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Robert J. Durán

Robert Duran
Associate Professor
  • (979) 845-0813
  • Academic 426
Professional Links
Degree From
University of Colorado Boulder

Research Interests

  • Criminology and Race
  • Racialized Social Control
  • Latina/o/x Criminology/Sociology
  • Violence
  • Urban Ethnography
  • Youth Justice

Courses Taught at Texas A&M

  • SOCI 304: Criminology
  • SOCI 317: Racial and Ethnic Relations
  • SOCI 489: Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Justice
  • SOCI 627: Foundations of Crime, Law and Deviance


Dr. Durán has been at the Texas A&M University since 2018. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado in 2006 and previously was a tenured and promoted associate professor at New Mexico State University (2006-2014) and University of Tennessee (2014-2018). His research focuses upon four areas: 1) gangs; 2) police shootings; 3) disproportionate minority contact for juveniles; and 4) neighborhood segregation shaped by racial and ethnic inequalities. As a criminologist and urban ethnographer, I have primarily concentrated my research on institutions of social control and how they vary between Mexican American barrios, White suburbs, and Black neighborhoods in the Southwest and Southeast along with individual and group efforts to resist unequal treatment. My overall devotion to my academic career is towards assisting grassroots empowerment strategies in marginalized communities by using research to change institutional policies and practices.

Representative Publications

  • Durán, Robert J. 2018. The Gang Paradox: Inequality and Miracles on the U.S.-Mexico Border. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Durán, Robert J. 2013. Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider’s Journey. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Durán, Robert J. and Jason A. Campos. 2020. “Gangs, Gangsters, and the Impact of Settler Colonialism on the Latina/o Experience.” Sociology Compass 14, no. 3: 1-15.
  • Durán, Robert J. 2019. “Officer Involved Shootings of Latinos: Moving Beyond the Black/White Binary.” Pp. 44-62 in Gringo Injustice: Insider Perspectives on Police, Gangs, and Law, edited by Alfredo Mirandé. New York: Routledge.
  • Durán, Robert J. and Oralia Loza. 2017. “Exploring the Two Trigger Fingers Thesis: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Officer Involved Shootings.” Contemporary Justice Review: Issues in Criminal, Social, and Restorative Justice. Under contract.
  • Durán, Robert J. 2016. “No Justice, No Peace: Examining Controversial Officer Involved Shootings.” Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 13, no. 1: 61-83.
  • Durán, Robert J. and Carlos E. Posadas. 2013. “Disproportionate Minority Contact in the Land of Enchantment: Juvenile Justice Disparities as a Reflection of White-over-Color Ascendancy.” Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice 11, no. 1-2: 93-111.
  • Durán, Robert J. 2012. “Policing the Barrios: Exposing the Shadows to the Brightness of a New Day.” Pp. 42-62 in Hispanics in the US Criminal Justice System: The New American Demography, edited by Martin G. Urbina. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
  • Durán, Robert J. 2011. “An Attempt to Change Disproportionate Minority Contact by Working in Youth Corrections.” Pp. 149-164 in Experiencing Corrections: Lessons from the Field, edited by Mike Johnson. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
  • Durán, Robert J. 2009. “Legitimated Oppression: Inner-city Mexican American Experiences with Police Gang Enforcement.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 38, no. 2: 143-168.