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Stacy DeCoster



Department of Sociology and Anthropology

1911 Bldg 323

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Stacy De Coster is Professor of Sociology and Criminology and is a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers. She is Past Chair of the Crime, Law, and Deviance section of the American Sociological Association and serves on editorial boards for Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, Society & Mental Health, and Social Currents.

Dr. De Coster researches and teaches in the areas of gender and crime, juvenile delinquency, intersectionalities and violence, and gendered victimization.  Her main streams of research focus on: (1) theorizing and analyzing patterns of offending, punishment, and victimization across gender, race, poverty, and intersectional inequalities; (2) articulating how inequality, community and family life, identities, emotions, and well-being  coalesce to inform  offending, victimization, and post-incarceration reentry experiences; and (3) applying core insights from criminological and intersectionality theories to diverse phenomenon, including juvenile delinquency, intimate partner violence, mental health, sexual harassment, and reentry.

Dr. De Coster’s research has been published in criminology journals (Annual Review of Criminology, Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Theoretical Criminology, and Feminist Criminology), sociology journals (Sociological Perspectives, Sociological Quarterly, and Work and Occupations), interdisciplinary journals (Youth & Society and Journal of Youth and Adolescence), and book volumes and series.

Current Projects

Some of Dr. De Coster’s current research projects focus on (1) how mothers who have been formerly incarcerated navigate reentry into their communities and families, with an emphasis on the resources and constraints they face in actively pursuing community and family life; (2) how controlling images influence shopping experiences among Black men and women, with an emphasis on the burdensome emotional and cognitive work  and strategies Black shoppers describe engaging in their efforts to meet everyday consumption needs; and (3) exploring connections between identity and reentry, with an emphasis on the myriad hardships that interrupt the formation or realization of identity projects during emerging/expedited adulthood among women who end up in the carceral system.

Teaching and Research Interests

Crime and Social Control; Sociology of Mental Health; Inequality: Gender, Race, Class, and Intersecting Inequalities; Social Psychology; Sociology of Family


For full list see vitae:

Inequalities (Gender, Race, Poverty, Intersectionalities) and Offending:

“Trends in women’s incarceration rates in U.S. prisons and jails: A tale of inequalities.”

“Techniques of Identity Talk in Reentering Mothers’ Self-Narratives: (M)Othering and Redemption Narratives.” 

“Unifying Theory and Research on Intimate Partner Violence: A Feminist Perspective.” 

 “Choice within Constraint: An Explanation of Crime at the Intersections.”

 “Race and General Strain Theory: Microaggressions as Mundane Extreme Environmental Stresses.”

“Gender and Theories of Delinquency.”

“Neighborhood Disadvantage, Social Capital, Street Context, and Youth Violence.”  

“Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Unanticipated Consequences of Modern Social Control in Organizations.” 

“The Gendering of Violent Delinquency.”  

“Routine Activities and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

Family Inequalities, Family Processes, and Offending:

“Impoverished Single-Mother Households and Violent Delinquency: Bonding, Negative and Bridging Social Capital”

“Techniques of Identity Talk in Reentering Mothers’ Self-Narratives: (M)Othering and Redemption Narratives.”  

“Family Structure, Maternal Dating, and Sexual Debut: Extending the Conceptualization of Instability” 

 “Social Relationships and Delinquency: Rethinking Parent and Peer Influence During Adolescence.”

“Maternal Roles and Adolescent Depression: Conditions and Processes of Influence.” 

“Mothers’ Work and Family Roles, Gender Ideologies, Distress, and Parenting: Consequences for Delinquency.”

“The Gendering of Violent Delinquency.”   

Mental Health, Emotions, Identities, and Delinquency:

“Reconsidering Labels and Primary Deviance: False Appraisals, Reflected Appraisals, and Delinquency Onset.”

“Depression and Law Violation: Gendered Responses to Gendered Stresses.” 

“The Relationship Between Law Violation and Depression: An Interactionist Analysis.”

“Gender and General Strain Theory: The Gendering of Emotional Experiences and Expressions.”

“How General is General Strain Theory: Assessing Issues of Determinacy and Indeterminacy.”

“Maternal Roles and Adolescent Depression: Conditions and Processes of Influence.” 

“Mothers’ Work and Family Roles, Gender Ideologies, Distress, and Parenting: Consequences for Delinquency.” 


Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Past Chair, Crime, Law, and Deviance Section of the ASA
Criminology, Editorial Board
Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency, Editorial Board
Social Currents, Editorial Board
Society & Mental Health, Editorial Board


Ph.D. Sociology University of Iowa 1999

M.A. Sociology University of Iowa 1995

B.A. Sociology and Philosophy Saint Norbert College 1992