Crime and Deviance at Social Forces

Mathieu Deflem
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This is a copy of a paper published in Crime and Juvenile Delinquency Division News, SSSP Newsletter, Winter 2005, p. 2. Also available as PDF file.

Please cite as: Deflem, Mathieu. 2005. “Crime and Deviance at Social Forces.” Letter. Crime and Juvenile Delinquency Division News, SSSP Newsletter, Winter 2005, p. 2.

I bring to the attention of my colleagues in the area of sociology of crime and deviance the new editorial policy at the journal Social Forces to not send out for review “specialized papers in the areas of criminology, public health, and urban planning” (Editor's note, Social Forces, December 2004, p. 460). Given that Social Forces is such a central journal that plays a leading role in the dissemination of groundbreaking social research, this drastic editorial change --if left unchallenged-- will have serious consequences for our sociological specialty, especially in terms of its standing among our sociological colleagues outside the area.

The new editorial policy of exclusion of certain areas at Social Forces does not stand alone. It is part of a major change at the journal that also involves the adoption of principles of so-called public sociology to include normative discussions in articles that do not have to pass the peer-review process (See Deflem, Mathieu. 2005. “Southernizing Social Forces.” The Southern Sociologist, Newsletter of the Southern Sociological Society, 36(3):12-15).

If you wish to help in keeping our specialty area retain its due place in our discipline, I hope you will voice your concerns to our colleagues, to the SF editorial board (, and to the Sociology Department at UNC, which publishes the journal (

See related writings on public sociology.