The Department of Sociology




Professor Lucia Trimbur Publishes “Come Out Swinging: The Changing World of Boxing in Gleason's Gym”

Come Out Swinging is Lucia Trimbur's nuanced insider's account of a place that was once the domain of poor and working-class men of color but is now shared by rich and poor, male and female, black and white, and young and old. Her book chronicles the everyday world of the Gleason's Gym, which is the last remaining institution of New York's golden age of boxing. Come Out Swinging reveals how Gleason's meets the needs of a variety of people who, despite their differences, are connected through discipline and sport.


Professor Thompkins Published in the American Journal of Criminal Justice

Professor Doug Thompkins recently published an article in the American Journal of Criminal Justice. The article, titled “The Disconnect between Education and Social Opportunity for the Formerly Incarcerated” aims to identify barriers associated with correctional education’s ability to produce social opportunity for the formerly incarcerated.

Click Here for Abstract



Professor Brotherton Quoted on WNYC News and Joined Two Doctoral Students to Edit Newly Published Book on Immigration

(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

David Brotherton, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Sociology, was interviewed in a piece on WNYC News titled Crew Members Share Why They're Drawn to Street Gangs. The article discusses the multitude of different gangs in the city, particularly in the housing projects and the NYPD’s fears of elevated gang violence during the summer months.

Brotherton offered insight into the reasons that urban youths living in economically depressed areas join gangs, positing that gangs are perceived as a means for youths to become “visible” and relevant in society.

To listen and read the full article, click here

Brotherton and two doctoral students, Daniel Stageman and Shirley Leyro, are editors of a newly published book called Outside Justice: Immigration and the Criminalizing Impact of Changing Policy and Practice, published by Springer, which discusses the intersection of undocumented immigrants, immigration and changing perceptions of criminality expressed in current public policy and legislation. This is a first publication for Stageman and Leyro which was a by-product of a conference held on March 22, 2012 called Issues in Immigration of Criminal Justice at John Jay.

The book is available for purchase here:

Brotherton’sBrotherton’s research focuses on youth resistance, marginalization, and deportation co-founding the Street Organization Project in 1997. He has received numerous research grants from both private and public agencies and has published widely in journals, books, newspapers and magazines He was named Critical Criminologist of the Year in 2011 and has been nominated for the 2011 George Orwell Prize in England and the C.Wright Mills Award in the United States. Among his recent books, published by Columbia University Press, are: Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile, with Luis Barrios (2011); Keeping Out The Other: A Critical Introduction to Immigration Control, edited with P. Kretsedemas (2009); and The Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang, with Luis Barrios (2004).


Professor Mucahit Bilici Featured in Today’s Zaman, Night Waves and Cornell Alumni Magazine


(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

Professor of Sociology Mucahit Bilici recently was interviewed in Today's Zaman, an English-language daily published in Turkey, in which he discusses the Kurdish problem in Turkey and the prospects for resolving the longstanding conflict between Turks and Kurds. Bilici was also interviewed on the BBC show "Night Waves" regarding Muslim comedy in the United States. In addition, his book, "Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend” is mentioned in a profile about comedian Negin Farsad that was published in Cornell Alumni Magazine.

Below are the links to each media piece.

Today's Zaman 

BBC 3’s Night Waves (at 32:27 and 34:50 minutes)

Cornell Alumni Magazine

Professor Jana Arsovska wins the  Donal McNamara junior faculty award


Professor Jana Arsovska recently won the John Jay College Donal McNamara junior faculty award. This award is given annually to an instructor or assistant professor who has made a significant scholarly contribution in the preceding two years to the fields of criminal justice or criminology.



  Professor Maria Volpe’s Article on Mediation Receives International Recognition

(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

Professor Maria Volpe’s article “Mediation Remains Elusive in Public Discourse Despite Its Ubiquity” was published by Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation  (ALT) – the official publication of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution – and is the featured article on the ALT web site. The article is has also been posted on the web site of the International Mediation Institute located in The Hague, the Netherlands. Professor Volpe is a faculty member of the Sociology Department, Director of the Dispute Resolution Program, and Director of the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College.

The article focuses on the public perception of conflict resolution processes, particularly the confusion between mediation and arbitration in the media. After The New York Times incorrectly interchanged the conflict resolution processes in the headline of an article “Mediator Halts City’s Plan to Overhaul 24 Schools,” a robust online discussion over the misuse of semantics was ignited on the NYC-DR listserv. The listserv, which is administered by Professor Volpe, has nearly 2,400 conflict resolution practitioners and scholars from more than 20 countries.  Professor Volpe’s article noted that while mediation is as old as civilization and is gaining widespread acceptance worldwide, the public continues to lack of understanding of the many forms of conflict resolution.

This semester, Professor Volpe has been reappointed to the Editorial Board of Conflict Resolution Quarterly, asked to serve on the American Bar Association’s Ombuds Task Force, was recognized by the Middle Eastern Students Association at John Jay for outstanding faculty assistance as its Faculty Adviser, and was awarded a CUNY Diversity grant for "Finding Common Ground: Demystifying Muslims in New York."

To read the article, visit the following web sites.

Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation (John Wiley & Sons)

International Mediation Institute

To learn more about the Dispute Resolution Center, click here.

Professor Bilici's New Book Reveals Light in Dark Corners for Islam in America


(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

For over a decade, popular and scholarly literature has examined the pernicious aftermath of 9/11 that Muslim Americans have endured. Evidence of the nation's misrepresentation of Muslims as terrorists, strangers and intruders is abundant. In a new and fresh perspective, Mucahit Bilici, Assistant Professor of Sociology, traces the journey of Muslim Americans from outsider/immigrant to citizen by employing a multi dimensional look into the process of naturalization in his new book, Finding Mecca in America: How Islam is Becoming an American Religion (University of Chicago Press).

Bilici illuminates the ways in which 9/11 facilitated interfaith dialogue and has been a catalyst for multicultural/religious incorporation. Finding Mecca in America is an ethnographic portrait of the ways Muslims are embracing America, the evolving symbiotic relationship between Islam and America, and the ways they are influencing one another's growth and evolution.

"I focused on how 9/11 led to more integration. After 9/11 there was an explosion of interfaith communication initiated by Muslims. They are acquiring the language of what people are calling American civil religion," said Bilici. "No matter what faith you are involved with in this country, you respect other faiths and recognize religiosity and the value of faith. Islam has increasingly become more pluralistic. This shows Muslims as human beings."

Christian Smith from the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, University of Notre Dame commented that Finding Mecca in America is "A very insightful and important book…Bilici's insights help to break through simplistic stereotypes and deepen our understanding of Islam in the United States, while expanding our imagination concerning the presences of minority religions in a Christian/secular nation."

After interviewing members of the Detroit Muslim community and attending events and mosques, Bilici discovered that third generation Muslims actually consider America to be more Islamic than most Muslim countries in which people suffer under dictatorships and political, social and religious oppression.

"America is a democratic society where there is no coercion, no oppression, and there is freedom to practice your religion. It's a very interesting change of perception from the anxiety around America to seeing it more Islamic than Muslim countries. My conclusion is that crises are good for integration because they force people to communicate and to find common ground," said Bilici.

Bilici is a cultural sociologist focusing primarily on Islam and social theory. He works in three main fields: American Islam, social theory, and Muslim intellectual traditions. He teaches courses on social theory and seminars on a variety of topics and has designed and taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses on Islamophobia, Rethinking Violence, and Social Theory and Islam, among others.

Professors David Brotherton and Susan Will Edit First Book to Tackle Criminology of Global Financial Crisis

(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

“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 Susan Opotow Awarded the 2012 John Jay-Baruch College Museum Faculty Fellowship

(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

Professor Susan Opotow was awarded the 2012 John Jay-Baruch College Museum Faculty Fellowship. The Baruch College – Rubin Museum Project was established on the principle that exposure to and participation in the arts enrich students’ college experience and greatly enhance their ability to learn, understand, and function on a much higher level throughout their lives.

For John Jay faculty, students and staff free admission and university specific programs introduces them to the art, culture, and sacred traditions of the peoples of the Himalayan Region. The goal is to inspire students and challenge them to question, explore, and reflect on their own goals as citizens of the world. This work is particularly appropriate to our JJay community as we Educate for Justice!

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 Professor Carla J. Barrett Publishes “Courting Kids: Inside an Experimental Youth Court”

Professor Carla J. Barrett recently published “Courting Kids: Inside an Experimental Youth Court.”

The 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 Mucahit Bilici Quoted in Voices of NY Article About the Hurricane Relief Efforts Among Muslim Communities

(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

Mucahit Bilici, an Assistant Professor in the Department of  Sociology, was quoted in a Voices of NY article titled “Post Sandy, Muslims Seen Through a Different Lens.” The article highlights the work of the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA and the Arab American Association of New York in the post-hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

To read the article, click here.



Professor Susan Will Interviewed on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show About Her New Book on the Economic Crisis of 2008

(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)

Susan Will, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at John Jay College and a co-editor of the new book How They Got Away With It: White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown, along with Saskia Sassen, sociology professor at Columbia University and contributor to the book, were interviewed about 2008 economic crisis on WNYC Radio’s The Brian Lehrer Show.

To listen to the interview, click here.

Professor Will joined the Sociology Department at John Jay in 1999. She earned her B.A. and M.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Ph.D in Social Ecology with an emphasis in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine. She has taught sociology of law, white-collar crime, social problems, legal sanctions and social control, and criminology. Professor  Will has written about the Orange County Bankruptcy, legal culture and corporate bankruptcy, and the social impact of regulatory apparatus.





Professor Jana Arsovska Awarded W.E.B Dubois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice

(Reported from the John Jay Newsroom)
Assistant Professor Jana Arsovska of the John Jay Department of Sociology has been awarded a prestigious W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice. The two-year, $100,000 award will allow her to expand her exploration of what she says is an understudied area: Albanian organized crime.

Professor Arsovska, who teaches criminology and international criminal justice, will investigate “Culture, Migration and Transnational Crime: Ethnic Albanian Organized Crime in New York." In particular, she will focus on two New York City neighborhoods that are home to large Albanian immigrant populations – the Belmont section of the Bronx, and Ridgewood, Queens.

“The research project seeks to answer how organized crime groups operate across territories,” she explained. “Ethnic Albanian organized crime in New York City is identified as a serious problem by law enforcement agencies, and this is a highly understudied topic.”

Albanian organized-crime groups dominate some criminal markets on five continents, Professor Arsovska noted, and Sicilians mobsters will often hire ethnic Albanians as hitmen because of their penchant for extreme violence.

Through her research, Professor Arsovska hopes to provide policy makers and law enforcement officials with knowledge that can be used to develop balanced, effective and human rights-centered policies for fighting organized crime.

Professor Arsovska is a native of Macedonia who earned her PhD in Criminology from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 2009 and joined the sociology department at John Jay that same year. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Standing Group on Organised Crime and co-editor of the SGOC Newsletter.

The DuBois Fellowship provides talented researchers early in their professional careers with the opportunity to elevate independently generated research and ideas to the level of national discussion, according to the NIJ. The Fellowship places particular emphasis on crime, violence and the administration of justice in diverse social and cultural contexts.

The award marks the second time a John Jay faculty member has won a DuBois Fellowship. Professor Hung-en Sung of the Department of Criminal Justice won the award in 2010.The fellowship program was created under former NIJ Director Jeremy Travis, who is now the President of John Jay.

Professor Richard E. Ocejo Publishes "Ethnography and the City: Readings on Doing Urban Fieldwork (The Metropolis and Modern Life)"

Richard E. Ocejo, Assistant Professor of Sociology, recently published "Ethnography and the City: Readings on Doing Urban Fieldwork (The Metropolis and Modern Life)."

The 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.

Click Here for Online Purchase Information

Professor Emerita Natalie J. Sokoloff Teaching at Goucher College's "Inside-Out" Program

Professor Emerita Natalie J. Sokoloff is teaching a first year writing class through Goucher College's "Inside-Out" program in Baltimore, Maryland. Inside-Out is a unique program which brings college students together with incarcerated men and women to study as peers in a seminar behind prison walls. The core of the Inside-Out program is a semester-long academic course, meeting once a week, through which “outside” (i.e.: undergraduate) students and the same number of “inside” (i.e.: incarcerated) students attend class together inside prison.

Professor Sokoloff and other faculty members involved in the Inside-Out program develop their own class around a variety of introductory writing assignments. "My role is to incorporate materials that look at issues around criminal justice: What is a crime? Who gets to decide this? What are the different options for understanding crime and justice? What are the important distinctions that women must deal with who are in prison than men? What are the different theories that help us understand men's and women's routes to crime and prison?"

Click Here for More Information About the Inside-Out Program

Professor Amy Adamczyk Co-Publishes Article in American Sociological Review

Associate Professor Amy Adamczyk and Brittany Hayes recently published “Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage” in the October issue of the American Sociological Review. Adamczyk and Hayes analyzed data on pre-marital and extra-marital sexual behaviors in over 30 countries around the world. Their data includes countries that are predominantly Muslim as well as countries that contain religious variation, allowing them to discern whether differences in sexual behavior are based on either religious or national-legal contexts, or both.

They find that Hindus and Muslims are less likely than Christians and Jews to have premarital sex, and Muslims are less likely to have extramarital sex. Although Hindus and Muslims on average marry at younger ages than Christians and Jews, this does not explain why they are less likely to have premarital sex. Rather, Muslims’ lower likelihood of premarital and extramarital sex is related to adherence to and community support for strict religious tenants that only permit sex within marriage.

The researchers also find that national Islamic cultures are wide-reaching and shape the sexual behaviors of all residents, even people who are not Muslim. Still, the authors argue that religion tends to have a more powerful effect than legal authorities in many domains of social life. They also speculate that differences is sexual behaviors may help explain why Muslim-majority nations tend to have lower prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS than Christian-majority countries.



Professor Lydia S. Rosner Publishes "The Russian Writer’s Daughter"

 Mayapple Press recently announced the publication of The Russian Writer’s Daughter by 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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Professor Andrew Karmen is Keynote Speaker

In May of 2012, Professor Andrew Karmen was invited to be the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony of the High School for Legal Studies in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Also in May, he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the World Society of Victimology for his contribution to the field.

In June, Karmen delivered a paper about Victims’ Rights Vis-a-vis The Police at the conference of the National Crime Victims Law Institute in Portland, Oregon. Also in June, Wadsworth/Cengage published the Eighth Edition of his textbook, Crime Victims, An Introduction to Victimology.The original edition of this comprehensive overview of the field and its controversies came out in 1984.




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