Ronald Weitzer

Ron pic 3.7.16
Professor of Sociology
Phillips Hall
801 22nd St.
Washington DC 20052
[email protected]

Ronald Weitzer received his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985 and has been at George Washington University since 1988.  He is a criminologist, and much of his research has investigated police-minority relations in the United States and in other nations (including Northern Ireland and South Africa).  He is also an expert on the sex industry, with particular expertise on American policies and law enforcement on prostitution and sex trafficking.  A recently completed project involved extensive field research on legal prostitution systems in Europe. For additional information, go to Ronald Weitzer's Wikipedia page.

Current Research

Current research includes a comparative investigation of the regulation of prostitution in Europe and a comprehensive assessment of government and international policies regarding human trafficking.


PhD University of California at Berkeley, 1985



2012. Legalizing Prostitution: From Illicit Vice to Lawful Business. New York University Press.

2010. Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Pornography, and the Sex Industry. 2nd Edition, New York: Routledge.

2006. Race and Policing in America: Conflict and Reform. Cambridge University Press (with Steven Tuch).

Recent Articles

2020, "Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking," Great Decisions (annual journal of the Foreign Policy Association), pages 41-52 

2017, “Theorizing Racial Discord over Policing Before and After Ferguson,” Justice Quarterly, v. 34, no.7

2017. “Recent Ethnographies of the Criminal Justice System,” Society, v.54 (May-June): 292-298

2017, “Resistance to Sex Work Stigma,” Sexualities, DOI: 10.1177/1363460716684509

2017, “Legal Prostitution Systems in Europe,” in Contemporary Organized Crime, (eds) H. Nelen and D. Siegel. New York: Springer

2017, “Young Men Doing Business: Male Bar Prostitution in Berlin and Prague,” Sexualities, DOI: 10.1177/1363460717708139 (with Graham Ellison)

2017, “The Dynamics of Male and Female Street Prostitution in Manchester, England,” Men & Masculinities, v. 20: 181-203 (with Graham Ellison)

2016, “Becoming a Client: The Socialization of Novice Buyers of Sexual Services,” Deviant Behavior (2016) DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2016.1263083  (with Abbe Horswill)

2016, “Framing Human Trafficking: A Content Analysis of Recent U.S. Newspaper Articles,” Journal of Human Trafficking, v.2: 139-155 (with Rachealle Sanford & Daniel Martinez)

2015. “Human Trafficking and Contemporary Slavery,” Annual Review of Sociology, v.41: 223-242

2015. “American Policing under Fire: Misconduct and Reform,” Society, v.52, no.5 (September): 475-480

2015. “Ghent’s Red-Light District in Comparative Perspective,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy, v. 12: 248-260 (with Dominique Boels)

2015. “Policing Different Racial Groups in the United States,” Cahiers Politie Studies, v.35: 129-145 (with Rod Brunson)

2015. “Researching Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Comparatively,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy, v.12: 81-91

2014. “Legalizing Recreational Marijuana: Comparing Ballot Outcomes in Four States,” Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology, v.2 (October): 193-218 (with Kenneth Leon)

2014. Co-Editor, special journal volume on Human Trafficking, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v. 653 (May)

2014. “New Directions in Research on Human Trafficking,” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v. 653 (May): 6-24

2014. “The Social Ecology of Red-Light Districts: A Comparison of Antwerp and Brussels,” Urban Affairs Review, v.50: 702-730

2014. “Sex Work, Gender, and Criminal Justice,” in The Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime, R. Gartner & B. McCarthy (eds.), Oxford University Press

2014. “Europe’s Legal Red-Light Districts: Comparing Different Models and Distilling Best Practices,” in Reframing Prostitution, N. Persak & G. Vermeulen (eds.), Maklu Publishers

2014. “Police Race Relations,” in The Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing, M. Reisig & R. Kane (eds.), Oxford University Press

2014. “The Puzzling Neglect of Hispanic Americans in Research on Police-Citizen Relations,” Ethnic and Racial Studies, v. 37 (September)

2013. “African American Perceptions of Police Misconduct and Accountability,” Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology, v.1 (October): 243-266 (with Rod Brunson)

2013. “Sex Work in the Twenty-First Century” [special invited Critical-Retrospective Essay], Contemporary Sociology, v. 45 (September): 713-722 

2013. “Organizations Working on Behalf of Prostitutes: An Analysis of Goals, Practices, and Strategies,” Sexualities, v. 16: 445-466 (with Sharon Oselin)

2012. "The Intimacy Prism: Emotion Management Among the Clients of Escorts," Men and Masculinities, v. 15: 447-467 (with Christine Milrod)

Classes Taught

Undergraduate Courses:
SOC 2111 - Field Research
SOC 2177 - Sociology of the Sex Industry
SOC 2178 - Deviance & Control
SOC 4192 - Advanced Seminar: Criminal Justice

Graduate Courses:
SOC 6132 - Qualitative Research Methods
SOC 6258 - Deviance & Control
SOC 6259 - Criminology
SOC 6273 - The Sex Industry