Crime, Law and Social Control

Our program in the sociology of Crime, Law and Social Control (CLSC) specialization provides comprehensive training in sociological criminology. Faculty in the area study the structural, social-psychological and situational sources of offending and victimization; societal reactions to offending, manifested in both abstract legality and concrete institutions of social control; inequalities of race, class, gender and geography in processes of offending and formal social control; and the contributions of institutions of formal social control to economic and health inequalities in society. 

  • The Etiology of Crime, Deviance and Delinquency emphasizes the study of causes of crime and delinquency, especially individual–level social processes and the development and testing of theoretical models of crime and deviance. This area includes comparative studies of social processes in international settings, studies focusing on the way in which race, class, gender and the intersections of these forms of inequality shape social-psychological processes and delinquency and studies focused on common antecedents of delinquency and mental health problems.    Faculty with expertise or recent research activity in the area: De Coster, Smith,  Zahn
  • The Structural Context of Crime emphasizes social inequality, community social organization, schools, families and peer groups as contexts in which high rates of crime, victimization, deviance, delinquency, violence and suicide develop. This area includes international studies of social structure and homicide rates; studies of neighborhoods and crime rates; studies emphasizing the relationships between race, class and the intersections of these forms of inequality in shaping residence patterns and crime rates; and studies that focus on the social mechanisms through which community-level structural characteristics influence crime and delinquency.   Faculty with expertise or recent research activity in the area: De Coster, McCall, Smith, Zahn
  • Crime, Deviance and Social Control emphasizes the social construction and societal responses to crime and deviance. This includes the development and enforcement of laws and policies designed to control crime or deviance; the informal labeling of individuals and/or groups as deviant; the relationship between gender, race, social class; and the intersections of these forms of inequality on the formal and informal labeling processes, as well as the impact of societal responses, both formal and informal, on criminal, deviant, or stigmatized populations and communities.     Faculty with expertise or recent research activity in the area: De Coster, Smith

Graduate Courses: 

  • Theories of Deviant Behavior (SOC 721): An introduction to the major theories of crime and deviance. The course traces the origins of theories of crime and deviance, examining the underlying assumptions of each theory, its major contributions to criminology, important empirical findings generated by research on the theory and debates about the theory. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of theoretical perspectives and on assessing the extent to which recent theoretical developments in criminology move beyond traditional perspectives.
  • Social Control (SOC 722): A survey of sociological theory and research on social control as an institutional response to deviant behavior. The course covers the functions, utilization and effects of social control mechanisms, focusing primarily on formal social control. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of theoretical perspectives on social control and on the empirical findings related to these perspectives.
  • Research in Crime and Delinquency (SOC 723): Major topics in the course include examination of conceptual problems and research issues and methods in the study of crime and deviance; assessment of current research on crime causation and deviance processes; examination of research on social control processes and agencies; and assessment of social action and evaluative research. Among the contemporary topics to be surveyed are: life course, criminal careers, population composition (race) and the southern culture of violence, social class and inequality, gender and feminist criminology, social ecology and social structure. Measurement issues and methodological problems in model specification also will be addressed. The emphasis in the course is on structural analyses of crime.
  • Gender and Crime (SOC 791G): An overview of the sociological and criminological literatures on gender, crime and criminal justice experiences. The course examines early approaches to understanding females and gender in the criminological literature. Early approaches simply apply male theories to the understanding of female behavior and experiences, rather than considering the unique ways in which gender affects crime and criminal justice experiences. The course also examines more recent feminist approaches that consider gender more centrally, taking into account the gender system. The focus of the course is on studying the major strands of feminist theory and research that have emerged in recent years and comparing these strands of theory and research with earlier work on gender, crime and criminal justice.


Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Washington, 2015
339 1911 Bldg, (919)513-2554; email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current Research: TBA

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Sociology, University of Iowa, 1999
331 1911 Bldg, (919)513-2554; email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current Research: My research cross-cuts several areas within sociology, including criminology, medical sociology (mental health), social psychology and inequality (with an emphasis on gender and on the intersectionality of race, class and gender). My publications focus on the following: explicating gender differences in illegal behaviors and mental health problems, specifying illegal behaviors and mental health problems as the outcomes of similar structural conditions and social-psychological processes, understanding the community context of adolescent violence, explaining race differences in violence within gender and gender differences in violence within race, and understanding female-dominated forms of victimization (i.e., sexual harassment).

Associate Professor and Department Head
Ph.D., Sociology, Rutgers, 1984
327 1911 Bldg, (919)515-9018; email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current Research: My research currently centers on three general themes: the relationship between educational experiences (including learning disabilities) and delinquency; methodological issues in prediction studies of crimes and their applications; and the study of the social ecology of crime. In recent years I have been interested in how methodological issues in social ecology relate to issues in studying racial profiling by police departments. Related works in progress center on the interrelationship between the physical environment and social characteristics as they impact crime rates, as well as the deployment of police.

Grad Student Awards, Publications and First Jobs

  • Riku Kawaguchi received 2019 SAGE Publishing Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award.
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson received 2019 SAGE Publishing Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award.
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson was awarded the 2019 College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Dissertation Award.
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson was awarded the 2018 NCSU GSA Award for Recognition in Teaching Excellence
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson was awarded the 2018 NCSU SGSA Graduate Student Mentor Award
  • Riku Kawaguchi won the Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching for 2017 from North Carolina State University, Graduate Student Association
  • James Tuttle won the 2017 Student Paper Award: Division of International Criminology, American Society of Criminology for the "Murder in the Shadows" paper
  • Kelly Thames was awarded 2nd place in the 2011 American Society of Criminology’s Gene Carte Student Paper Award
  • Jen Gathings and Kylie Parrota were awarded 1st place in the 2010 American Society of Criminology’s Division on Correction and Sentencing Paper Award.
  • Kylie Parrota and Gretchen Thompson were awarded 1st place in the 2010 Graduate Student Paper Competition for the Teaching Social Problems Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems
  • Brad Ray was awarded the 2010 Best Graduate Student Mentor by the Sociology Graduate Student Association
  • Kylie Parrotta was awarded the 2009 Stanford Lyman Memorial Scholarship
  • Mark Bodken was awarded the 2009 Southern Sociological Society’s Odum Student Paper Award

Virginia Aldige' (Hiday)

Burns, PJ*, VA Hiday, and BR Ray*. 2012.  Effectiveness of a Recently Established Mental Health Court.  American Behavioral Scientist (forthcoming).

Hiday, VA and HW Wales. 2012. Mental Illness and the Law in Handbook of the Sociology of Mental Health (2nd ed), edited by Carol S. Aneshensel, Jo C. Phelan, and Alex Bierman.  New York: Springer.

Hiday, VA and HW Wales. 2011. Criminalization and Mental Illness in Applied Research and Evaluation in Community Mental Health Services: An Update of Key Research Domains, edited by Evelyn R Vingilis and Stephen A State.  Montreal:McGill-Queens’ University Press, pp. 80 - 93.

Hiday, VA. 2011. Community Systems Collide and Cooperate: The Case of the Legal and Mental Health Systems in The Handbook of Health, Illness & Healing: Blueprint for the 21st Century, edited by Bernice A. Pescosolido, Jack K. Martin, Jane McLeod, and Anne Rogers.  New York:  Springer, pp. 159 - 170.

Wales, HW, VA Hiday, and B Ray*. 2010. Procedural Justice and the Mental Health Court Judge’s Role in Reducing Recidivism.  International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 33(4): 265-271.

Hiday, VA and BR Ray*. 2010. Arrests after Exiting Mental Health Court.  Psychiatric Services 61:463-468.

Hiday, VA and PJ Burns*. 2010. Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System in A Handbook for the Study of Mental Health (2nd ed.), edited by TL Scheid and T Brown.  New York:  Cambridge University Press, pp. 478-498.

Hiday, VA. 2007. Coercion in Mandated Community Treatment:  Its Relativity and Effects, BMC Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1) S126 (19 December 2007).

Wales, HW and VA Hiday. 2006. PLC or TLC:  Is Outpatient Commitment the/an Answer?  International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 29:451-468.

Moore, ME* and VA Hiday. 2006. Mental Health Court Outcomes:  A comparison of Re-arrest and Re-arrest Severity between Mental Health Court and Traditional Court Participants.  Law and Human Behavior 30:659-674.

Hiday, VA. 2006. Putting Community Risk in Perspective: A Look at Correlations, Causes, and Controls, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 29:316-333.

Hiday, VA, M Gurrera*, M. Lamoureaux, and J De Magistris. 2005. North Carolina’s Mental Health Court, Popular Government 70(3):24-30.

Stacy De Coster

De Coster, Stacy and Rena Zito.* Forthcoming. “Maternal Roles and Adolescent Depression: Conditions and Processes of Influence.” Sociological Perspectives.

De Coster, Stacy and Jennifer Lutz (equal authorship). 2018. “Reconsidering Labels and Primary Deviance: False Appraisals, Reflected Appraisals, and Delinquency Onset.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. 55(5): 609-648.

Brauer, Jonathan R.* and Stacy De Coster . Forthcoming. “Social Relationships and Delinquency: Revisiting Parent and Peer Influence During Adolescence.” Youth & Society.

De Coster, Stacy. 2012.  “Mothers’ Gendered Roles, Ideologies, Distress, and Parenting: Consequences for Delinquency.” The Sociological Quarterly 53:586-610.

De Coster, Stacy, Karen Heimer and Samantha R. Cumley. 2012. “Girls, Gender, and Delinquency.” Pp. 313-330 in The Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory, edited by Cullen, Francis T. and Pamela Wilcox. New York: Oxford University Press.

De Coster, Stacy and Rena Zito*.2010. “Gender and General Strain Theory: The Gendering of Emotional Experiences and Expressions.” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 26:224-245.

De Coster, Stacy, Karen Heimer, and Stacy  Wittrock. 2006.“Neighborhood Disadvantage, Social Capital, Street Context, and Youth Violence.” The Sociological Quarterly 47:723-53.

De Coster, Stacy and Lisa Kort-Butler*.2006. “How General is General Strain Theory?: Assessing  Issues of Determinacy and Indeterminacy.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 43:297-325.

De Coster, Stacy and Karen Heimer.2006. “Crime at the Intersection: Gender, Race, and Violent Offending.” Pp. 138-156 in The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity and Crime in America, edited by Peterson, Ruth, Lauren Krivo, and John Hagan.  New York: New York University Press. 

Heimer, Karen, Stacy De Coster, and Halime Unal.2006“Opening the Black Box: Understanding the Social Psychology of the Gender Gap in Delinquency.”  Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance 7:109-35.

De Coster, Stacy.2005. “Depression and Law Violation:  Gendered Responses to Gendered Stresses.”  Sociological Perspectives 48:155-187. 

Sarah Hupp Williamson

Hupp Williamson, Sarah and Jennifer Lutz. 2019. “Sewing Responsibility: Media Discourse, Corporate Deviance, and the Rana Plaza Collapse” Sociological Inquiry. Early online:

Hupp Williamson, Sarah. *Forthcoming 2019. “Toward a Theory of Human Trafficking: An Integrated Framework from Criminology, Migration, and Feminist Literatures.” In Erin C. Heil and Andrea J. Nichols (Eds), Broadening the Scope of Human Trafficking, 2nd ed. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Hupp Williamson, Sarah, 2018. “What’s in the Water? How Media Coverage of Corporate GenX Pollution Shapes Local Understanding of Risk.” Critical Criminology 26(2): 289–305.

DeVall, Kristen, Christina Lanier, David J. Hartmann, Sarah Hupp Williamson, and LaQuana Askew. 2017. “Intensive Supervision Programs and Recidivism: How Michigan Successfully Targets High-Risk Offenders.” The Prison Journal 97(5): 585-608.

Hupp Williamson, Sarah. 2017. “Institutional Anomie and Socialist Feminist Theory: A Process Analysis of Trafficking in Post-Socialist Countries.” In Erin C. Heil and Andrea J. Nichols (Eds), Broadening the Scope of Human Trafficking, (pp.231-255). Carolina Academic Press.

Hupp Williamson, Sarah. 2017. “Globalization as a Racial Project: Implications for Human Trafficking.” International Journal of Women’s Studies 18(2): 74-88.

Patricia L. McCall

McCall, Patricia L., Kenneth C. Land, Cindy B. Dollar* and Karen F. Parker. 2013. “The Age Structure-Crime Rate Relationship: Solving a Long-Standing Puzzle.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 28(4).

McCall, Patricia L., Kenneth C. Land, and Karen F. Parker. 2011. “Heterogeneity in the Rise and Decline of City-Level Homicide Rates, 1976-2005: A Latent Trajectory Analysis.” Social Science Research 40(1):363-378.

McCall, Patricia L., Kenneth C. Land, and Karen F. Parker. 2010. “What Do We Know about the Structural Covariates of Homicide Rates?: A Return to a Classic Twenty Years Later.” Homicide Studies 14(3):219-243.

McCall, Patricia L., Karen F. Parker and John M. MacDonald. 2008. “The Dynamic Relationship between Social, Economic, and Political Factors and Homicide Rates from 1970 to 2000.” Social Science Research 37(3):721-735.

Nieuwbeerta, Paul, Patricia L. McCall, Henk Elffers, Karin Eising and Karin Wittebrood. 2008. “Buurtkenmerken en slachtofferschap van moord en doodslag.” Tijdschrift voor Criminologie50(1):17-34.

Nieuwbeerta, Paul, Patricia L. McCall, Henk Elffers, Karin Eising and Karin Wittebrood. 2008. “Neighborhood Characteristics and Individual Homicide Risks: Effects of Social Cohesion, Confidence in the Police, and Socioeconomic Disadvantage.”  Homicide Studies 12(1):90-116.

McCall, Patricia L. and Charles R. Tittle. 2007. “Population Size and Suicide in U.S. Cities: A Static and Dynamic Exploration.” Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior 37(5):553-564.

McCall, Patricia L. and Paul Nieuwbeerta. 2007.  “Structural Covariates of Homicide: A Cross-National City Analysis.” Homicide Studies11(3):167-188.

Lazarus-Black, Mindie and Patricia L. McCall. 2006.  “The Politics of Place: Practice, Process, and Kinship n Domestic Violence Courts.” Human Organization 65(2):140-155.

McCall, Patricia L. and Karen F. Parker. 2005. “A Dynamic Model of Racial Competition, Racial Inequality and Interracial Violence.” Sociological Inquiry 75(2):273-293.

William R. Smith

Floyd, M. R., J. N. Bocarro,  W. R. Smith, P. K. Baran, R. C. Moore, N. G. Cosco, M. B. Edwards, L. J. Suau, and K. Fang. 2011.  “Correlates of Park-based Physical Activity among Children and Adolescents” American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Baran, P. K., W. R. Smith, H. D. Turkhoglu, R. W. Marans and F. Bolen.  2009. “Walking Behavior in Istanbul: Individual Attributes, Neighborhood Context and Perceived Safety.” A|Z. Special Issue:  Dossier – Quality of Urban Life  6:1  (Spring) pp. 21-40.

Bocarro, J. N., Floyd, M. F., Moore, R., Baran, P., Danninger, T., Smith, W. & Cosco, N. 2009. “Adaptation of the Syste For Observing Physical Activity and Recreation inCommunities (SOPARC) to Assess Age Groupings of Children.”Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6:6, 699-707.

Warren, P., D.* Tomaskovic-Devey, W. Smith, M. Zingraff and M. Mason. 2006. “‘Driving While Black’: Bias Processes and Racial Disparity in Police Stops” Criminology 44:709-738.

Charles R. Tittle

Brauer, JR*, and Charles R. Tittle. 2012. “Social Learning Theory and Human Reinforcement.” Sociological Spectrum 32 (2): 157-177.

Tittle, Charles R., O. Antonaccio*, and E. Botchkovar*. 2011. “Attracted to Crime: Exploration of Criminal Motivation Among Respondents in Three European Cities.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 38: 1200-1221. 

Tittle, Charles R., O. Antonaccio*, JR Brauer*, and Zaki Islam. 2012. “Childhood Experiences and Self-Control.” Deviant Behavior 33: 375-392. 

Tittle, Charles R., O. Antonaccio*, E. Botchkovar*. “Reinforcement, Learning, and Criminal Probability.” Social Forces (in press) 

Tittle, Charles R., E. Botchkovar*, and O. Antonaccio*. 2011. “Criminal Contemplation, National Context, and Deterrence.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 27: 225-249.

Tittle, Charles R., O. Antonaccio*, E. Botchkovar*, and Maria Krandioti. 2010. “Expected Utility, Self-Control, Morality, and Criminal Probability.” Social Science  Research 39: 1029-1046.

Tittle, Charles R., O. Antonaccio*, E. Botchkovar*, and Maria Kranidioti. 2010. “The Correlates of Crime and Deviance: Additional Evidence.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 47 (2010): 297-328. 

 Rotolo, Thomas and Tittle, CR. 2009. “Socio-Demographic Homogenizing Trends in Fixed-Boundary Spatial Areas Charles R. Tittle within the United States.” Social Science Research 39: 324-340.

Tittle, Charles R., E. Botchkovar*, and O. Antonaccio*. 2009. “General Strain Theory: Additional Evidence Using Cross-National Data.”  Criminology, 47: 131-172. 

Tittle, Charles R., Broidy, Lisa M., and Gertz, Marc C. 2008. “Strain, Crime, and Interactions.” Justice Quarterly 25: 283-312.

Tittle, Charles R., and E. Botchkovar*. 2008. “Delineating the Scope of Reintegrative Shaming Theory: An Explanation of  Contingencies using Russian Data.” Social Science Research 37: 703-720. 

 Tittle, Charles R., and O. Antonaccio*. 2008. “Morality, Self-Control and Crime.” Criminology 46 (2008):479-510.

Reprinted in: Bichnk AbBiBcbkoro Yhibepchtety (a Ukrainian Journal), 2009, Is 3: 84-101.

Tittle, Charles R., Welch, M., Meidinger, N., Grasmick, H. G., and Yonkoski, J. 2008. “Social Integration, Self-Control, and Conformity.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 24: 73-92. 

Tittle, Charles R., Gasmick, H.G., and Welch, M. R. 2008. “Self-Control, Political Ideology and Misbehavior: Unpacking the Effects of Conservative Identity.” Sociological Spectrum 28: 4-35.

Tittle, Charles R., and O. Antonaccio*. 2007. “A Cross-National Test of Bonger’s Theory of Criminality and Economic Conditions.” Criminology 45: 925-958. 

(Reprinted in: “Radical and Marxist Theories of Crime,” edited by Michael J.  Lynch and Paul B. Stretesky. (Ashgate)

McCall, Patricia, and Tittle, C.R. 2007. “Population Size and Suicide in U.S. Cities: A Static and Dynamic Exploration.” Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior 37: 553-562.

Rotolo, Thomas, and Tittle, CR. 2006. “Population Size, Change, and Crime in United States Cities.” Journal of  Quantitative Criminology 22: 341- 367. 

Tittle, Charles R, H. G. Grasmick, and M. Welch. 2006. “Christian Religiosity, Self-Control, and Social Conformity.” Social Forces 84. 

Tittle, Charles R, T. L. Latimore*, and H.G. Grasmick. 2006. “Child Rearing, Self-Control, and Crime.” Sociological Inquiry 76: 343-371.

Tittle, Charles R, and E. Botchkovar*. 2005. “The Generality and Hegemony of Self-Control Theory: A Comparison of Russian  and U.S. Adults.” Social Science Research 34: 703-731. 

Botchkovar, E.* and Tittle, CR. 2005. “Crime, Shame, and Reintegration in Russia.” Theoretical Criminology. 9:401-442.

Botchkovar, E.*, and Tittles, CR. 2005. “Self-Control, Criminal Motivation, and Deterrence: An Investigation Using a  Russian Sample.” Criminology 43: 307-353.

James Tuttle

Tuttle, James, Patricia L. McCall and Kenneth C. Land. 2018. “Latent Trajectories of Cross-National Homicide Trends: Structural Characteristics of Underlying Groups.” Homicide Studies 22(4): 343–369.

Tuttle, James. 2018. “Specifying the Effect of Social Welfare Expenditures on Homicide and Suicide: A Cross-National, Longitudinal Examination of the Stream Analogy of Lethal Violence.” Justice Quarterly, 35(1): 87-113.

Tuttle, James. 2017. “Murder in the Shadows: Evidence for an Institutional Legitimacy Theory of Crime.” International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. 

Margaret A. Zahn

Strom, Kevin, Tara Warner, Lisa Tichavsky* and Margaret A. Zahn. (under review, 2009) “Policing Girls: The Role of Domestic Violence Arrest Policies and Gender in Police Response to Child-Parent Assaults.” Revise and resubmit in progress for Crime and Delinquency.

Zahn, Margaret A., Jacob Day, Sharon Mihalic, and Lisa Tichavsky*. 2009. “Determining What Works for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: A Summary of Evaluation Evidence.” Crime and Delinquency 55(2):266-293.

  • Riku Kawaguchi, 2019, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Mercer University.
  • Sarah Hupp Williamson, 2019, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Department of Criminology, University of West Georgia.
  • Chris McDaniel, 2019, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology, Auburn University.
  • Nicholas Richardson, 2019, RTI.
  • James Tuttle, 2017, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, the University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne.
  • Jacob Day, 2012, Assistant Professor, Appalachian State Univeristy.
  • Bradley Ray, 2012, Assistant Professor, Indiana University-Purdue University.
  • Rena Cornell Zito, 2012, Assistant Professor, Westminster College.
  • Jonathan R. Brauer, 2011, Assistant Profesor, University of Nebraska at Omaha.
  • Olena Antonnacio, 2008, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Miami.
  • Rachel E. Hagewen, 2007, Instructor, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Lisa Kort-Butler, 2006, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Omaha.
  • Marlee Moore Gurrera, 2006, Senior Research and Policy Associate, North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission, Raleigh.
  • Lisa Briggs, 2006, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Criminology, Western Carolina University.
  • Ekaterina Botchkovar, 2005, Assistant Professor, College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, Boston.
  • T. Lorraine Lattimore, 2005, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Oklahoma.
  • Patricia Warren, 2005, Assistant Professor, College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Florida.
  • Kirk Miller, 2005, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Northern Illinois University.
  • Kecia Johnson, 2003, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, State University of New York-Albany.
  • Denise Bissler, 2003, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Randolph-Macon College.
  • Kennon Rice, 2003, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Albright College .
  • Sharon Frazee, 2003, Vice President, Health Informatics, CHD Meridian Healthcare.
  • David Alston, 2002, Assistant Professor, Social Sciences, University of Maryland — Eastern Shore.
  • Elizabeth Strugatz, 2001, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology, Mount Olive College.