Spring 2015

Professor Ross L. Matsueda




This seminar will cover recent theories of crime and deviance.  It will focus on a mix of classical and contemporary criminological theories that have generated productive empirical research.  We will emphasize operationalizing theories and examining them empirically, using quantitative data, qualitative data, or a mix of each.  An important objective of the course is to introduce students to significant theoretical problems that can be addressed empirically, and introduce some key methodological issues.  There are no formal prerequisites for the course, but it is recommended that students have exposure to a basic criminology course and basic methods (including research design and multiple regression analysis).




·         In this seminar I will try to expose you to theories of crime and deviance that have generated empirical research programs.  In a ten-week course, we obviously can only touch on a small number of topics, and I have tried to identify lines of research in the study of crime and deviance that are recent, important, and productive.


·         A main objective of the seminar is to help you to evaluate contemporary criminological theories and assess empirical research on theory.  I will help you navigate empirical research conducted by some of the best scholars in criminology by discussing both formal and informal standards of the field.  


·         The seminar is also designed to help you develop your own style of research.  One of the best ways of doing so is to examine the styles of top researchers.  What kinds of questions do they address?  How sociological are they?  How do they operationalize theoretical concepts?  What data and methods do they use?  What conclusions do they draw?


·         This seminar, like other graduate seminars, will also help you make the transition from student to independent researcher/scholar. This includes professional socialization into the ways of academia, as well as tips on specific tasks of academicians, such as preparing talks and power point slides, reviewing articles for journals, interpreting journal reviews, editor letters, and funding agency reviews, responding to such reviews, and writing letters of recommendation for others.





Syllabus                           Course Syllabus


Time & Location             Thursday 3:30-5:20pm in 409 Savery Hall


Instructor                         Ross L. Matsueda                                                       


Office Hours                    227 Savery Hall, Monday & Tuesday 12:00-1:00pm and by appointment


Required Books             Sampson, Robert J. 2012. Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect.  Chicago:  University of Chicago Press.


Kubrin, Charis E., Thomas D. Stucky, and Marvin D. Krohn. 2009. Researching Theories of Crime and Deviance.  New York: Oxford University Press.



Kubrin, Charis E., Thomas D. Stucky, and Marvin D. Krohn. 2009. Researching Theories of Crime and Deviance.  New York: Oxford University Press, Chapter 2.


Nagin, Daniel S. 2013. “Deterrence: A Review of the Evidence by a Criminologist for Economists.   Annual Review of Economics 5:83-105.


Matsueda, Ross L. 2013. “Rational Choice Research in Criminology:  A Multi-Level Framework.”  Pp. 283-321 in The Handbook of Rational Choice Social Research.  Edited by R. Wittek, T.A.B. Snijders, and V. Nee.  Stanford, CA:  Stanford University Press.


Laura Dugan and Erica Chenoweth. 2012. “Moving Beyond Deterrence: The Effectiveness of Raising the Expected Utility of Abstaining from Terrorism in Israel.American Sociological Review 77: 597-624.


Matsueda, Ross L., Derek A. Kreager, and David Huizinga.  2006. “Deterring Delinquents:  A Rational Choice Model of Theft and Violence.”  American Sociological Review 71:95-122. 


Sutherland, Edwin H. 1947. Principles of Criminology.  Chapter 1.  Philadelphia, PA:  Lippincott.


Matsueda, Ross L. 2006. “Differential Social Organization, Collective Action, and Crime.”  Crime, Law and Social Change 46:3-33.


Hirschi, Travis. 1969. Causes of Delinquency.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, Chapters 1 & 2.


Gottfredson, Michael R., and Travis Hirschi. 1990.  The General Theory of Crime.  Palo Alto:  Stanford University Press, Chapter 5 (pp. 85-120).


Matsueda, Ross L. 1982. “Testing Control Theory and Differential Association:  A Causal Modeling Approach.”  American Sociological Review 47:489-504.


Sampson, Robert J., and John H. Laub. 1990. "Crime and Deviance over the Life Course:  The Salience of Adult Social Bonds."  American Sociological Review 55:609-27.


Laub, John H., and Robert J. Sampson. 2006. Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives:  Delinquent Boys to Age 70.  Cambridge, MA:  Harvard., Chapters 3, 6, 7, 9 & 10.


Giordano, Peggy C., Stephen A. Cernkovich, and Jennifer L. Rudolph. 2002. “Gender, Crime, and Desistance:  Toward a Theory of Cognitive Transformation.”  American Journal of Sociology 107:990-1064.


Moffitt, Terrie E. 1993. “Adolescent-Limited and Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior: A Developmental Taxonomy.Psychological Review 100: 674-701.


Sampson, Robert J., John H. Laub, and Christopher Wimer.  2006. “Does Marriage Reduce Crime?  A Counterfactual Approach to Within-Individual Causal Effects.Criminology 44:465-508.


Sampson, Robert J., and William J. Wilson. 1994. "Race, Crime and Urban Inequality."  In Crime and Inequality.  Edited by J. Hagan and R. Peterson. Stanford:  Stanford University Press.


Sampson, Robert J. 2011. Great American City:  Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect.  University of Chicago Press, Chapter 2 (pp. 31-49) and Chapter 5, pp. 97-120, Chapter 12, pp. 287-308 and Chapter 13, pp. 309-328.


Quillian, Lincoln. 1999. “Migration Patterns and the Growth of High-Poverty Neighborhoods, 1970-1990” American Journal of Sociology 105:1-37.


Harding, David J. 2003. “Counterfactual Models of Neighborhood Effects:  The Effect of Neighborhood Poverty on Dropping Out and Teenage Pregnancy.”  American Journal of Sociology 3:676-719.


Burt, Callie Harbin, Ronald L. Simons, and Frederick X. Gibbons. 2012. “Racial Discrimination, Ethnic-Racial Socialization, and Crime: A Micro-sociological Model of Risk and Resilience.”  American Sociological Review 77:648-67.


Shaw, Clifford R., and Henry H. McKay. 1969 [1942].  Juvenile Delinquency and Urban Areas. Revised Edition.  Chapters 6 & 7.


Sampson, Robert J. 2011. Great American City:  Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect.  University of Chicago Press, Chapter 7, pp. 149-178-120, Chapter 8 (pp. 179-209), and Chapter 9 (pp. 210-233).


Sampson, Robert J. and Stephen W. Raudenbush. 1999. “Systematic Social Observation of Public Spaces: A New Look at Disorder in Urban Neighborhoods.American Journal of Sociology 105(3): 603-651.


Sampson, Robert J., Stephen Raudenbush, and Felton Earls. 1997. Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: A Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy. Science 277:918-24.


Lyons, Christopher. 2007. “Community (Dis)Organization and Racially Motivated Crime.”  American Journal of Sociology 113:815-63.


Merton, Robert K. 1938. “Social Structure and Anomie.”  American Sociological Review 3:672-82.


Cloward, Richard A., and Lloyd E. Ohlin. 1960. Delinquency and Opportunity:  A Theory of Delinquency Gangs. New York:  Free Press, Chapters 6-7 (pp. 144-186).


Anderson, Elijah. 1998. The Social Ecology of Youth Violence.  Crime and Justice: A Review of Research 24:65-104.


Kirk, David S., and Andrew V. Papachristos. 2011. “Cultural Mechanisms and the Persistence of Neighborhood Violence,  American Journal of Sociology 116:1190-1233.


Agnew, Robert, Timothy Brezina, John Paul Wright, and Francis T. Cullen. 2002. “Strain, Personality Traits, and Delinquency:  Extending General Strain Theory  Criminology 40:43-72.


Decker, Scott H., and Barrik Van Winkle. 1996. Life in the Gang:  Family, Friends, and Violence.  New York: Cambridge University Press, Chapters 2-6.


Klein, Malcolm W. and Cheryl L. Maxson. 2006. Street Gang Patterns and Policies.  Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, Chapters 4-6.


Thornberry, Terence P., Marvin D. Krohn, Alan J. Lizotte, Carolyn A. Smith, and Kimberly Tobin. 2003. Gangs and Delinquency in Developmental Perspective.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.  Chapters 4-6 & 9.


Papachristos, Andrew V., David Hureau, and Anthony A. Braga. 2013. “The Corner and the Crew: The Infuence of Geography and Social Networks on Gang Violence,  American Sociological Review 78:417-447.


Thrasher, Fredrick M. 1927.  The Gang:  A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago.  Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, Chapters 15-19 (pp. 277-408).


Daly, Kathleen and Meda M. Chesney-Lind. 1988. “Feminism and Criminology.Justice Quarterly 5: 497-538.


Miller, Jody and Christopher Mullins.  2006. “The Status of Feminist Theories in Criminology.Pp. 217-250 in Taking Stock: The Status of Criminological Theory. Advances in Criminological Theory, Vol. 15,  edited by F.T. Cullen, J.P. Wright, and K.R. Blevins. New Brunswick: Transaction.


Lauritsen, Janet L., Karen Heimer and James P. Lynch. 2009. “Trends in the Gender Gap in Violent Offending: New Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Surveys.Criminology 47:361-399.


Heimer, Karen, and Stacy De Coster. 1999. “The Gendering of Violent Delinquency.”  Criminology 37:277-317.


Schilt, Kristen, and Laurel Westbrook. 2009. “Doing Gender, Doing Heteronormativity:  ‘Gender Normals,’ Transgender People, and the Social Maintenance of Heterosexuality.  Gender & Society 23:440-464.


Becker, Howard S. 1963. Outsiders. New York:  Free Press.


Matsueda, Ross L. 1992. “Reflected Appraisals, Parental Labeling, and Delinquency: Specifying a Symbolic Interactionist Theory.   American Journal of Sociology 97: 1577-1611.


Matthew Desmond and Nicol Valdez. 2013. Unpolicing the Urban Poor: Consequences of Third-Party Policing for Inner-City Women.”  American Sociological Review 78:117-141.


Goffman, Alice. 2009. “On the Run: Wanted Men in a Philadelphia Ghetto.”  American Sociological Review 74:339-357.


Pager, Devah, Bruce Western, and Bart Bonikowski. 2009. “Discrimination in a Low-Wage Labor Market: A Field Experiment.”  American Sociological Review 74: 777-99.




Further Reading:

Nagin, Daniel S. 1998.  “Criminal Deterrence Research at the Outset of the Twenty-First Century.”  Pp. 1-42 in Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Vol. 23, edited by Michael Tonry.  Chicago: University of Chicago.


McCarthy, Bill.  2002.  “New Economics of Sociological Criminology.”  Annual Review of Sociology 28:417-42.


Tonry, Michael. 2008. “Learning from the Limitations of Deterrence Research.” Crime and Justice 37:279-311


Small, Mario Luis. 2002. “Culture, Cohorts, and Social Organization Theory: Understanding Local Participation in a Latino Housing Project” American Journal of Sociology 108:1-54.


Krivo, Lauren J., and Ruth D. Peterson.  1996.  “Extremely Disadvantaged Neighborhoods and Urban Crime.”  Social Forces 75:619-48.


Wilson and Kelling. 1982. “Broken Windows:  The Police and Neighborhood Safety.”


Keizer, Kees, Siegwart Lindenberg, and Linda Steg. 2008. "The Spreading of Disorder." Science 322:1681-1685.



Seminar Paper     



Memos                              Writing a précis


                                                      Notes on writing a research article



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