Dr. Geoff Harkness

Department, Office, or School
Department of Sociology
  • Associate Professor

Dr. Harkness is on sabbatical for the Fall 2023 semester.

Geoff Harkness is associate professor of sociology and director of the Justice Studies undergraduate program. Professor Harkness earned a B.A. and M.A. in sociology from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. He teaches courses in sociology, law and society, theory, and research methods that serve the sociology and justice studies programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Before coming to RIC, Professor Harkness spent three years as a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Northwestern and Carnegie Mellon Universities in Doha, Qatar.

Professor Harkness’ scholarship focuses on the interactive, micro practices of group behavior and the role of stratification in shaping culture. His research examines phenomena such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, social movements, and globalization through topics that include hip hop, street gangs, sports, clothing, marriage, and popular culture. His research has been widely published by academic journals and scholarly presses. His first book, Chicago Hustle and Flow: Gangs, Gangsta Rap, and Social Class, won the 2016 Distinguished Book Award from the Midwest Sociological Society. His second book, Changing Qatar: Culture, Citizenship, and Rapid Modernization, was published in 2020. His third book, DVS Mindz: The Twenty-Year Saga of the Greatest Rap Group to Almost Make it Outta Kansas was published in 2023.


B.A., University of Kansas

M.A., University of Kansas

Ph.D. Northwestern University


FYS 100 First Year Seminar
JSTD 466 Seminar in Justice Studies
SOC 200 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 202 The Family
SOC 207 Crime and Criminal Justice
SOC 300 Classical Sociological Theories
SOC 302 Social Research Methods
SOC 306 Work and Organizations
SOC 318 Law and Society
SOC 460 Senior Seminar in Sociology
SOC 504 Advanced Quantitative Analysis