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Crime: Social Control and Violence

The study of crime, social control, and violence has become arguably the fastest growing subfield within sociology. At its heart, the study of social control and violence speaks to what it means to have society and community, as many of our most basic human relations are shaped by notions of right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. Sociology faculty within the crime subfield at West Virginia University bring a great diversity of theoretical orientations and methodological innovations to the study of social control and violence. Current faculty research includes studies of domestic violence, self-defense, crime and inequality, corrections institutions, substance abuse treatment programs, hate crimes, neighborhood inequalities, victimization, fear of crime, suicide, violent conflict among inmates, police reconstruction, neighborhood dynamics, and state control. Proposed graduate course offerings reflect this great diversity. After taking a required criminological theory course, students may take electives in theories of violence, sociology of violence, victimology, violence against women, gender and crime, police culture and socialization, rural criminology, community, crime, and disorder, race, crime, and community, the sociology of conflict, and cultural criminology.

The objective of this area of specialization is to not only leave students with a broad understanding of influential classics and cutting-edge research in the field of sociological criminology, but also to stimulate student thought about the intersection of science, public policy, and social action, with an emphasis on producing high-quality scientific research that is able to impact important public debates on crime and justice.

The required course in the crime specialization is SOCA 740 – Sociological Theories of Crime and Deviance.

The elective courses in the crime specialization may include: