th Street New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.237.8962,