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Bill McCarthy


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Toronto, 1990
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Toronto, 1984
  • B.Ed., Sociology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, 1981
  • H.B.A., University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada, 1980


Most of Bill McCarthy’s research focuses on the social origins and consequences of involvement in deviant or illegal activities. Two features undergird his studies. The first is his interest in using theories and research from across the social sciences to understand these behaviors. The second is his use of a diverse set of methods – in isolation or in concert – to examine relationships of interest. In terms of substantive issues, much of his work in the last decade has focused on the ways diverse relationships with others, from those with abusive parents, female friends, fictive families, mentors, racists strangers, and romantic partners influence offending. A second strand of research examines precursors to and consequences of involvement in the sex industry. Professor McCarthy will continue to research in these areas in the coming years, as well as embark on new research on violence and prisoner reentry.  

Research Focus

Professor McCarthy’s current research focuses on juvenile crime, sex-work, the health of service workers, violence, and the reentry experience.

Selected Publications

McCarthy, Bill, Angela Carter, Cecilia Benoit, Mikael Jansson, & Ryan Finnegan.  2018  Poverty, Material Hardship, and Mental Health among Workers in Three Front-line Service Occupations. Journal of Poverty http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10875549.2017.1419532

Herda, Daniel, & Bill McCarthy. 2018. No Experience Required: Violent Crime and Anticipated, Vicarious, and Experienced Racial Discrimination. Social Science Research.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X16304264

Evans, Ethan, Bill McCarthy, Cecilia Benoit & Mikael Jansson. 2018.  Early Trauma, Long-term Consequences: Family Instability in Childhood and the Intent to Seek Formal Health Care. Social Science Quarterly http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ssqu.12448/full

Cabalatungan, Shadd, & Bill McCarthy. 2015. Second-hand effects of college drinking and educational experiences: Findings from an analysis of pooled cross-sections from four national surveys. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 22 (6): 463-469.

Benoit, Cecilia, Bill McCarthy, & Mikael Jansson. 2015. Occupational stigma and mental health: Discrimination and depression among front-line service workers. Canadian Public Policy, 41 (Supplement 2): S61-S69

Benoit, Cecilia, Bill McCarthy, & Mikael Jansson, M. 2015. Stigma, sex work, and substance use. Sociology of Health and Illness 37 (3): 437-451.

Williams, Monica, & Bill McCarthy. (2014) Assessing stereotypes of adolescent rape. Journal of Criminal Justice 42 (6) 557–567.

Gartner, Rosemary, & Bill McCarthy. (2014) Oxford Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Crime. New York: Oxford University Press.


Professor McCarthy teaches courses on punishment and research methods.


2011 UC Davis Dean of Social Science Innovation Research Award

2010 American Society of Criminology. Outstanding Paper Award for McCarthy, Bill and Teresa Casey. “Love, Sex and Crime: Adolescent Romantic Relationships and Offending.” American Sociological Review 73 (6): 944-969

1998 American Society of Criminology. Michael J. Hindelang Outstanding Book on Crime Award for John Hagan and Bill McCarthy. Mean Streets: Youth Crime and Homelessness

1997 Society for the Study of Social Problems. C. Wright Mills Outstanding Book on Social Problems Award for John Hagan and Bill McCarthy. Mean Streets: Youth Crime and Homelessness