Welcome to the Sociology Department

Patrick Carr

Patrick Carr Patrick Carr is Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, and is an Associate Member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 1998, and his research interests include communities and crime, informal social control, youth violence, and the transition to adulthood. He is the co-author, along with Maria J. Kefalas of Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America (2009, Beacon Press), and author of Clean Streets: Controlling Crime, Maintaining Order and Building Community Activism (2005, NYU Press). He has published in the American Journal of Sociology, Criminology, Sociological Forum and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and other peer review outlets.

Selected Publications

Clampet-Lundquist, Susan, Patrick J. Carr, and Maria J. Kefalas. 2015. "The Sliding Scale of Snitching: A Qualitative Examination of Snitching in Three Philadelphia Communities." Sociological Forum 30(2): 265-285.

Carr, Patrick J. 2010. “The Problem with Experimental Criminology: A Response to Sherman’s ‘Evidence and Liberty’” Crime and Criminal Justice, 10 (1): 3-10.

Carr, Patrick J., Laura Napolitano, and Jessica Keating. 2007. “We Never Call the Cops and Here is Why: A Qualitative Examination of Legal Cynicism in Three Philadelphia Neighborhoods.” Criminology, 45(2): 701-736.

Zaire Dinzey-Flores

Zaire Dinzey-Flores Zaire Dinzey-Flores’ research focuses on understanding how urban space mediates community life and social inequality. Dinzey-Flores uses an interdisciplinary lens (sociology, urban planning, public policy), mixed-method approaches, and often a comparative Caribbean-U.S. framework, to investigate the processes that cement the built environment and unequally distribute power. She is particularly interested in housing and urban residential (housing and neighborhood) design: the underlying logics and policies that drive design, how design is interpreted, used, and experienced, and the consequences for communities and residents of cities. Dinzey-Flores has published articles on public housing policy and design in Puerto Rico and race and class segregation and inequality in Puerto Rico.

Dinzey-Flores’s first book,  Locked In, Locked Out: Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City, attends to questions of race, class, and gender inequality as they are recreated and contained in and negotiated through the physical built environment, and particularly through the use of community gates in private and public housing enclaves in Puerto Rico. The book examines community gates as a product that, similar to the historical use of cages and fences, has been differentially applied and managed by and for different communities, designed to keep some people and communities out and/or in. The book investigates community gates’ aesthetic and technological aspects, the kinds of ideals contained and sought through their erections, and the complex ways in they marshal, control, or empower communities of differing social and economic conditions.

Selected Publications

Dinzey-Flores, Zaire. 2013. Locked In, Locked Out: Gated Communities of the Rich and Poor in a Puerto Rican City. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Dinzey-Flores, Zaire. 2013. “Islands of Prestige, Gated Ghettos, and Urban-less Lifestyles in Puerto Rico,” Latin American Perspectives, 40 (2):95-104.

Dinzey-Flores, Zaire. 2011. “Criminalizing Communities of Poor, Dark Women in the Caribbean: The Fight against Crime through Puerto Rico’s Public Housing" Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 13(1).

Honors and Awards

Co-winner the Robert E. Park Award issued by the Community and Urban Sociology Section (CUSS) of the Americans Sociological Association for Locked In, Locked Out: Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City.

Paul J. Hirschfield

Paul J. Hirschfield Paul Hirschfield studies criminalization in the legal/political, social, and cultural realms. Specific theoretical and empirical projects have centered on the causes and consequences of criminalization in relation to school misconduct, mental illness, and minor "public order" offenses, with a special focus on inner-city youth. His interest in the consequences of criminalization dates back to his dissertation research, which examined the impact of juvenile arrests on truancy and high school dropout in Chicago. More recently, he demonstrated that differences in juvenile arrest by race and gender are so pronounced that they explain sex differences in high school dropout among African-Americans in Chicago. In addition to criminalization, Dr. Hirschfield is also interested in the causes and consequences of decriminalization and non-criminalization. In that connection, he is currently pursuing projects focused on recent efforts to decriminalize school discipline (e.g., ending zero tolerance and reducing school arrests) and on the non-prosecution of police-perpetrated shootings.

Dr. Hirschfield has used quasi-experimental methods to assess the impact of multiple social interventions including the Moving to Opportunity program and the Comer School Development Program. Most recently, he investigated whether assistance with re-enrollment in appropriate school settings and enrollment in a specialized alternative school setting for ex-offenders reduced dropout and recidivism. Dr. Hirschfield's work has appeared in Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Sociology of Education, Theoretical Criminology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, and elsewhere.

Selected Publications

Hirschfield, Paul J. In Press. "Lethal Policing: Making Sense of American Exceptionalism." Sociological Forum 30(4).

Hirschfield, Paul J. 2014. “Effective and promising practices in transitional planning and school reentry.” The Journal of Correctional Education 65 (2): 84-96.

Hirschfield, Paul. 2009. “Another way out: The impact of juvenile arrests on high school dropout.” Sociology of Education 82: 368-393.


Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Bridges and barriers: The educational attainment of youth returning from detention and correctional facilities.”  Principal Investigator. January 1, 2008-December 31, 2012.

Lauren J. Krivo

Lauren J. Krivo Lauren Krivo’s research focuses on the structural and racialized underpinnings of urban crime and violence.  Her book with Ruth D. Peterson, Divergent Social Worlds: Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide (Russell Sage 2010) shows that inequalities in crime across neighborhoods of distinct colors are rooted in the extraordinary differentials in community conditions that are core components of residential segregation in U.S. urban areas.  She has published widely on the role of segregation in city and neighborhood crime as well as contributing to broader academic dialogue on race, ethnicity, crime, and justice.  She is currently conducting the second wave of the National Neighborhood Crime Study (funded by the National Science Foundation) which will provide the only national panel data on crime in neighborhoods across the United States.  These data will be used to examine how the changing character of neighborhoods and cities promotes or reduces local crime in light of the dramatic economic and social changes that occurred in the United States since 2000.  She is also currently studying the macro-structural sources of lethal violence (with Julie Phillips).  Krivo is the co-founder of the Racial Democracy, Crime, and Justice Network (RDCJN) with Ruth D. Peterson.

Selected Publications

Jackson, Aubrey L., Christopher R. Browning, Lauren J. Krivo, Mei-Po Kwan, and Heather M. Washington. 2015. "The Role of Immigrant Concentration Within and Beyond Residential Neighborhoods in Adolescent Alcohol Use." Journal of Youth and Adolescence. online first, DOI 10.1007/s10964-015-0333-x.

Krivo, Lauren J., Reginald A. Byron, Catherine A. Calder, Ruth D. Peterson, Christopher R. Browning, Mei-Po Kwan, and Jae Yong Lee. 2015. "Patterns of Local Segregation: Do They Matter for Crime?" in press, Social Science Research.

Peterson, Ruth D. and Lauren J. Krivo.  2010.  Divergent Social Worlds:  Neighborhood Crime and the Racial-Spatial Divide.  New York:  Russell Sage.


National Science Foundation, Sociology & Law and Social Science Programs. "Crime and Community in a Changing Society: The National Neighborhood Crime Study 2." Principal Investigator. Collaborative Research Project with Maria Vélez and Christopher Lyons, University of New Mexico. June 2014-May 2016.

National Science Foundation, Sociology Program. "EAGER: Developing an Application for Assessing Respondent Experiences of Their Surroundings in Real Time." Co-Principal Investigator with Janne Lindqvist, Hana Shepherd, and Zaire Dinzey-Flores. January 2015-December 2015.

Honors and Awards

Recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, Division on People of Color and Crime, American Society of Criminology.

Julie Phillips

Julie Phillips Julie Phillips is a social demographer whose research focuses on the causes and consequences of various forms of social inequality. Past work, funded by the National Science Foundation, has examined how and why patterns of U.S. homicide rates vary across place, time, and race/ethnicity.  In addition to this substantive focus, her work on homicide has addressed methodological challenges.  Her current research extends this work on homicide to explore another form of lethal violence, namely suicide.  With funding from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Julie is investigating varying patterns of suicide risk across the life course, time period, and birth cohort, with an emphasis on understanding the rising rates of suicide among middle-aged Baby Boomers.  She is also embarking on a collaborative project with Dr. Lauren Krivo that will investigate the role of immigration in affecting rates of lethal violence.


Selected Publications

Phillips, Julie A.  2014. “A Changing Epidemiology of Suicide? The Influence of Birth Cohorts on Suicide Rates in the United States.”   Social Science and Medicine 114: 151-160.

Phillips, Julie A. 2013. “Panel Methods in Criminology.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology. Ed. Richard Wright. New York: Oxford University Press. Spring 2013.

Phillips, Julie A. and Kenneth Land. 2012. “The Link between Unemployment and Crime Rate Fluctuations: An Analysis at the County, State, and National Levels.” Social Science Research 41(3): 681-694.        


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  “The Changing Epidemiology of Suicide: Life Course, Age, Cohort and Period Factors.”  Principal Investigator. 2014-2016.

Rutgers University Research Council Grant. “The Great Recession and Middle-Aged Suicide Rates.” 2013-2014.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  “Factors Associated with Spatial and Temporal Variation in Suicide Rates.”  Principal Investigator. 2007-2009.

Helene Raskin White

Helene Raskin White Helene R. White is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Sociology Department and the Center of Alcohol Studies. Her research focuses on the development, causes, consequences, comorbidity, and prevention of substance use and other problem behaviors (e.g., violence, delinquency, crime, and mental health problems) using longitudinal data from community and at-risk samples. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since the late 1970s as well as by several foundations. Currently, she is co-Principal Investigator on an R01 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to conduct integrated data analysis of individual-level data from 24 studies of brief interventions designed to reduce heavy drinking and related problems among college students. She is also co-Principal Investigator on an R01 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse examining predictors and consequences of marijuana use trajectories from childhood into young adulthood. Dr. White also collaborates on several other longitudinal studies across the U.S. She has co-authored one book, co-edited three others, and published about 200 articles and chapters. In addition, Dr. White organized the founding of the Section on Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco of the American Sociological Association and was Chair of that section twice. She also serves on several journal Editorial Boards and regularly reviews grants for various NIH study sections.

Selected Publications

Pardini, Dustin, Bechtold, Jordan, Loeber, Rolf, and White, Helene R. In press. "Developmental Trajectories of Marijuana Use in Black and White Men: Examining Linkages with Criminal Offending and Psychopathic Features into the Mid-30s." Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency.

White, Helene R., Eun-Young Mun, Chioun Lee, and Rolf Loeber. 2012. “Developmental Patterns of Alcohol Use in Relation to Persistence and Desistance of Serious Violent Offending among African American and Caucasian Young Men.” Criminology 50:391-426.

Loeber, Rolf, David P. Farrington, D., Magda Stouthamer-Loeber, and Helene R. White. 2008. Violence and Serious Theft: Developmental Course and Origins from Childhood to Adulthood. New York: Routledge Press.


National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Diverging Marijuana Use Trajectories in Black & White Men: Antecedents & Outcomes.” Co-principal investigator with Dustin Pardini. April 2013-March 2016.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Innovative Analyses of Alcohol Intervention Trials for College Students. Co-principal investigator with Eun-Young Mun. April 2010-March 2016.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Persistence and Desistance in Heavy Drinking and Violence.”  Principal Investigator. June 2009-May 2013.

National Institute on Mental Health. “Center for Mental Health Services and Criminal Justice Research.” Research Director, Deputy Director, and Principal Investigator on pilot study. June 2008-May 2014.

NJ Department of Addiction Services. “Rutgers Alliance for Sustainable Risk Reduction.” Co-Investigator. July 2009-June 2011.

Honors and Awards

Helene R. White is listed on the Web of Science ISI Highly Cited list.

In 2009 Helene R. White was listed as one of the Most Cited Authors 2006-2008, International Journal of Drug Policy.

In 2011, Helene R. White was promoted to Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University.

In 2013, Helene R. White was awarded the Translation Science Award from the Society for Prevention Research.

In 2014, Helene R. White was selected as a Fellow of the Society for Prevention Research.

Hana Shepherd

Hana Shepherd Hana Shepherd is currently studying the relationship between social network structure and change, and cultures of peer conflict and harassment in middle schools. The data for this project comes from a year-long field experiment that she co-directed in 56 middle schools in New Jersey, the Roots Program. A starting point of the intervention is the observation that peer conflict in schools often stems from what students believe their peers this is typical and desirable behavior—how they perceive the social norms of the school. The current project and previous work studies the process of forming perceptions of the social norms operating in a group or setting; social norms are central to processes of social control and influence. As part of this work, she is interested in how adults in these schools come to understand peer harassment as a problem or not, and the way that school policies reflect these perceptions.

Selected Publications

Paluck, Elizabeth L. and Hana Shepherd. 2012. "The Salience of Social Referents: A field experiment on collective norms and harassment behavior in a school social network." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 103: 899-915.

Shepherd, Hana and Elizabeth L. Paluck. 2015. "Stopping the Drama: Gendered Influence in a Network Field Experiment." Social Psychology Quarterly 78: 173-193.