Ron pic 3.7.16

Ronald Weitzer

Professor of Sociology
409 D
Address: Phillips Hall
801 22nd St.
Washington DC,
Phone: 202-994-6895

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

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)

2011. "Sex Trafficking and the Sex Industry: The Need for Evidence-Based Theory and Legislation," Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, v. 101: 1337-1370

2011. “Negotiating Unwelcome Police Encounters: The Intergenerational Transmission of Conduct Norms,” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, v.40 (August): 425-456 (with Rod Brunson)

2011.  “International Trends in the Control of Sexual Services,” in Policing Pleasure: Sex Work, Policy, and the State in Global Perspective, P. Kelly & S. Dewey (eds.), NYU Press (with Michael Goodyear)

2011. "Pornography's Effects: The Need for Solid Evidence." Violence Against Women  v. 17: 666-675

2010. “The Mythology of Prostitution: Advocacy Research and Public Policy,” Sexuality Research and Social Policy, v.7: 15-29

2009. "Sociology of Sex Work," Annual Review of Sociology, v. 35: 213-234

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