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Department of Sociology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Mathieu Deflem

Title: Professor
Department: Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-3123
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Mathieu Deflem


Mathieu Deflem studied sociology and anthropology at universities in Belgium, England, and the United States. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1996. His research and teaching areas include sociology of law, social control, popular culture, and sociological theory. Recent research projects deal with the culture of fame, law and visual sociology, anti-police violence, the policing of terrorism, and the sociological profession.


Substantive research interests: Sociology of law; Crime and social control; Sociological theory

Department cluster: Institutions

Research overview: In the area of popular culture, recent research has concerned the conditions of fame in contemporary celebrity culture. Sociological work on law and social control has primarily centered on the police dimensions of counterterrorism, radicalization, and theoretical efforts on social control.

Current projects: Historical project on the politics of Interpol; Pop culture project on women in heavy metal.


SOCY 302 Sociological Theory
SOCY 507 Sociology of Social Control
SOCY 540 Sociology of Law
SOCY 560 Advanced Sociological Theory 

Selected Publications


2020      (Co-Editor with Derek Silva) Radicalization and Counter-radicalization. Emerald.  

2019      (Editor) The Handbook of Social Control. Wiley-Blackwell.

2017      Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame: The Rise of a Pop Star in an Age of Celebrity. Palgrave Macmillan.

Articles and Chapters:

2020      “Exporting Preemption: The Transnational Diffusion of Counter-radicalisation Policing Strategies.” (second author, with Derek Silva). In The Development of Transnational Policing: Past, Present and Future, edited by J.L.M. McDaniel et al. Routledge. 

2019      “Popular Culture and Social Control: The Moral Panic on Music Labeling.” American Journal of Criminal Justice (First online: July 24, 2019). 

2019      “The New Ethics of Pop: Celebrity Activism Since Lady Gaga.” In Pop Cultures: Sconfinamenti Alterdisciplinari, edited by M. Stramaglia. Pensa Multimedia. 

2018      “Anomie, Strain, and Opportunity Structures: Robert K. Merton’s Paradigm of Deviant Behavior.” In The Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Criminology, edited by R. Triplett. Wiley-Blackwell.

Copies of writings are available via

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