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Bruce Hoffman

Bruce Hoffman

Bentley Annex 107

Bruce Hoffman's research lies at the intersection of the fields of sociolegal studies, science studies, social movements, and criminology.  His projects explore the cultural dynamics of law and science, approaching both as normative cultural practices that are institutionally organized yet have cultural lives that extend far beyond their institutionalized practice.  His ongoing work on U.S. birth activism and independent midwifery investigates the complex and subtle ways in which law shapes social movements and how activists use “science” as a strategic resource in their struggles.  A second project explores the significance of material culture for law by studying the design process of justice architecture—a rare moment in which architects, city planners, the judiciary, and other interested parties express and negotiate the meaning and future of law as they attempt to give law and justice material form in a durable, yet adaptable, structure.  A third group of projects involves studying episodes in the “sociology of criminology,” exploring the tension between criminology’s character as scientific knowledge as well as a social practice that is necessarily part of its historical, cultural, institutional, and political contexts.  Dr. Hoffman received a B.A. in Philosophy and History and a M.A in Criminal Justice from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington.  His publications include articles in Law & Social Inquiry, Law & Society Review, Contemporary Justice Review, Journal for Contemporary Criminal Justice, Anthropology Today, Race & Class, and Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies.


  • Ph.D. at University of Washington (2004)


  • Criminological Theory
  • Mass Atrocity and Genocide
  • Human Rights, International Justice, Transnational Activism
  • Law & Society
  • Science Studies
  • Social Movements
  • Social Theory


  • Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Arts & Sciences, 2008


  • Soc 101: Introduction to Sociology
  • Soc 362: Criminology
  • Soc 406: Sociology of Science (Senior Sociology Capstone)
  • Soc 406A: Crimes against Humanity (Senior Criminology Capstone)
  • Soc 464/564: Law in Societies
  • Soc 603: Seminar in Crime and Deviance
  • Soc 611: Seminar in Human Rights, International Justice, & Transnational Activism
  • Hist 269U: Jewish Culture & Civilization (Sections on Jewish Philosophy & Cultural Responses to Modernity)



Hoffman, Bruce, and Ashley Demyan, eds.  2008. Teaching and Learning about Deviance: A Resource Guide.  Sixth Edition.  Washington, D.C., American Sociological Association.

Articles & Chapters

Hoffman, Bruce, and Michelle Brown. Forthcoming 2009.  “Staging an Execution: The Media at McVeigh.”  In K. Hayward and M. Presdee, eds., Cultural Criminology and the Image: Framing Crime in Late Modernity.  London: Cavendish Press.

Hoffman, Bruce. Forthcoming 2009. “Mobilizing Criminology: The Boundaries of Criminological Science and the Politics of Genocide — Review of Darfur and the Crime of Genocide by John Hagan and Wenona Rymond-Richmond.” Review Symposium in Theoretical Criminology.

Hoffman, Bruce. 2009. "Conquest Traditions, Conflict Transformation, and the Cultural Boundaries of Criminology: Rigoberta Menchú and Criminological Science." Contemporary Justice Review 12: 171-189.

Hoffman, Bruce. 2008. “Minding the Gap: Legal Ideals and Strategic Action in State Legislative Hearings.” Law & Social Inquiry 33: 89-126.

Hoffman, Bruce.  2008.  “The Science and Politics of Reducing Child Victimization.”  Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 24: 103-113.

Beckett, Katherine and Bruce Hoffman. 2005. "Challenging Medicine: Law, Resistance, and the Cultural Politics of Childbirth." Law & Society Review 39: 125-70.





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