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Jacob Becker


Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
506 Varner
(248) 370-4540
[email protected]


I earned my Ph.D. in Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University in 2014, studying how changes in neighborhood conditions (like economic disadvantage and residential stability) impact social control and crime in the city of Chicago. Since joining Oakland University, I’ve continued this line of research and expanded to explore how these neighborhood “life course” effects work in other cities like San Francisco and Detroit. I’ve also cultivated a research interest in pedagogy and best-practices for the college classroom. I regularly teach core classes for the Criminal Justice program, as well as developed the “Geography of Crime” course and revamped the “Criminology and Public Policy” course. I am an active member in the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Communities and Place, and a dedicated member of Oakland University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP).


Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University (Sociology)

M.A., The Pennsylvania State University (Crime, Law, and Justice)

M.A., Duquesne University (Public Policy)

B.A., Duquesne University (Sociology)

Research Interests

Communities and crime; quantitative analysis, urban sociology, GIS and crime mapping

Selected Publications

Becker, Jacob H. 2020. “Social organization and homicide rates in Chicago neighborhoods: the role of structural stability and change.” Journal of Crime and Justice 43(3): 518-534.

Becker, Jacob H. 2019. “Within-neighborhood dynamics: disadvantage, collective efficacy, and homicide rates in Chicago.” Social Problems 66(3): 428-447.

Condron, Dennis J., Jacob H. Becker, and Linda Bzhetaj. 2018. “Sources of students’ anxiety in a multidisciplinary social statistics course.” Teaching Sociology 46(4): 346-355.

Paino, Maria, Matthew May, Lori A. Burrington, and Jacob H. Becker. 2017. “Intersectionopoly: a simulation of the wage gap.” Teaching Sociology 45(2): 177-186.

Becker, Jacob H. 2016. “The dynamics of neighborhood structural conditions: the effects of concentrated disadvantage on homicide over time and space.” City & Community 15(1): 64-82.

Courses Taught

  • CRJ 1100: Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJ 2100: Criminological Theory
  • CRJ 3320: Criminology and Public Policy
  • CRJ 3351: Geography of Crime
  • SOC 2020: Social Statistics with Computer Applications

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal Justice

Varner Hall Room 518
371 Varner Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2420
fax: (248) 370-4608

Social Work
Varner, Room 513
371 Varner Dr.
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(248) 370-2371
[email protected]