Criminology | LSU Sociology


An interdisciplinary field that studies the causes, manifestations, consequences, control, and prevention of criminal behavior at both the individual and societal levels. A central feature of research conducted by LSU sociologists is on the community correlates of crime, however, their research encompasses a variety of substantive areas. Extensive research has been conducted on the association of gentrification with multiple outcomes (gang and non-gang homicide; school level performance on standardized tests; neighborhood community; self-rated health). Related research looks at the inequality of community-based anti-crime efforts. Another stream of research examines the importance of community for post-disaster crime levels. The southern culture of violence is the subject of other research. Related research analyzes the relationship between segregation, immigration and violence. Examining the covariates related to gang homicide, specifically the structural characteristics of a neighborhood over time and the physical environment, is another research topic of interest. Related research compares and contrasts the attributes of street gangs with other deviant groups (i.e., ISIS, Skinheads, Alt-Right, White Power Groups). Another stream of research is related to urban policing. In particular research interests focus on the policing of public housing communities through the use of banishment policies,  evaluating law enforcement attitudes post-Ferguson, and exploring if predictive policing tactics lead to racially biased arrests. Additional research examines individual beliefs about sexual aggression in public drinking settings and the normalization of such behaviors.


Campus/School Crime

Barton, M. S., Jensen, B. L., & Kaufman, J. M. (2010). Social disorganization theory and the college campus. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(3), 245-254.

Vogel, M., & Barton, M. S. (2013). Impulsivity, school context, and school misconduct. Youth & Society, 45(4), 455-479.

Critical Criminology

Becker, S., & Aiello, B. (2013). The continuum of complicity:“Studying up”/studying power as a feminist, anti-racist, or social justice venture. Women's Studies International Forum, 38, 63-74.


Chauvin, C. D. (2012). Social norms and motivations associated with college binge drinking. Sociological Inquiry, 82(2), 257-281.

Reling, T. T., Barton, M. S., Becker, S., & Valasik, M. A. (2018). Rape Myths and Hookup Culture: An Exploratory Study of US College Students' Perceptions. Sex Roles, 78(7-8), 501-514.

Valasik, M., & Barton, M. S. (2017). The George Wilson Effect: Does Intergenerational Closure and Collective Efficacy Reduce Juvenile Delinquency in a Neighborhood?. Deviant Behavior, 39(12) 1658-1671.

Fear of Crime

 Barton, M. S., Weil, F., Jackson, M., & Hickey, D. A. (2017). An investigation of the influence of the spatial distribution of neighborhood violent crime on fear of crime. Crime & Delinquency, 63(13), 1757-1776.


Reid, S. E., & Valasik, M. (2018). Ctrl+ ALT-RIGHT: reinterpreting our knowledge of white supremacy groups through the lens of street gangs. Journal of Youth Studies, 21(10), 1305-1325.

Valasik, M. (2018). Gang violence predictability: Using risk terrain modeling to study gang homicides and gang assaults in East Los Angeles. Journal of Criminal Justice, 58, 10-21.

Valasik, M., Barton, M. S., Reid, S. E., & Tita, G. E. (2017). Barriocide: investigating the temporal and spatial influence of neighborhood structural characteristics on gang and non-gang homicides in East Los Angeles. Homicide Studies, 21(4), 287-311.

Valasik, M., & Reid, S. E. (2018). The Schrödinger’s Cat of Gang Groups: Can Street Gangs Inform Our Comprehension of Skinheads and Alt-Right Groups?. Deviant Behavior, 1-15.

Valasik, M., & Phillips, M. (2017). Understanding modern terror and insurgency through the lens of street gangs: ISIS as a case study. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 3(3), 192-207.

Gender & Crime

Becker, S., & McCorkel, J. A. (2011). The gender of criminal opportunity: The impact of male co-offenders on women’s crime. Feminist Criminology, 6(2), 79-110.

Gentrification & Crime

Barton, M. S. (2016). Gentrification and violent crime in New York City. Crime & Delinquency, 62(9), 1180-1202.

Barton, M. S., & Gruner, C. P. (2016). A theoretical explanation of the influence of gentrification on neighborhood crime. Deviant Behavior, 37(1), 30-46.

Inequality & Crime

Becker, S. (2014). “Because That’s What Justice Is to Us”: Exploring the Racialized Collateral Consequences of New Parochialism. Critical Criminology, 22(2), 199-218.

Becker, S. (2013). An intersectional analysis of differential opportunity structures for community-based anticrime efforts. Race and Justice, 3(1), 31-57.


Brantingham, P. J., Valasik, M., & Mohler, G. O. (2018). Does Predictive Policing Lead to Biased Arrests? Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial. Statistics and Public Policy, 5(1), 1-6.

Clifton, S., Torres, J., & Hawdon, J. (2018). Whatever gets you through the night: officer coping strategies after the high-profile line of duty deaths in Dallas and Baton Rouge. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 1-15.

Torres, J. (2018). Predicting law enforcement confidence in going ‘hands-on’: the impact of martial arts training, use-of-force self-efficacy, motivation, and apprehensiveness. Police Practice and Research, 1-17.

Torres, J. A. (2017). Predicting perceived police effectiveness in public housing: police contact, police trust, and police responsiveness. Policing and Society, 27(4), 439-459.

Torres, J., Apkarian, J., & Hawdon, J. (2016). Banishment in public housing: Testing an evolution of broken windows. Social Sciences, 5(4), 61.

Torres, J., Reling, T., & Hawdon, J. (2018). Role Conflict and the Psychological Impacts of the Post-Ferguson Period on Law Enforcement Motivation, Cynicism, and Apprehensiveness. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 1-17. DOI: 10.1007/s11896-018-9284-y

Valasik, M., Reid, S. E., & Phillips, M. D. (2016). CRASH and burn: abatement of a specialised gang unit. Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 2(2), 95-106.

Race & Crime

Becker, S. (2007). Race and Violent Offender “Propensity”: Does the Intraracial Nature of Violent Crime Persist on the Local Level?. Justice Research and Policy, 9(2), 53-86.

Shihadeh, E. S. (2009). Race, class, and crime: Reconsidering the spatial effects of social isolation on rates of urban offending. Deviant Behavior, 30(4), 349-378.

Shihadeh, E. S., & Barranco, R. E. (2010). Latino immigration, economic deprivation, and violence: Regional differences in the effect of linguistic isolation. Homicide Studies, 14(3), 336-355.

Shihadeh, E. S., & Barranco, R. E. (2010). Latino employment and black violence: the unintended consequence of US immigration policy. Social Forces, 88(3), 1393-1420.

Shihadeh, E. S., & Flynn, N. (1996). Segregation and crime: The effect of black social isolation on the rates of black urban violence. Social Forces, 74(4), 1325-1352.

Shihadeh, E. S., & Ousey, G. C. (1998). Industrial restructuring and violence: The link between entry-level jobs, economic deprivation, and black and white homicide. Social Forces, 77(1), 185-206.

Shihadeh, E. S., & Winters, L. (2010). Church, place, and crime: Latinos and homicide in new destinations. Sociological Inquiry, 80(4), 628-649.

Torres, J. (2015). Race/Ethnicity and Stop‐and‐Frisk: Past, Present, Future. Sociology Compass, 9(11), 931-939.

Rural Crime/Violence

D'Antonio-Del Rio, J. M., Doucet, J. M., & Chauvin, C. D. (2010). Violent and vindictive women: A re-analysis of the southern subculture of violence. Sociological Spectrum, 30(5), 484-503.

Doucet, J. M., D’Antonio-Del Rio, J. M., & Chauvin, C. D. (2014). GRITS: The Southern Subculture of Violence and Homicide Offenses by Girls Raised in the South. Journal of interpersonal violence, 29(5), 806-823.

Lee, M. R. (2008). Civic community in the hinterland: Toward a theory of rural social structure and violence. Criminology, 46(2), 447-478.

Lee, M. R., & Bartkowski, J. P. (2004). Love thy neighbor? Moral communities, civic engagement, and juvenile homicide in rural areas. Social Forces, 82(3), 1001-1035.

Lee, M. R., Maume, M. O., & Ousey, G. C. (2003). Social isolation and lethal violence across the metro/nonmetro divide: The effects of socioeconomic disadvantage and poverty concentration on homicide. Rural Sociology, 68(1), 107-131.

Lee, M. R., & Shihadeh, E. S. (2009). The spatial concentration of Southern whites and argument-based lethal violence. Social Forces, 87(3), 1671-1694.

Lee, M. R., & Stevenson, G. D. (2006). Gender-specific homicide offending in rural areas. Homicide Studies, 10(1), 55-73.

Sexual Aggression

Becker, S., & Tinkler, J. (2015). “Me Getting Plastered and Her Provoking My Eyes” Young People’s Attribution of Blame for Sexual Aggression in Public Drinking Spaces. Feminist Criminology, 10(3), 235-258.

Tinkler, J. E., Becker, S., & Clayton, K. A. (2018). “Kind of Natural, Kind of Wrong”: Young People's Beliefs about the Morality, Legality, and Normalcy of Sexual Aggression in Public Drinking Settings. Law & Social Inquiry, 43(1), 28-57.

Youth Crime

Thomas, S. A., & Shihadeh, E. S. (2013). Institutional isolation and crime: The mediating effect of disengaged youth on levels of crime. Social Science Research, 42(5), 1167-1179.


Michael S. Barton, Associate Professor
Sarah Becker,  Associate Professor
Chantel Chauvin, Instructor
Matthew R. Lee, Professor
Edward S. Shihadeh, Professor
Ginger Stevenson, Instructor
Jose Torres, Assistant Professor
Matthew Valasik, Associate Professor