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Charis E. Kubrin

Professor of Criminology, Law, and Society
University of California, Irvine


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Criminology ( University of Washington )

Discipline Area

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Societal Priority

Children, Youth, & Families;Civic Engagement, Activism, & Social Movements;Law & Criminal Justice;Organizational Behavior & Culture

Social Category Focus

Race & Ethnicity


Charis E. Kubrin is a professor of criminology, law, and society and (by courtesy) sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Professor Kubrin's research focuses on neighborhoods, race, and violence as central to social disorganization theory. A related line of research examines the intersection of music, culture, and social identity, particularly as it applies to hip-hop and minority youth in disadvantaged communities. In 2005, Professor Kubrin received the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology (a national award given to recognize outstanding scholarly contributions to the discipline of criminology) and the Morris Rosenberg Award for Recent Achievement from the District of Columbia Sociological Society (given to recognize outstanding sociological achievement during the past three years). In 2014, Professor Kubrin received the University of California, Irvine, School of Social Ecology, Dean's Diversity Research Award (given to recognize excellence in research on diversity and inclusion) and the American Society of Criminology, Division on People of Color and Crime, Coramae Richey Mann Award (for outstanding contributions of scholarship on race/ethnicity, crime, and justice). Most recently, she received the W.E.B. DuBois Award from the Western Society of Criminology (for significant contributions to racial and ethnic issues in the field of criminology). In 2007, she was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Criminology at Oxford University.

Current Work

Professor Kubrin has several ongoing projects related to her research interests in race/ethnicity and violence, rap music and media, culture and crime, and crime and crime trends. First, her work on the immigration-crime relationship reveals that immigrants commit less crime than their native-born counterparts and that immigration to an area causes crime to go down rather than up. In light of these findings, with funding from the National Science Foundation, she is currently examining what factors may account for lower crime rates in immigrant communities. Second, Professor Kubrin continues a long line of experimental research examining the impact of introducing defendant-authored rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials, a practice she refers to as "rap on trial." In this research she evaluates how stereotyping and bias play into evaluations of rap lyrics and those who write them. Finally, Professor Kubrin has been evaluating the impact of various criminal justice reforms related to prison downsizing on crime rates in the state of California. Her findings suggest we can downsize our prisons without compromising public safety.

Research Area Keyword(s)

Crime and crime trends; culture and crime; race/ethnicity and violence; rap music and media