Valli Rajah

Valli Rajah

Associate Professor
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2001  PhD   Sociology, Columbia University


I began my career at John Jay after earning my PhD in sociology from Columbia University. Using qualitative and mixed-method designs, my research focuses on individuals’ experience of suffering and victimization, and the ways in which powerful institutions manage--or do not manage--to exert control over sufferers’ identities and practices of self care. Much of my research concerns members of groups that defy easy categorization as either “victims” or “criminal offenders,” such as drug-involved women who suffer partner violence, individuals arrested in domestic disputes, and juveniles who were jailed while waiting for case adjudication. My research, which is situated in feminist criminology, cultural sociology, and medical anthropology, has appeared in sociology, criminology and public health journals.  I have received funding from The National Institute of Drug Abuse, The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, The RISM Landes Foundation and the American Association of University Women. 


Selected publications:

Rajah, Valli, Ronald Kramer, and Hung-En Sung. 2015. "The Mis-synchronization of Juvenile Reform Competing Constructions of Temporality and Risk Among Rehabilitation Programs and Young Offenders." British Journal of Criminology 55.1: 184-202.

Rajah, Valli, Ronald Kramer, and Hung-En Sung. 2014. "Changing narrative accounts: How young men tell different stories when arrested, enduring jail time and navigating community reentry." Punishment & Society 16.3: 285-304.

Welsh, Megan & Valli Rajah. 2014. "Rendering Invisible Punishments Visible Using Institutional Ethnography in Feminist Criminology." Feminist Criminology 9.4 (2014): 323-343.

Kramer, Ronald, Valli Rajah, & Hung-En Sung. 2013. "Neoliberal prisons and cognitive treatment: Calibrating the subjectivity of incarcerated young men to economic inequalities." Theoretical Criminology 17.4: 535-556.

Haviland, Mary, Victoria Frye & Valli Rajah. 2008. “Harnessing the power of advocacy-research collaborations: lessons from the field.”  Feminist Criminology. 3(4): 247-275.

Rajah, Valli. 2007. “Resistance as edgework in violent intimate relationships of drug-involved women.” The British Journal of Criminology, 47, 196-213.

Rajah, Valli. 2006. “Respecting boundaries: The symbolic and material concerns of drug-involved women employing violence against violent male partners.” The British Journal of Criminology, 46, 837-858.

Rajah, Valli, Victoria Frye & Mary Haviland, M. 2006. "Aren't I a victim?" notes on identity challenges relating to police action in a mandatory arrest jurisdiction. Violence Against Women, 12, 897-916.

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