James E. Hawdon


James E. Hawdon

Director, Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention


205A Norris Hall 
225 Stanger Street 
Blacksburg, VA 24061





Department Membership



  • Crime and Deviance
  • Community and Critical Incident Analysis
  • Substance Use and Abuse
  • Violence Prevention
  • Evaluation Research

Professional Activities

  • Director, Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention
  • Former Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech
  • Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, Montgomery County, Virginia, former Statistical Consultant
  • Department of Sociology, Clemson University, former Director of Graduate Studies
  • Journal of Critical Incident Analysis, former Member of the Editorial Board


  • Ph.D., University of Virginia
  • M.A., University of Virginia
  • B.A., Pennsylvania State University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    Excellence in Research Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2013

    E. Gordon Ericksen Award, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech, 2011

    Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech, 2008

    Selected Publications


    Hawdon, James, Atte Oksanen, Pekka Räsänen, and John Ryan. 2012. School Shootings and Local Communities: An International Comparison between The United States and Finland. University of Turku Press: Turku, Finland.

    Hawdon, James E. 2005. Drugs and Alcohol Consumption as a Function of Social Structure: A Cross-cultural Sociology. Lewistown, N.Y.: Mellen Press.

    Edited Books

    Hawdon, James, John Ryan, and Marc Lucht (editors). 2014. The Causes and Consequences of Group Violence: From Bullies to Terrorists. Lanham, MD: Lexington Press.


    Barlow, Angela and James Hawdon. Forthcoming. “Sex, Drugs, and Deception: Deviance in the Hair Salon Industry.” Deviant Behavior. 

    Näsi, Matti, Atte Oksanen, Pekka Räsänen, Teo Keipi, Emma Holkeri, and James Hawdon. Forthcoming “Association between Online Harassment and Exposure to Harmful Online Content: A Cross-National Comparison between the United States and Finland.” Computers in Human Behavior.

    Hawdon, James, Laura Agnich, and John Ryan. Forthcoming. “Media Framing of a Tragedy: A Content Analysis of Print Media Coverage of the Virginia Tech Tragedy." Traumatology.

    Hawdon, James and Robert Woods. 2014. “Crime, Fear, and Legitimating Ideologies: State of the Union Addresses as Hegemonic Strategy.” Criminal Justice Policy Review. DOI: 10.1177/0734016814538649

    Sponsored Research

    Ratliff, Thomas, James Hawdon, David Snow, Rebecca Barrett-Fox, and Matthew Costello. “Radicalization on the Internet: Virtual Extremism in the U.S. from 2012 – 2017.” Funded for $769,906 over three years from The United States Institute of Justice. 

    Labuski, Christine, Phillip Olson, Patrick Roberts, James Hawdon, Craig Woolsey and Dan Stilwell. “Airing Concerns: A Data-Driven Approach to Autonomous Vehicle Technology Ethics.” $40,000 for one year from the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Sciences. 

    Räsänen, Pekka and Atte Oksanen (co-PIs). With James Hawdon (senior researcher). 2012-2015. “Hate Communities: A Cross-National Comparison.” 205,288 € ($268,928) for three years from the Kone Foundation.

    Additional Information

    Current Projects

    • Radicalization on the Internet: Virtual Extremism in the U.S. from 2012-2017.
    • A comparison of youth exposure to online hate materials in the U.S., Finland, the U.K, and Germany.
    • An agent-based model of racial disparities in incarceration rates.
    • The broader impacts of school shootings.
    • An investigation of the social fields of group violence.