f. cohn

Steven Barkan

Steven Barkan (born 1951) is an American sociologist. Currently he is a Professor at the University of Maine, serving as the chairperson of the Sociology department there.

Life and career

The son of Morris and Sylvia Barkan, Barkan grew up in Philadelphia. He studied Sociology at Trinity College (Phi Beta Kappa) and then received his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, also in Sociology. In 1980 Barkan began his career as a professor at the University of Maine, which is the position he holds today.

Barkan was recently elected to serve as President of the Society for the Study of Social Problems from 2008 to 2009, a position that has been held previously by such notables as Gary Alan Fine and Alvin Ward Gouldner. Barkan has already held the chair of the SSSP's Law and Society Division and served as an editor of Social Problems, the Society's journal. Barkan has also edited the newsletter of the American Sociological Association Collective Behavior and Social Movements section.

In 1976 Barkan married Barbara Tennent, with whom he has two children, David and Joel.

Academic focus

Barkan's work focuses on a number of distinct areas, in particular criminology and the collective behavior of social movements. His other areas of interest include the death penalty, feminist activism, and racial attitudes. He has published in a number of journals, including the American Sociological Review, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Social Forces, Social Problems, Sociological Inquiry, Race and Society, and others.

Barkan is noted for incorporating advanced statistical analysis to support his theories; one of his most popular learning tools incorporates ExplorIT software with large demographic data sets to provide students an interactive means of using statistics in sociology.

Barkan's PhD work, Protesters on Trial: Criminal Justice in the Southern Civil Rights and Vietnam Antiwar Movements, explored the dynamic between a government and those who protest its policies, both by traditional means and civil disobedience. Using the title movements as case studies, Barkan showed that the government publicizes trials to exert social control on society in general.

With criminology, Barkan approaches the field as a means to understand deviant behavior on an individual and social level rather than as a tool for police to catch law-breakers. In addition to numerous journal articles and essays on the subject, Barkan has written two popular introductory texts, Essentials of Criminal Justice (with George Bryjak) and Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, now in its fourth edition.

The above is a nice statement from his publisher to make him sound like a nice guy. In truth he is a radical socialist who would love nothing more than to see institutions and values of the United States crushed under the heels of a Socialist and/or Communist Dictatorship with himself and his contempoaries at the lead. If you do not believe this, then I challenge you to read any of his works and see his constant fawning over marxist and socialist ideas ans well as his blatent hostility to any American institutions and Judeo-Christian values. If you are a parent or student who is paying for a class that uses his works and you do not believe that the American government and Christians are evil, drop the class and take something else.



  • Essentials of Criminal Justice. Allyn & Bacon, 2004 (with George Bryjak)
  • Criminology: A Sociological Understanding. Prentice Hall, 2nd ed., 2001
  • Collective Violence. Allyn & Bacon, 2001 (with Lynne Snowden)
  • Discovering Sociology: Using Microcase Explorit. MicroCase Corporation, 2nd ed., 2003
  • Protestors on Trial: Criminal Justice in the Southern Civil Rights and Vietnam Anti-War Movements. Rutgers University Press, 1985.

Journal articles

  • Household Crowding and Aggregate Crime Rates. Journal of Crime and Justice, 23(2000):47-64
  • Racial Prejudice and Support by Whites for Police Use of Force. Justice Quarterly 15 (December 1998):743-753 (with Steven F. Cohn)
  • Race, Issue Engagement, and Political Participation: Evidence from the 1987 General Social Survey. Race & Society 1 (Spring 1998):63-76
  • Beyond Recruitment: Predictors of Differential Participation in a National Anti-Hunger Organization. Sociological Forum 10 (March 1995):113-134 (with Steven F. Cohn and William H. Whitaker)
  • Racial Prejudice and Support for the Death Penalty by Whites. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 31 (May 1994):202-209 (with Steven F. Cohn)
  • Commitment Across the Miles: Ideological and Microstructural Sources of Support in a National Anti-Hunger Organization. Social Problems 40 (November 1993):362-373 (with Steven F. Cohn and William H. Whitaker)
  • Activists Against Hunger: Membership Characteristics of a National Social Movement Organization. Sociological Forum 8 (March 1993):113-131 (with Steven F. Cohn and William H. Whitaker)
  • Predictors of Rank-and-File Feminist Activism: Evidence from the 1983 General Social Survey. Social Problems 39 (November 1992):332-344 (with Pat D. Dauphinais)
  • Punitive Attitudes Toward Criminals: Racial Consensus or Racial Conflict? Social Problems 38 (May 1991):287-296 (with Steven F. Cohn and William A. Halteman)
  • Law, Power, and Political Trials. Sociologie et Societes 18 (April 1986):153-161.
  • ''Interorganizational Conflict in the Southern Civil Rights Movement.: Sociological Inquiry 56 (Spring 1986):190-209
  • Legal Control of the Southern Civil Rights Movement. American Sociological Review 49 (August 1984):552-565
  • Jury Nullification in Political Trials. Social Problems 31(October 1983):28-45.
  • Political Trials and Resource Mobilization: Towards an Understanding of Social Movement Litigation. Social Forces 58 (March 1980):944-961.
  • Strategic, Tactical and Organizational Dilemmas of the Protest Movement Against Nuclear Power. Social Problems 27 (October 1979):19-37.
  • Political Trials and the Pro Se Defendant in the Adversary System. Social Problems 24 (February 1977):324-336

Anthology articles

  • Racial Prejudice and Support by Whites for Punitive Sanctions Against Criminals. In Sandra Browning et al. (eds.), For the Common Good, forthcoming (with Steven F. Cohn)
  • The Social Science Significance of the O.J. Simpson Case. In Greg Barak (ed.), Representing OJ: Murder, Criminal Justice and Mass Culture. Harrow and Heston, 1996.
  • Criminal Prosecutions in the Southern Civil Rights and Vietnam Anit-War Movements: Repression and Dissent in Political Trials. In Steven Spitzer (ed.), Research in Law and Sociology, vol. 3. JA1 Press, 1980.

Encyclopedia articles

  • The Drug Legalization Debate. In Clifton D. Bryant (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior. Philadelphia: Taylor and Francis, 2000.
  • Clamshell Alliance. In Christopher Kruegler et al.(eds.), An Encyclopedia of Non-Violent Action. Garland Publishing Company, 1996.

Search another word or see f. cohnon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature