Skip to main content

Crime and Social Control

A Specialization of NC State's Ph.D. in Sociology Program


The Crime and Social Control (CSC) specialization provides comprehensive training in sociological criminology with specific emphasis on inequality, crime, and social control. A core tenet of the area is that the criminal justice system both reflects and is central to reproducing social inequality. Faculty in the area teach and conduct research on how inequalities of race, ethnicity, gender, geography, class, nationality, sexuality, and intersecting inequalities influence crime, violence, victimization, and criminal justice experiences.

Graduate Courses

  • Theories of Deviant Behavior (SOC 721): Provides an introduction to the major criminological traditions. The course traces the origins of criminological theories, examining the underlying assumptions of theories, major contributions to criminology, and empirical findings generated by quantitative and qualitative research in the theoretical traditions. Particular emphasis is placed on evaluating recent theoretical developments in criminology, focusing on the extent to which new developments move us beyond traditional perspectives and can help make sense of contemporary realities.
  • Social Control (SOC 722): offers an exploration of the theoretical concepts and racialized underpinnings of social control. Emphasis is placed on understanding how the historical racialized foundations of social control and punishment inform contemporary institutions of control, with a particular focus on policing, the American legal system, and carceral systems (including jail, prison, and other forms of incapacitation). The course also addresses the consequences of contact with social control, emphasizing how criminal justice contacts contribute to the reproduction of inequities inside and outside the system.
  • Conflict and Violence (SOC 791): provides an overview of the work in criminology and related social sciences on conflict, terrorism, and violence. Emphasis is placed on understanding the theoretical foundations of the study of violence to better understand recent perspectives on organized violence. Students will gain understanding of the historical processes underlying the relationship between state and violence, various methodological approaches to studying conflict and violence, case studies of conflict and violence (often in international perspective, nesting these case studies within dominant theoretical perspectives), and dynamics of peace processes, conflict de-escalation, and perspectives on non-violence. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding how social and political processes related to ethnicity, imperialism, and community cohesion influence forms of violence.
  • Communities and Crime (SOC 791 CC): provides an overview of theory and research on communities and crime with an emphasis on how discriminatory practices across major institutions (labor market, housing market, patterns of neighborhood disinvestment and reinvestment, and racialized criminal justice policies) relate to community dynamics and community crime rates. The course explores links between communities and crime through topics such as the formation of suburbs, gentrification, policing and surveillance, incarceration, reentry, and immigration.
  • Gender and Crime (SOC 795): offers an overview of theory and research on gender and crime. The course explores how social structures, culture, and situations influence offending among individuals and groups differentially situated in gender hierarchies. Emphasis is placed on understanding that the gender system intersects with a variety of systems and dimensions of oppression (e.g., race, ethnicity, and class) that inform life experiences, offending, and experiences in the criminal justice system.


Theses and Dissertations

  • Satterfield, Sierra. 2021. “‘I Ain’t Tryna Die:’ Intersections of Race and Gender, Legal Estrangement, and Support for Campus Carry.”
  • Personette, Marissa. 2019. “”What Makes Guardians Capable? A Routine Activities Approach to Sexual Victimization.”
  • Nodar, Leah. 2019. “‘We are Just Talking About One Car’: Legal and Lay Linguistic Practice in Civil Forfeiture Hearings.”
  • Hyatt, Autumn. 2019. “Black Men’s Encounters with White Cops: A Critical Discourse Analysis Approach to Social Justice Reform.”
  • Gathings, MJ. 2020. “Justice, Equity, and Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction: A North Carolina Case Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Youthful Defendants in Criminal Courts.”
  • Williamson, Sarah Hupp. 2019. “Toward an Integrated Theory of Human Trafficking: Unraveling the Role of Global Economic Policies in Shaping Macro-Level Conditions Cross-Nationally.”
  • Kawaguchi, Riku. 2019. “Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of Neighborhood Contexts: Time of Day and Quality of Neighborhoods in Linking Social Disorganization, Local Institutions, Criminogenic Places, and Crime.”
  • Lutz, Jennifer. 2019. “Condemning the Criminal Corporation: Corporate Sentencing, Focal Concerns, and the Effects of Dodd-Frank on Sentencing Outcomes.”

Graduate Student Awards, Publications and Jobs

  • Marissa Personette. 2020. College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Thesis Award.
  • Marissa Personette. 2020. Himes Student Paper Award. North Carolina Sociological Association.
  • Victoria Kurdyla. 2020. Larry J. Siegel Graduate Fellowship for Victimology Studies, American Society of Criminology, Division of Victimology.
  • Victoria Kurdyla. 2020. Sociologists for Women in Society-South Graduate Student Paper Award.
  • Victoria Kurdyla. 2019. NCSU Graduate Student Association Award for Teaching Excellence.
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson. 2019. College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Dissertation Award.
  • Riku Kawaguchi. 2019. SAGE Publishing Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award.
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson. 2018. NCSU Graduate Student Association Award for Teaching Excellence.
  • Riku Kawaguchi. 2017 NCSU Graduate Student Association Award for Teaching Excellence
  • James Tuttle. 2017 Graduate Student Paper Award, American Society of Criminology, Division of International Criminology.

  • M.J. Gathings. Senior Research Associate, ETR Services, LLC. (2020 PhD).
  • Riku Kawaguchi. Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Mercer University (2019 PhD).
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson. Assistant Professor of Criminology, Department of Criminology, University of West Georgia. (2019 PhD).
  • Jennifer Lutz. Research and Policy Associate, North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission. (2019 PhD).
  • Chris McDaniel. Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Auburn University. (2019 PhD).
  • Nicholas Richardson. Research Analyst, RTI International. (2019 PhD).
  • James Tuttle. Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Montana (2018 PhD).
  • Kylie Parrotta. Assistant Professor of Sociology & Criminology/Women & Gender Studies, Social Sciences Department, California Polytechnical State University (2015 PhD).
  • Josh A. Hendrix. Research Criminologist, RTI International. (2014 PhD).
  • Cindy Brooks Dollar. Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina-Greensboro. (2014 PhD).
  • Jacob Day. Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of North Carolina at Wilmington. (2012 PhD).
  • Bradley Ray. Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, Department of Social Work, Wayne State University. (2012 PhD).
  • Rena C. Zito. Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Elon University (2012 PhD).
  • Jonathan R. Brauer. Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, Bloomington. (2011 PhD).
  • Kimya N. Dennis. 2010. Founder of 365 Diversity, LLC. (2010 PhD).
  • Olena Antonnacio. Professor and Director of MS/Certificate Programs, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Miami. (2008 PhD).
  • Kristin Williams. Survey Design Lead, Public Input and Principal, Nineteen Eleven Consulting. (2007 PhD).
  • Lisa Kort-Butler. Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Sociology. University of Nebraska-Omaha. (2006 PhD).
  • Lisa Briggs. Professor and Director of Emergency and Disaster Management, Department of Criminology, Western Carolina University. (2006 PhD).
  • Ekaterina Botchkovar. Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University. (2005 PhD).
  • T. Lorraine Lattimore. Research Psychologist, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2005 PhD).
  • Patricia Y. Warren. Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University. (2005 PhD).
  • Kirk Miller. Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Administration, Department of Sociology, Northern Illinois University. (2005 PhD).