RJ Maratea

Rome 203
Rome Hall
801 22nd. St NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Mass communication and the construction of social reality, Deviance, Social Problems, Social Control, Inequality, Capital Punishment, Criminological Theory


R.J. Maratea’s teaching and research focuses on areas of interest in sociology, criminology, and criminal justice. He is particularly attentive to the ways that mass media and technology foster dynamic new communication and activism platforms while simultaneously reinforcing normative power structures and shaping collective understandings of criminal and deviant identity, inequality, and social control. He also studies the legal history of capital punishment in the United States, specifically in relation to sentencing proportionality and the institutionalization of structural discrimination in the justice system. More information about his teaching and research is available on his website.

Current Research

“The Art of the Spiel: Twitter and Political Rhetoric in the Age of Trump” (with Brian Monahan)

“A Comparative Review of Texas Death Sentences” (with David P. Keys and Carlos Posadas)

“Debating Death: Emotion, Morality, and Capital Punishment Discourse in Cyberspace” (with David P. Keys, Ryan Ricciardi, and Elizabeth Mikstzal)

“From ‘Legal’ Lynching to Legal ‘Lynching’: The Chicago Defender and a Foucauldian Analysis of Racialized Punishment” (with David P. Keys and Carlos Posadas)

“Normative Work in an Online Frontier: Negotiating Status Degradation and Cyber-Shaming” (with Brian Monahan)

“Seeing Through the Watch Queen: Laud Humphrey’s Fieldwork and the Pragmatic Writing of Tearoom Trade” (with David P. Keys)



PhD University of Delaware, 2009



Maratea, R.J. 2019. Killing with Prejudice: Institutionalized Racism in American Capital Punishment. New York: NYU Press.

Maratea, R.J. and Brian Monahan. 2016. Social Problems in Popular Culture. Chicago: Policy Press.

Maratea, R.J. 2014. The Politics of the Internet: Political Claims-making in Cyberspace and How It’s Affecting Modern Political Activism. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Edited Volumes

Keys, David P. and R.J. Maratea, 2016. Race and the Death Penalty: The Legacy of McCleskey v. Kemp. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

Journal Articles

Kavanaugh, Philip R. and R.J. Maratea. 2019. “Digital Ethnography in an Age of Information Warfare: Notes from the Field.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (published online June 6, 2019).

Kavanaugh, Philip R. and R.J. Maratea. 2016. “Identity, Resistance, and Moderation in an Online Community of Zoosexuals.” Sexualities 19(1/2): 3-24.

Maratea, R.J. 2015. “Online Claims-making: The NRA and Gun Advocacy in Cyberspace.” Qualitative Sociology Review 11(2): 144-59.

Maratea, R.J. and Brian Monahan. 2013. “Crime Control as Mediated Spectacle: The Institutionalization of Gonzo Rhetoric in Modern Media and Politics.” Symbolic Interaction 36(3): 261-74.

Panagia, Giancarlo and R.J. Maratea. 2012. “Practices of Inverting the Law: Internal Colonialism on Fort Belknap.” Green Theory & Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy 6(1): 35-54.Maratea, R.J. and Philip R. Kavanaugh. 2012. “Deviant Identity in Online Contexts: New Directives in the Study of a Classic Concept.” Sociology Compass 6(2): 102-12.

Maratea, R.J. 2011. “Screwing the Pooch: Legitimizing Accounts in a Zoophilia On-line Community.” Deviant Behavior 32(10): 918-43.

Keys, David and R.J. Maratea. 2011. “Life Experience and the Value-Free Foundations of Blumer’s Collective Behavior Theory.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 47(2): 173-86.

Maratea, R.J. 2008. “The e-Rise and Fall of Social Problems: The Blogosphere as a Public Arena.” Social Problems 55(1): 139-60.

Altheide, David L., Barbara Gray, Roy Janisch, Lindsay Korbin, R.J. Maratea, Debra Neill, Joseph Reaves, and Felicia Van Deman. 2001. “News Constructions of Fear and Victim: An Exploration Through Triangulated Qualitative Document Analysis.” Qualitative Inquiry 7(3): 304-22.

Book Chapters

Maratea, R.J., Amanda Kerbel, Sophia Frontale, and Katarina Veevers-Carter. Forthcoming. “It’s a Dog Eat Dog World: Navigating Stigma in a Zoophilia Online Community.” in Deviance Today, 2nd ed., edited by A. Conyers and T.C. Calhoun.

Maratea, R.J., Philip R. Kavanaugh, and Joshua Tafoya. 2017. “Zoosexual Identity Talk and the Disciplining of Discourse.” Pp. 282-292 in Routledge Handbook on Deviance, edited by S.E. Brown and O. Sefiha. New York: Routledge.

Maratea, R.J. 2016. “Overcoming Moral Peril: How Empirical Research Can Affect Death Penalty Debates.” Pp. 51-70 in Race and the Death Penalty: The Legacy of McCleskey v. Kemp, edited by D.P. Keys and R.J. Maratea. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

Maratea, R.J. and David P. Keys. 2016. “McCleskey v. Kemp and the Reaffirmation of Separate but Equal.” Pp. 7-20 in Race and the Death Penalty: The Legacy of McCleskey v. Kemp, edited by D.P. Keys and R.J. Maratea. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

Kavanaugh, Philip R. and R.J. Maratea. 2014. “[A]moral Panics and Risk in Contemporary Drug and Viral Pandemic Claims.” Pp. 378-88 in Understanding Deviance: Connecting Classical and Contemporary Perspectives, edited by T.L. Anderson. New York: Routledge.

Monahan, Brian A. and R.J. Maratea. 2013. “Breaking News on Nancy Grace: Violent Crime in the Media.” Pp. 209-27 in Making Sense of Social Problems: New Images, New Issues, edited by. J. Best and S.R. Harris. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

Technical Reports

Keys, David and R.J Maratea. 2011. Study of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) Assessment Through Scope of Work. Las Cruces, NM: International Law Enforcement Academy Project, New Mexico State University.

Classes Taught

SOC 1003 Introduction to Criminal Justice

SOC 2136 Criminology

SOC 2178 Deviance and Control

SOC 2189 Cybercriminology

SOC 2189 Race and Crime

SOC 6259 Criminology