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[Oral History of Criminology, Ross Matsueda,interviewed by Brendan Dooley]
BRENDAN DOOLEY: The oral history and chronology projectin conjunction with the American Society of criminologiesis pleased to present to you a conversation with Ross L.Matsueda.We're joining Ross here in Seattle, Washington,where he is the Blumstein-Jordon endowed professor of sociologyand has been since 2010.It is May 28, 2015.
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: Just a brief recitation, worked hard to condense his CV,his illustrious CV, into a couple of highlights or bulletpoints here for our audience here.And in conjunction with being the Blumstein-Jordon endowedprofessor of sociology here at University of Washington,he also serves as faculty affiliate for the Centerfor Statistics and Social Sciences and has since 1999.
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: He also serves as faculty affiliatehere at UW for the Center for Studiesin Demography and Ecology where he'sretained that post since 1998.His scholastic career began and ended at the same institution--the University of California, Santa Barbara,
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: where he studied sociology.You earned a bachelor's degree in 1977and stayed on and earned a PhD In 1984 where his dissertationwas entitled-- The Determinants of Delinquency, a LongitudinalStudy of Social Control Theory and Differential Association.His chair was Donald Cressey.
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: His professional appointments began 1984.From 1984 to 1994, he was assistant professorand then worked his way to associate professorof sociology with tenure at the University of Wisconsinand the sociology department.In 1990, he served as visiting associate professorat the University of Arizona, also in sociology.
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: From 1993 to 1998, he was associate thenadvanced to a full professor of sociologyat the University of Iowa.While at the University of Iowa, in 1996 and '97,he served as the founding directorfor the Center of Criminology and Socio-legal studies.From 1995 to 1998, he also served
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: as the chair of that department in Iowa city.From 1998 to 2010, he's been a professor of sociologyhere at the University of Washington.From 1999 to 2005, he served as the associate directorfor the Center for Statistics and Social Sciences,
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: and in 2003 and 2004, he served as the Associate Chairin the Department of Sociology.Along the way in his career, he'searned a variety of awards and achievements.In 1996, he was elected as a member of the SociologicalResearch Association.2001 to 2004, he served as the Clarence and Alyssa Schrag
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: endowed faculty fellowship here at the Universityof Washington.Those of us who study theory and are pretty in-depthinto the theoretical spectrum here,Clarence Schrag is certainly a name worth knowing.2004, he was elected as Fellow of the AmericanSociety of Criminology.In 2008, a paper that he coauthored
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: with Derek Kreager and David Huizinga entitled DeterringDeliquents-- A Rational Choice Model of Theft and Violence,which appeared in American Sociological Review,earned the Outstanding Article Award by the ASC.In 2010, he was elected vice president of the American
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: Society of Criminology, and more recently, 2014 heearned the Mitchell Prize.The Mitchell prize is bestowed for an outstanding paper thatdescribes how Bayesian analysis has solvedimportant to applied problem.That award was bestowed for the 2006 [INAUDIBLE]
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: that is jointly sponsored by the sectionon Bayesian statistical science for the American StatisticalAssociation and the InternationalSociety for Bayesian analysis.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Oh, actually it was a different paper.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: It was?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, It was-- I forget the name of it--Curve Registration Approach to Criminal Careers.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Oh wow.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, this was 2012.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: OK, he lists research and teaching interestsas the following here-- criminology.He's done a number of different important empirical testsof different propositions early on,largely within the differential association, kindof teasing that out against-- largely playing that out
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: against control theory assumptions.He's also developed quite a bit of theoryindependently as well.He also addresses juvenile delinquency, deviance, lawand social control.A number of papers as mentioned heredeal with statistics, methods, as well as social psychology.
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: So before you became a sociologist,can you give us maybe a little bitof an insight there in terms of your background,your growing up, some formidable events maybe?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Grew in San Diego, Chula Vista,specifically.I was a smart kid but not a very good student,and I had went to a pretty lousy high schooland didn't do particularly well.I was very unmotivated.And in fact, I think I graduated with a 2.9 grade point average.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: But something happened my senior year right before graduation,and I started passing blood in--
BRENDAN DOOLEY: In urine?
ROSS MATSUEDA: And it was diagnosed as-- at first, theythought it was cancer.And then it was diagnosed as polycystic kidneys.And I remember my doctor saying, whenI was recovering that summer saying,oh, I came in with a list of activities that I wanted--
BRENDAN DOOLEY: A bucket list.
ROSS MATSUEDA: --To do, yeah.And he said, yeah, bring in the list .So I was like shooting the rapids in the Colorado,skydiving, and down, and football, basketball.And he looked at the list, and he went down and justcrossed out everything.And he said, golf, maybe.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I was stunned.And he said, what are you going to do, Ross?I go, I don't know.My friends are all going up to June lake,and they're being ski bumps, ski liftoperators, or ski instructors.And he said, you can't do that.And he said you have got to start using your brain
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and not your brawn.And in the context of this disease and this--
BRENDAN DOOLEY: This unidentified--
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, and I think it was cancer and stuff.So it kind of shook me up and made me reassess my life.And I decided that I would go to college.So I did.I went to UC San Diego and tried to become a good student
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: while recovering my health.And it was really, really difficultbecause I had such a bad high school background.And like everybody else there, I was a biology major,doing pre-med, taking the courses.And my freshman year was pure hell.I was working like crazy to try and catch up
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: with the other students.And I remember going to these thinktanks where you would get help with calculus homeworkand stuff.And then seeing some of the students going,when are we going to got to something that's hard?I've have this stuff in my prep school.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I'm just here, dying.So I ended up working really hard,and I started getting good grades.And I started learning stuff in these classes.My favorite class was genetics, and Istarted really loving science.And genetics was the capstone where
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: we were learning these [INAUDIBLE]models that I thought were just really fascinating.I did really well.But at the same time I was taking sociology coursesbecause you had to take sociology.You had to take a social science.And I remember when we first went
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: to orientation as freshman to figure outwhat our schedules would be, the big seniorssaid you need a social science.And I said, well, what's the difference between psychologyand sociology?And he said, well, psychology you just deal with one person.And sociology you're dealing with lotof people, groups, and social.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I thought social, well, that sounds good.So I took sociology, and it was sociology 1A taughtby two new PhDs from Harvard.And they were great, but they really theyhadn't taught before.So they taught this comparative course
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: on phenomenology versus Marxist political economy.One did the political economy, the otherdid the phenomenology.So we're reading the Marx-Engels reader.We're freshmen.And the Harold Garfinkel's-- his book.Nobody understood what was going on.And I remembered towards the end of the quarter,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: turning to the girl sitting next to me, and I said,do you know what sociology is?She said I have no idea.I said I don't either, but I reallylike this, whatever it is.So I filed that in my head.And I took a few more sociology classes,and I really liked them.And then my sophomore year I had to declare a major,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and I ended up declaring sociology.And my rationale was that sociologyis very much like these natural sciencesthat I was studying and using models.And I really like the logic of science.But you're applying them to things like poverty or crime,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and you could solve social problems.So I thought this was the major for me.And then I decided, well, there's no reasonto stay here now because this is a natural science dominatedplace.And I was going to go to Berkeley.My parents talked me into not going there and goingto Santa Barbara instead.So that's where I ended up, and at Santa Barbara
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I lived in a dorm.And I was like this kind of sociology major,and I convinced a lot of my dorm mates to switch to sociology.And they're all pumping gas now.And then I walked into a course, crime and delinquency.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I was recommended by someone I knew at San Diego,east of San Diego, and Donald Cressey.And I remember walking into the class,and the first thing he said was, freshman, out.And he said, if you're a freshman,you cannot take this class.It was an upper-lever course.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I turned to the girl sitting next to me,and I said this guy's a real asshole, you know?And she was, yeah.But the other thing I remember was he started taking roll,and we had to go up and get a-- I had to get an add card.And I went up to the front of the room,and he handed me the card.And he looked at me, shook my hand, and he said welcome.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I thought, that's kind of weird.And then later in that quarter, he'steaching us crime, and delinquency,and differentiable association theory.And I'm thinking there's somethingwrong with this theory, We're using his textbook, Sutherlandand Cressey and I remember sitting outside his office
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: with a Sutherland and Cressey.And I'm going over these propositions,and I'm trying to get my thoughts in order because Igot this nailed, I think.And so I walked in, and he shakes my hand.He goes welcome.He says come on in, come on in.Really friendly, I'm thinking.And then I launch into this thing.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I said you've got this theory, differential association.I don't remember what I said exactly,but I launched into what I thoughtwas really good critique.And he listened, and then he said, well,on the last thing you said, that's not a problem.Here's why.And then he explained why.And he said, but on the rest of whatyou said-- the early stuff-- he says, you're right.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: You have a good point there.And then we engaged in this conversation.And I was fascinated by that, A, Iwas shocked that he back down so quickly.And then I was really interested.So we were just kind of chatting,and he started telling stories and that.And I did really well in the class.And then that was filed away.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I took other courses from Cressey.I became his TA, I think, when I was a senior.And then decided that this is what I wanted to do.I wanted to be a sociologist.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: So why stay on at Santa Barbara?What was the appeal of Santa Barbaraversus our Berkeley or--
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, it was kind of a dumb thing.So I applied all over.And I applied to like 12 places, got into 10 of them.And I was thinking about-- So Cresseywas saying University of Arizona is the best sociologydepartment that nobody knows about.His friend Jack Gibbs was there, Dudley Duncan, [INAUDIBLE],bunch of people had just arrived.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: He said that's where he should go.I was thinking of Chicago because of Coleman or Columbia.But then again in the end, I ended up thinking, well,I want to go somewhere-- I have all these different interests.I was interested in ethnomethodology.And in my senior year, I took a statistics course.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I was a politic guy from UC San Diego.And I was interested in ethnomethodology,symbolic interaction, and crime deviants.And then in my senior year at Santa Barbara,I took the graduates statistics coursethat was taught by Dick Burke the first time hetaught the course.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and I found that really interesting.I had learned at UC San Diego that quantitative methodswere bullshit.I took methods from Erin Sicaro.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Wow.
ROSS MATSUEDA: And so I know that quantitative methodswere bullshit.And I remember my senior year, I was thinking,well, maybe I should take statistics.And I talk to Cressey.And I said, look, I know this stuff isbull-- he's a qualitative guy-- but I'd reallylike to know why.And he said, oh, you should take it.You should definitely take it.This is really important, so I took it.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I really enjoyed it, and I did it well.I thought it was just kind of fascinating.And actually, it also sort of reminded meof the natural science courses that Ienjoyed so much in San Diego.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: So is that why you departedfrom the qualitative to the quantitative,you were convinced by the rigor in methodology?Or what was the appeal of--
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, it was sort of a slow transition.My first year of graduate school,I was thinking about doing a master's thesis,and my first idea was to do somethingin conversational analysis with a coupleof ethnomethodologists.And so we were doing-- I had taken all these classes
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: in ethnomethodology.And we started.And then they said, Ross, we got to tell youbefore we get too far that we're reallyinvested in this project, and we'regoing to write an NSF grant.And if it's funded, you'll be an RA.But your thesis, if you wanted to publish it,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: your name won't be on it.Our names will be on it because we've invested so much.But we will acknowledge you in a footnote.And then one of the guys said, so how does it make you feel?And I said, well, it sort of makesme feel like you want me as part of the team but not really.and then he said, well, yeah.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I said I got to think about this.And I thought about it, and I went away.And I came back, and I bailed.Meanwhile, I had taken a course in structural equationsthe quarter before with Guy Bill Billby whowas new PhD from the Wisconsin.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And in this special equations course,he put up this status of attainment modelwith this Sewell-Hauser social psychological process.And he had these dot-path diagrams going, which I loved.And then I looked at that, and I thought, wow,that looks just like differential association,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: this theory that I learned as an undergraduate.And Cressey was on leave, so I called him up.Right after the class, I called him up.I said, got to talk to you.And he said OK, come on up.So I zipped in my car, went to Hope Ranch,and showed Cressey this little scribblethat I had of this path diagram of differential association
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: theorem and how to measure definitionsfavorable and unfavorable with crime.And he said this is great, but this is probablya dissertation, not a masters thesis, right?And I said, yeah, yeah.He said, you need data.And I said, I know.And he said, you should go look at Travis Hirschi.He's got this book, Causes.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: So I went to the library, and I checked outCauses of Delinquency.And I started reading it, and I was kind of a Sutherlandguy, Sutherland and Cressey.And I'm reading this, and I'm justhorrified by the way he treats Sutherland and Cresseyand just horrified like, what is this?Meanwhile, some time passes, I'm doing this other project
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: for a masters thesis, but then when I bailed out of that,I still needed a master's project.And I decided, maybe I could do this.So I talk to Cressey, and he said, yeah,send a letter to Travis Hirschi, which I did.I sent a letter to Travis Hirschi.I did hear anything back.But then a month pass or a couple weeks,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: seemed like a long time.And Cressey went to their criminology meetings,and he ran into Hirschi.And Hirschi said I got this letter from your student,and he says I don't have the data or-- I have the data,but I don't have an RA.So I don't think I'd be able to get it up.But you might check with [INAUDIBLE] at Washington
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: because he's got the data.So I talked to-- actually, my girlfriend at the timewas in the department, and she said, oh, [INAUDIBLE].She said, one of my best friends is an RA up there.We went to undergrad together.I'll talk to her.So she called her friend.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: Her name was Carol Zaist, and Carol said,oh yeah, let me check with Joe.And Joe said, yeah, that's fine.So then she got back.And I sent the tape up there, and they sent the data back.And there I had it, and so I did that for a masters thesis.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: So was that your '82 piece?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: OK.All right.I thought that would be the dissertation piece,but then I looked at the time of your dissertation-- two yearsafter.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Right, right.Yeah, so that went swimmingly well.It was quite amazing.I kind of worked on my own with Billbygiving me advice on the models.And I wrote out this big path telegramwith the way the model was going to be.Meanwhile, I had read Hirschi.I read Gary Jansen's stuff.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: So I sort of knew about what the process would look like.And I specified this model, and it ended up--and then I got the data and put it up, and it ended up working.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: So what's the appealof this particular debate between the social controlfolks and differentials?Why that as opposed to maybe labeling versus deterrence?
ROSS MATSUEDA: It started because I saw a differentialassociation-- I saw that the process in this statusattainment approach.And I saw, oh, here's Sewell and Hauserhad this social psychological processthat had significant others and stuff
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: that mediated the effects of background variableson occupational attainment education.And I thought that looks just like this theory.So my motivation was to do differential associationtheory.But then when I read Hirschi, and he's
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: like throwing mud at Sutherland.So I go, oh.And then I read Gary Jensen's paper,which I thought was much better, but on testing differentialassociation theory.But I thought I could do better.And I thought this is the debate I should be doing.They're saying it's controlled theory, and maybe it's not.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And so I wanted to redo that.So that's where that came from.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Maybe circling back just a little bitaway here.Do you think it was somewhat fortuitousthat you went the statistical pathversus the ethnomethodological path?You can you give us a little bit of rendition here of why, maybesome thoughts on why in criminology you wentone direction versus another.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, all up until that time, Iimagined myself doing something qualitativewith the crime and deviance, probably, but not necessarily.And it was really-- when I took Dick Burke's statistics course,and he really ramped it up compared to what
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: it had been in the past.It was enormously challenging.But for me, I mean I'm a senior, and Ihave taken courses like my freshman year where I was lostand everybody was well ahead of me.So I had experience that feeling.and I just kind of hung in there.Some of the other graduate studentsactually were really upset.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and I dropped the class.And then there was this little revoltamong the students who were tryingto get-- they were revolting against this class,saying that it was too hard, too advanced a level,compared to what it had been in the past.And it was required course.Yeah so, and as I did that-- and you're actually doing it.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: We were estimating models and stuff.Yeah, and I could see the value of it.And I saw I could see that Erin Sicaro was wrong.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: But California had a real identityas being a place with ethnomethodology.That kind of thing was kind of a brand in a way.Was it just unable to escape the sort of the realm of Californiaand have a grander influence, or is just datawas becoming more available at that time or the methodologywas becoming more sophisticated and easier to manipulate data
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: through software and things?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Oh at that time?
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Is that why that maybe the ethnomethodology kindof became a little bit more marginalized?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well it's a long story.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Right.
ROSS MATSUEDA: I think ethnomethodology--and there were a lot of things going on at that time--phenomenology, you know, kind of symbolic interaction,and Marx's political economy, critical theory, allof these ideas were kind of in vogue at the time.And California, the University of California schoolswere kind of, I don't know, maybe a little bit
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: at the forefront of some of those trends.But they didn't really-- they didn't stick, I think,in the long run.They didn't stick.It turned out to be a bit of fad.And ethnomethodology was still important,but it's got a small niche.Yeah, exactly.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: But I wasn't doing it for that reason.It wasn't like I was imagining where the discipline was goingand I wanted it to [INAUDIBLE].It was not that at all.Although Cressey was very excitedthat I was doing this statistics thing.And in fact some of these graduate studentsthought that he would disapprove of using quantitative methods
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: because he had always been a qualitative person.No, he was very positive and always encouraging to pursuestatistics.He thought it was important.He had been a biology major as an undergrad [AUDIO OUT]genetics, and he sort of prided himselfon kind of knowing basic statistics.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Early on in your career,there was very much a focus on testing theory, as you like.Could you speak to us about the importanceof testing-- offering rigorous testsof particular propositions here?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, I don't know.I started doing that.I did the master's thesis.And it kind of hit.I presented it at an ASA meeting.And it was very nice.Ron Akres was the discussant and like Cressey had done with himI guess, kind of lavished the paper with praise.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I sent it to Gary Jensen, and he sent me a letter back,a nice letter that I read over and over again,saying he had one thing that he didn't likethat I said that he found a little bit offensive, whichI took out.But the rest of it he was so positive.And it really gave me confidence.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: The other thing is that then I submitted it for publication,and it got accepted.And at that time then, suddenly peoplewere people were calling me a criminologist.And here's the real labelling thing.People were calling me a criminologist,and then I remembered a good friend of mine, Spencer Cahill,was talking to me and he's going, "Yeah, I'm doing this,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: but, you know, this is different from your thing."And I said, "Well, my thing?What's my thing?"He goes, "You know, you know, get quantitative testsof criminological data."And I said oh.I said, "Yeah, I guess that's my thing."You know, so that's--
BRENDAN DOOLEY: So over the course of your career,you've seen theories be tested innumerable numbers of times.Is criminology dedicated to this ideathat maybe we'll falsify something at some point there?Could you speak to us about the progression of the field,or is it just this debate there in terms of,oh here's how you define this, and I disagree
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: with the presumptions or the assumptions thatsubstantiate the classification of this as this?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Right.This is a good question.So my personal take has always been, specify the assumptionsreally clearly, and then try to figure out a way of testing,of empirically verifying.And if you can do competing hypotheses, that's the ideal.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: Then you can adjudicate.So I was really influenced by Travis Hirschi's bookand the way he went about hat.I was horrified by the way he treated some of them,but I loved the logic.It seemed like Durkheim to me.And the way he was trying to specify
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: these-- making assumptions clear, at least in his mind,and then developing propositions, competinghypotheses, and then subjecting them to empirical verification,I loved it.You know, this is great.When I finished my master's thesis, I sent it to Travis.And he sent me this very nice letter back.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: He said something like, I still think--he said, "This is really good, but I still think I'm right."I think he said that he saw that I got him right,but he said that I'm accusing himof getting Sutherland wrong.And he said, I still think I'm right."And he says, "You should read Kornhauser ."
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: There's this new book that just came out.And so I thought, oh OK, I'll do that.And so I got a book, the Kornhauser book.And I read it.And I opened it up and I started reading the introduction,I though, this is fantastic.And I just [INAUDIBLE].This is fantastic.In fact I had been thinking about doing
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: something very similar.I was thinking, as a capstone-- Cressey was kind of pushing me,"I think you should write a kind of theoretical thing."And this is what I wanted to do.And then I'm reading this, and I go, "This is unbelievable.This is exactly what I was thinking of.And this girl is done really well."So impressed, until I got to the chapter on Sutherland.And then I'm reading this and I go oh my God, this is awful.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: This is ridiculous.She doesn't understand anything about what Sutherland's doingand she's creating a straw man here.I kept reading that book.And then once I finished and I went to Wisconsin--I remember I came mid-semester.And that summer I literally spent just reading Kornhauser.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I had a grant proposal I was revising that I had submittedas a graduate student.It was kind of more background preparationI was reading, reading Kornhauser and tryingto kind of get into her head and the waythat she was distinguishing these theories, much the waythat Travis did.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I just kind of really waded through that.For me, it was like reading Talcott Parsons where,with Parsons-- we had to read Parsons--and there was just some-- it was so elegant and impressive,particularly the way he had levelsof explanation going, these different concepts,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: different levels, the social action, but at the same timevery analytical.But at the same time, I could come away with,there's something wrong here.This is so abstract and it just is not right.And I had the same feeling with Kornhauser.That really elegant approach, loved it.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: The specifying assumptions, loved it.Contrasting propositions that youcould get from these different theories that I really liked,loved it.But then the way she actually executed it I thoughtwas just awful.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: In one of your papers-- well your ADA piece,in the CD It was an invitation to givesort of a summation of where Sutherland's contributionstands at the moment.This proved to be kind of seminal in a bit of way.There's a mention in there that the fields,in response to Kornhauser's critique and Hirschi's critique
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: that you divide the theories and you pit themall against one another, then the survivor will endure.You suggested that as a result of that and the insistenceon that as sort of a guiding mechanism for criminology,that they moved in the direction of integration.And I can see a little bit of that from the outside lookingin on your career, because it seemed like at that point
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: you had exhausted your imagination, your effortthere in terms of pitting these theories against one another.And then you seem to move in the direction of creatingsome theories of your own that seem to be somewhat integrated.You're moving in the direction of-- you'removing in the direction of offering ideaslike reflected appraisals and role taking and role
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: commitments, and more recently differential social controlin organization.Are those integrated elements, because they seem to includeelements of even things like labelling and social controlplays somewhat of a role there.
ROSS MATSUEDA: I suppose so, yeah.But from the standpoint of control theoristsand Hirschi in particular, he would just say,well this is not control theory.You're violating all of the key assumptions thatseparates control theory from other motivational kindsof theories.So from his standpoint it's not integrated at all,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: it's just a reversion to kind of social learning theory.And yeah, that came from-- I was kind ofdissatisfied with these integrated theories thatwere in fashion at the time.And I thought they were just mushing a bunch of variablesrather than kind of starting from principles in the waythat a lot of the theories that they were smushing developed.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I was a big symbolic interactionist before that.When I was a graduate student, I took seminarsfrom Tam Shibutani, and we just read Mead cover to cover.And I was doing a lot of that.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Incredible.
ROSS MATSUEDA: I totally enjoyed it.I just kept carried away, the philosophy of the presentand the philosophy of the act.Yeah, I thought this was like truth, this pragmatism.I thought this was it.That's why I turned to that in more formal ways.I thought it was accurate, and I wanted to kind of develop
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: those ideas, bring them back into criminologywhere they had kind of gotten lost with labeling theory,I guess.And I remember at the time talking to John Hagan.And I told him what I was doing, these symbolic interactions,and he said, "That's a good idea."He said, "You know, I think the time is right for that
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: now, that that will play well."And I remember thinking-- I walked awayand I remember thinking, huh, that'san interesting kind of response.I think it was probably accurate.But it never occurred to me.Like I was just thinking, wait a minute,this is [INAUDIBLE] true.That's why we should be doing this.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: It seemed like your CV took like a little bitof a break from 2002, '03, '04, '05.There's a gap in the publication record there.And then it seemed like things takea really different approach.Now you're getting into things like rational choice.And you've even offered some things lately
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: on neighborhood point constructs.You've also done things more recentlywith life course theory.Is that a genuine transition, or am I just imputing thatinto the data?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well no, it's just-- yeah, I did slow down,I think after I left Wisconsin.And then I was at Arizona and then Iowa.And at Iowa, I got involved with a bit of administrationand became a department chair.I think when you arrive someplace,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: they see you as a good administrator.And I just sort of fell into that.And being department chair really slowed me down.Yeah, that was not good.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: But were you consciously rethinking things,or were you--
ROSS MATSUEDA: A little bit.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: --interested in other kinds of thingsthat the field was fascinated by,and you said I want to be a part of these debatesand those arguments?
ROSS MATSUEDA: I had these ideas that I developed.Like the symbolic interact stuff,the ideas came while I was still in Madison.In fact the stuff started coming out there in Wisconsin.But at Iowa, yeah, I got involved with administration,and it slowed me down.I was not good with my time.So actually leaving Iowa was really good for me.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: But the idea of the rational choice, you know,I did that as an assistant professorwhen I fell in with bad companions, Irv Piliavinand Rosemary Gartner.So we were doing this rational choice, which I thoughwas really-- at first I was very skeptical of the ideas.But the more I thought about it, the more I
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: start getting really interested, and Istarted getting interested in microeconomics and thinking,wait-- I'm still really interested in it.And in fact, I saw the possibilityof pragmatism and utility maximization satisficing.I thought yeah, this kind of makes sense to me.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I still think it does.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Now what allows youto jump from one particular theoretical campto another theoretical camp to testinganother theoretical camp?
ROSS MATSUEDA: In my mind, they're not so distinct.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: What's the unifying thread then?Is it just the testing of the theories?
ROSS MATSUEDA: The rational choice deterrence thingwas different because Cressey didn'tlike rational choice at all, although heliked the paper that we did.Yeah, so that was different.And it just changed my thinking.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: The other thing was the symbolic interaction,it was always with me from graduate school,undergrad in fact.And so those ideas were always in my head.And I saw that as just-- I saw differential association theoryas just that's just an application of these ideasfrom pragmatism, these ideas from Mead,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: but you know, just some simple hypotheses coming outof a pretty rich framework.So I just wanted to go back and pull out some of these ideasand make it more explicit.And I still was interested in the decision making.And in pragmatism, it's an instrumental model.There is decision making there.But it's just not a simple utility maximization.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: There are other things going on.And the economists now, I'm reallyimpressed with George Akerlof and the work he's done,I think with Kranton, on incorporating identityinto utility maximization.And that's kind of exactly what I think is right,and the direction that I've been sort
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: of heading for a long time, but just never got my act togetherwell enough to--
BRENDAN DOOLEY: So I guess all these concentratearound this issue of identity and how identity is formedand how identity is expressed.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well identity would be one element.Well identity is one element.But it's basically kind of decisionmaking, but from a pragmatist's standpoint.So it's not utility maximizing.It's just solving problems in a pragmatic way in the present.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: On one hand you'vedone all this really important work on theory.But you've also been advancing methodologically as well,pushing things out like statistical equation modeling,things of that nature there, the Bayesian analysis.Could you talk to us about the interplaybetween the methods and the theoryand why it's so important to link the two?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah.When I was a graduate student, I actuallywas going around telling all the other graduatestudents that, you know, what we really need to dois learn theory and methods.We need the tools to-- and then if you reallyimmersed in theory and in methods, youcan study, anything, right?I mean, how long does it take to learn the literature
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: in stratification or education?It's doesn't take that long, but especiallyif you have the theoretical and methodological tools.I've always kind of believed that.I tell my graduate school the same thing.And so I've always been interested in it both theory
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and methods and making contributionsto both, with mixed success I guess.But the quantity of things, it's usually in the context of-- youknow, I got interested in structural equations becauseof that master's thesis.And so I wrote papers that I started in graduate school
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: on statistical power in structural equation modelswith Bill Billby.And that just kind of fell out of-- in fact, actuallythat came from this grant proposalI wrote as a graduate student to NSF,and it got revise and resubmit.And I talked to the program directorwho said, "We love this.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: It's sexy.But we're not sure it's feasible because youwant all this money, hundreds of thousands of dollars.You're going to collect new data using a survey,testing all these theories.And then it was kind of like, well who are you?"And then I said, well, "So you want
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: us to increase feasibility?"And I said, "What about statistical power of the samplesize?"She said "Yes, stuff like that."So then I went away.I talked to Bill, and I said, I needto do power analysis," which I knew how to do.And he said oh yeah.So I had this other data set.I started doing power analyses.And then I'm trying to figure outhow to do it with the structural equation
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: models, which is what I was going to use in the proposal.And Bill said he didn't know.And he said, "You know, you ought to go to the libraryand just peruse the statistics books."So I did.I went to the library and I'm justlooking at these statistics books, Mood and Graybill, all
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: these old, old things.And I came across Kendall and Stuart.And there's a chapter on maximum likelihood.And right there they talked aboutthe noncentrality parameter.And I got really excited.I xeroxed the thing.And I ran back to Ellison Hall and to Bill and I said, "Look,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I think this is it."And he looks at it and he says, "Yeah."He says, "I think you're right.I think this is it."So then I decided-- then I startedapplying that to this power analysisI was going for this grant proposal.But then it turned into I startedwriting a paper on doing power.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Now when thinkingabout how the process of developing knowledgeactually works here, right-- so you've got theory in one hand.You've got methods in the other, right?Which drives which?Is it we develop better methodology and thenwe go about process of testing theory,or do we dream up a theory and then began
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: the process of incorporating--
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, you know, in practice,it could go any way.I work with some statisticians and they're just alwaysinto the methodological questions,the statistical questions.It's sort of interesting about how they get excitedabout the method.But for me, it always starts with substance and theory,and then we're trying to solve this question,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: pedagogical question.What do we do here?So the thing that we started doing on trajectories was that.I wrote a grant proposal to look at life course and life coursetrajectories, and I was really into Nagin,Nagin's model, the group based trajectory model.And so I started fitting those.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I was working with a statistician, Elena Erosheva,on it.And we were just estimating these models.And then she said, "Well, we shouldlook to see how these things fit for each case."And so we did that.And we had these little graphs of how well the models fiteach individual trajectory.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And it didn't look very good.And we were just looking at that going wow,this doesn't look good.Then we started thinking about how we can improve it.We started doing standardizing this, doing that,and then came across-- actually itwas a graduate student in statistics, Donatello Telesca,who had this curve registration model that he
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: was kind of working with.And then Elena and said, "What do you think about this?"And I looked at it and I thought, this is good.So we talked to Donatello.And he said oh yeah, this sounds great.And I said, "You know, this is crime and and marijuanasmoking."And he had just been studying genomics,applying this thing to genomics.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: He said, "It's boring.Marijuana sounds great."So then we started fooling around with this curveregistration thing.So that's really where that went.So we did this kind of trajectory thing.So we're excited about it.We think it's going to be really useful, although we havea program up now to do-- it's an MCMC Bayesian thing,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: so it's not straightforward.But hopefully we'll get the software upand then we're going to do a little more with the models,and then hopefully entice other peopleto look at it-- to use it, absolutely to use it.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Thinking back over of the courseof the things that you've producedover the course of your career, what is it that you would thinkthat would be sort of the identifying piece or the onethat you're most proud of, that you would promote as, that'skind of where it really nailed it.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, I don't know.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Is it the body of work maybe?
ROSS MATSUEDA: I have favorite pieces, favorite papers,like the 82 paper I always liked,this race paper I do with Karen Heimer I really liked,the rational choice thing I did recently.I have a paper I'm working on now, Coleman boat,that I really like.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: What makes them favorite papers then?Is it the process of deriving the question?Is it the testing of these things?Is it the story that you're telling?
ROSS MATSUEDA: It's kind of the fitbetween-- for me personally, I always likea strong fit between theory and method, theory and method data.And when it does, when it really kind of clicks,and I feel like it's elegant and it'sright it is definitely correct, whichis really important to me, yeah, I get excited.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: Same with reading other people's work,I get really excited about that kind of thing.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: That's pretty cool.Now of course nobody offers-- thinking in a vacuum here.We've got a bunch of critics in the field that respondand they offer critiques and there's rebuttal and kindof back and forth.And I think in your career, the tete-a-tete
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: between the differential association and control theoryseems to be kind of an identifying debate,or an animated debate that goes back to that 88 piecewhere you offered some-- well, it'ssimilar in a couple different ways, one of whichis it kind of provoked an argument over youhad risen-- essentially someone comes back the dead, right?
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: And so you're kind of offering a rendition of defenseand advancing some of those ideas.And then some people, most notably Barbara Costellooffered a critique of both the data analysisthat you offered on the Richmond dataas well as the back and forth, the argument and rejoinderin theoretical criminology.
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: Could you talk just a little bit about the tenorof the debate over this idea of the constructof cultural deviance?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah.Well a couple things-- one is the cultural deviance ideagoes back to Kornhauser.And I think she just got Sutherland wrongand just made a caricature out of his theory.And if what she says about Sutherland is correct, I mean,it would just be just ridiculous.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: He have just this ridiculous theory.I mean, Howie Becker said-- I thinkhe was friends with Kornhauser and read [INAUDIBLE],and he said, "It's really good, but you make Sutherland outto be some kind of a nut."
BRENDAN DOOLEY: I've seen that footnotein a couple different places.
ROSS MATSUEDA: It's accurate I think.And let's see.Costello wrote a couple things.It was kind of like her, student of Travis,and I was a student of Cressey.So that was the idea.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: It's kind of like the next generation.
ROSS MATSUEDA: But the empirical paper in criminology, I neverwrote a thing about it, but I thought it was wrong,and I thought it really undermined social controltheory because she took those-- the real strength of controltheory, to me, was Travis was trying to integrate
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: these kind of disparate things, a rational componentof decision making, like commitment,as well as something that was moraland belief, and attachment, a bit of a moral element,but also a little rationality there as well.And I thought that the strength of itwas that he was very careful in distinguishing these elements
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: of the bond to society.Involvement ended up not working.But the other three, they do have explanatory power.And that was the strength.What Costello did was she said, let's just take all these fourthings and let's just mush them all into oneconstruct and use a second order confirmatory factor model,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and then see how that works.And of course if you correct for attenuation in a second orderfactor model, you're going to get a stronger effectcoefficient.But what you do is you undermine the careful, careful
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: theoretical rationale that Travis went throughin distinguishing those four elements of the bond, which Ithought was that real strength.So I thought it really undermined the whole thing.All this stuff is just all smushed together.But I didn't want to write about that.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And then the thing about cultural deviance theory,the thing that bothers me about control theoryis it's not like bonds to conventional society dissuadespeople from crime.Yeah, no kidding.But it's what the implications for thingslike delinquent gangs, delinquent peers, and that,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and the assumptions crime and delinquency's is just naturaland is not motivated.I mean, to me, it's kind of a dumb idea.But that really is, in Hirschi's writing,that really is the distinguishing hallmark thatseparates control theory from other theories.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And to me it's an assumption that is not a good one.And it leads to a lot of empirical implicationsthat are just false.I mean, all of this stuff like life course transitionsdon't matter.There's no organization among criminals.White collar crime is just the result of impulsively,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: et cetera, I mean, those are empirically false implications.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: I think she ends her salvowith the final rejoinder there with an agreement on one point,and one point only.She'd says that, "Ross and I agree on the pointthat ambiguity is inherent in language."And so there's a contest there in termsof who is doing the better job thereof rendering an accurate portrait of what
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: Sutherland about.Is this a fundamentally unsolvable issuehere in terms of does cultural deviance exist or not?
ROSS MATSUEDA: To me, it's really clear that--
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Because of the logic therethat you've constructed here in terms of--
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well yeah.Are you talking about Costello?
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Correct.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Costello is just mimicking Kornhauser--
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Kornhauser, right?
ROSS MATSUEDA: --and Travis I guess.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: But then the argumentseems to be about whether or not the implicationsor the understanding there in terms of the underlyingassumptions of what Sutherland was about,are those plausible readings of what he was offering?
ROSS MATSUEDA: The Kornhauser?
ROSS MATSUEDA: The Kornhauser, right.So if Kornhauser says that, well,if you believe Sutherland says this,then you have to accept these as propositions,and then the debate ensues there in terms of, no, that'swrong Kornhauser.You're imputing meaning to this, versus I've offereda more accurate rendition.It seems like it's almost like biblical scholar there, kind
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: of going back and forth over the Greek about-- Thatleads me to believe there that it might be-- is it unsolvable,or do we need better data and methodology thereto tease these kind of things out in terms of whetheror not cultural deviance does indeed exist?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well the term cultural devianceI think is kind of pejorative, as far as Sutherland.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: So she's loading the question with the argument.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Right-- yeah.I mean, the idea that Sutherland argued that all subculturesare equal in strength, he never said, not even close.If you read Sutherland, I think it's kind of clear.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: So on that, what kind of botheredme was that all these people that are kind of justcompletely mischaracterized his theory, then creating a strawman and then dismissing it, that isn't how science proceeds.Take the theory, take the writings,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and put it into proper context, interpret it the wayit was written.And to me, it's kind of clear.But that doesn't mean that Sutherland and differentialassociation theory is the gospel, certainly not.But some of the ideas are good ones.They were dismissed based on misinterpretations
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and creating straw men.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Where does that debate stand now?
ROSS MATSUEDA: I don't know.I mean, control theorists seem to be everywhere.So on the basis of numbers, I think those guys won.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Well how about differential association?Where does that-- if you were to write that ADA piece now,what would you say about where [INAUDIBLE]?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, I think still good ideas,some good ideas.And you see him coming back, but they don't callit inferential association.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Is it network analysis or--
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, network analysis,the work of Papachristos, Eli Anderson's Code of the Street.A lot of the stuff, these ethnographies, Sutherlandwould be really happy to see how they're going about itand what they're finding.It's entirely consistent with him.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: Is crime just a result of an excess of [INAUDIBLE]?No, that hypothesis is probably not-- that isn't the answer.But pointing to this element of cultureis really important at same time.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: What would you sayyour identifying characteristics as a scholar are?Are there things that you say that youcan tell that's a Ross Matsueda piece because thisis clearly apparent.
ROSS MATSUEDA: My work, I think it's kind of clearthat it's theoretically driven.I get excited about basic science.So it's basic science.Social science theory-- I'm a sociologist,so mostly sociological kinds of theory.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And my style is to be empirical and tryto operationalize things-- again, kind of like TravisHirschi, Emile Durkheim-- is try to operationalizethese theoretical concepts, subject themto empirical scrutiny.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: It seems like you'vebeen using longitudinal data before it was even cool.
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well yeah, when I wrotethat '82 differential associationpaper, the big criticism, self-criticism,was it's cross-sectional data.And so I immediately wanted longitudinal data.And so yeah, I guess almost everything's been longitudinal
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: since then.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: You've also done quitea few interesting historical pieceswhere you ran a really thorough assessment.One of your pieces goes back to--and you located a fact that Sutherlandhad sat in on a class with George HerbertMead and some earlier point there,and you're talking about the interaction between the Chicago
BRENDAN DOOLEY [continued]: school and some of the influences of cultural conflictthat kind of inform that.And then that spills over into the developmentof differential association and some of the neighborhood stuff.What is of value of looking back at history therein terms of how we think about and conceptualize [INAUDIBLE]here?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well, I have mixed feelings about that,I guess.In sociology, unlike some of the other disciplines,there tends to be this kind of bowing to Marx, Durkheim,Weber, others, which is kind of weird.But at the same time, there's also a lot-- well,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I personally find it fascinating to seehow ideas develop and change over time,and where did that come from?I'm also a little obsessed with that because I don'tlike reinventing the wheel.And that also leads you to keep going backwards.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And I think a lot of people todayare reinventing the wheel, in a lot of research.If you'd read classics, you could at least cite themfor the sake of [INAUDIBLE].But I find it really interesting,the history of ideas.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Has that revealed anything to youin terms of what makes an idea successfuland what maybe makes an idea unsuccessful, on some level--
ROSS MATSUEDA: No.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: --more unpopular?[LAUGHTER]Right.I was hoping for some grand idea here, but [INAUDIBLE].
ROSS MATSUEDA: It's a confluence of a lot of different things.And it's not just-- I mean, I believethat social science, like science, is cumulative,but it's in fits and starts.Like you mentioned Thomas Kuhn.I agree with that completely, whichis consistent with pragmatism as well.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: Sometimes we just kind of get stuck on some ideas thatare kind of problematic.I mean, I would count Parsons and structural functionalism.Well there's these wonderful insights.Actually the guy who, to me, has the best insightsis, oh Merton of course, but Peter Blau,on social structure.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: But we kind of get lost in somethingand we need to move on.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: If you could start all over again today,is there anything that you would maybe do differently?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, I would probably-- Yeah,I would definitely be more politic about my career moves.Most of my career moves have been just,I think this is right and I'm just going to do this,without thinking about, is this a good career move?
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: You know, I've never thought about that.And so yeah, my career would probablybe a lot better if I had.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: In what ways would it have been better?
ROSS MATSUEDA: I don't know, just more impact, maybe moreimpact.I don't know.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Does that impact your,I guess, attention span, in terms of-- sometimes peopletalk, I should have elaborated on a thought that could havebeen developed much further.Was that maybe an issue, or was that a limitation maybe?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, that's a good point for me,I think personally.I probably should have developed ideas into books when peoplewere asking me to, and I didn't.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: How about some advicefor maybe the next generation out there?What are some of the things that youtend to tell your students here in termsof if you want to be successful and you might want to be doingthese kinds of things?
ROSS MATSUEDA: It's kind of, you know--what do I tell my students?Hard work, I mean obviously-- well for me,the most important thing is getting things right.If you're doing things empirically,getting it right is, I think, the most fundamental thing.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: That was why being at Wisconsin was such a nice thingbecause everybody was just obsessedwith getting things right.And you know, again, I fit right in.It was kind of nice, people worrying about this issueand that issue, [INAUDIBLE] stuff.So get things right.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: My advice is usually know theory and method,address fundamental questions if you can.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Throughout your careeryou've had a number of collaborators.Can you speak to us about some of those-- RonnieAkers, Crutchfield, Rosemary Gartner, Karen Heimer,Irving Piliavin.What's made those interactions particularly productive?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Usually it's kind of fun people that I enjoy,usually.And like the work with Piliavin and Gartner,when I first started at Wisconsin,that was just so much fun.We really had fun, drinking scotch after our meetings
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and joking around.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: That was a really interesting questionbecause it seemed like you flippedthe paradigm in a bit of a way.Criminology had been stuck seemingly in this ideathat deterrence is about the deterrent elementthere, the costs that are associated.And you said, well, what about the benefits for [INAUDIBLE]?How do you fall into that question?
ROSS MATSUEDA: A, that Piliavin who always had this cost rewardthing.You could look at some of the earlier papers he had written,he had some things I really loved,like situationally induced motives.I loved that idea, Piliavin and Briar, the stuffwith the police.And he had, I think, done and experiment
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: with trying to manipulate rewards and cost,really early in his career, like in the '60s.And so that was always there for him.And it was in their supportive work data of rewards and cost,because a lot of economists were involved.And so we just picked up on that.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And we were influenced by Becker, Gary Becker, and that,the environment of economics.This was at the Institute for Researchon Poverty at Wisconsin.So that was just kind of a natural thing.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: You've also had a number of mentees that haveobtained some of your success.Chris Uggen, Karen Heimer.Lately you've been doing an often lot of workwith Derek Drakulich.Can you speak to us about what makesmentoring-- what leads to a more successful mentorship?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Well a couple things.One is I got really good natured from Cressey and Bilby.And so you know, I learned how to do that.And it was a big deal for me.And at Wisconsin where I started, training of studentswas really, really important.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: And so it was kind of a natural sort of thing.Karen Heimer was a student of minewhen I was-- I think she was in my undergraduate classwhen I was a first year assistant professor.But she was in psychology, a graduate student,working with Len Berkowitz, putting people's hands
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: in ice cold water.And she said she was getting tired of doing that,and she was really interested in crime.So then she transferred to sociology,and then we started collaborating.She was great.She was a phenomenal sociologist.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: That was fun.Chris Uggen was also-- Chris Uggen,he's one of the top criminologists in the worldtoday.He was a student in the first undergraduate course I evertaught.
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: I just talked to him yesterday about this.I had never talked before and I go to Wisconsinand I'm just shoved in front of a hundred students,and had no idea how to teach.And there's Chris sitting in the second row,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: sitting straight up and listening intentlywith great questions and stuff.And he ended up staying on for graduate school.And yeah, so he was just phenomenal from the start, justa really talented guy.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: You've been in sociology departmentsas a criminologist for quite some time.Can you talk to us about the kindof interplay between sociology and criminology?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, it varies.I mean, I think criminology is doing really well,and it has so much greater status in the discipline,in sociology, than it had years ago.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: To what do you attribute that?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Oh, it's the work.The work of people like Rob Sampson and John Hagan,Chris Uggen, and then their students,you know, Andy Papachristos, David Kirk.And those individuals are at top places, top universities,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: getting good graduate students.And also the big incarceration, mass incarceration researchwith lots of people and criminologistskind of involved with that as well,that's such an important problem.But I think just the quality of research has improved.I think criminology is really almost like at the cutting
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: edge of social sciences in some ways, Certainly. in methods.You know, I hear sociologists saying oh God,it's so hard to get into criminologybecause they're such sticklers on method, for example.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Any thoughts on the stateof the field just in general?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, I'm pretty positive about criminology.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: As an independent kind of entityas well?
ROSS MATSUEDA: Yeah, I mean, I think the strength of it--I really like the interdisciplinary aspectwith psychologists like [INAUDIBLE] Moffittdoing important work, people like Dan Naginand Al Blunstein.Economists as well, and sociologists.So I think drawing from these different disciplines I think
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: is-- Like the contribution of CMU to criminologyhas been, to me, tremendous, really smart peoplethat are really well trained in methods.US And now you see departments like Marylandis doing so well cranking out people and training students.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Are there things in the fieldmaybe should be looking at with greater intenttoday that it's not?Are there any lingering questions or emerging questionsthere that you think are very important that you would,if you had your druthers here, we'd be doing more of?
ROSS MATSUEDA: It's my bias, but focusingon kind of the basic science is very important.I mean, you have to, in the end, youhave to do something applied.Basic science is important in partbecause it has policy implications,but focusing on the basic science I think is important,
ROSS MATSUEDA [continued]: and drawing from these other disciplines I thinkis the great potential for criminology.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Lastly, conclusion here?Is there anything that we may havemissed that you'd like to speak onor questions that I should have asked but failed to?
ROSS MATSUEDA: No, I think you've done a nice job.
BRENDAN DOOLEY: Perfect-- perfect.Well, at this point, we'd like to thank youfor your time and the invitation to come outto the University of Washington.
ROSS MATSUEDA: For sure.Thank you.Thank you for the interview.[Oral History of Criminology Ross Matsuedainterviewed by Brendan Dooley]
An Interview with Ross Matsueda
View Segments Segment :
Dr. Brendan Dooley interviews Professor Ross Matsueda about his career in sociology and criminology. Matsueda explains the path that took him from an unmotivated high school student to a doctor of sociology, particularly highlighting how he moved from hard science to social science and from qualitative to quantitative research.
Dr. Brendan Dooley interviews Professor Ross Matsueda about his career in sociology and criminology. Matsueda explains the path that took him from an unmotivated high school student to a doctor of sociology, particularly highlighting how he moved from hard science to social science and from qualitative to quantitative research.