Philip Kavanaugh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, School of Public Affairs
Office Phone
Office Location
Olmsted Building, W160

    Philip R. Kavanaugh received his MA and PhD from the University of Delaware’s Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice. His research, which is situated in criminology, sociology, cultural studies and public health, has been funded by the National Institute of Justice and has appeared in various criminology, sociology, and drugs journals. Using primarily qualitative methods, his work has examined the forms and functions of drug use, sexual assault and sex crimes, as well as stigma and social control processes among drug users, school students, former inmates, and in digital communication spaces. Dr. Kavanaugh is on sabbatical for the 2019-2020 academic year doing research on opioid addiction and recreational cannabis.

    Professional Affiliations

    • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
    • American Society of Criminology
    • Society for the Study of Social Problems


    Research Interests

    Illicit drug use and drug policy

    Social control, governance, and law

    Gender and crime

    Social theory

    Media and crime

    Qualitative research methods


    Selected recent publications. For a full list of publication, please refer to the CV linked under the Bio tab. (*denotes student co-author)

    Kavanaugh, P. R., & Maratea, R. J. (2020). Digital ethnography in an age of information warfare. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 49, 3-26

    McLean, K., & Kavanaugh, P. R. (2019). Motivations for non-prescribed buprenorphine use in a time of treatment expansion. International Journal of Drug Policy, 71, 118-124.

    Kavanaugh, P. R., & Biggers, Z.* (2019). Competing constructions of bath salts use and risk of harm in two mediated contexts. Crime, Media, Culture, 15, 217-237.

    Colon, K. M.*, Kavanaugh, P. R., Hummer, D., & Ahlin, E. M. (2018). The impact of race and extra-legal factors in charging defendants with serious sexual assault. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 16, 99-116.

    Kavanaugh, P. R., & Anderson, T. L. (2017). Neoliberal governance and the homogenization of substance use and risk in nighttime leisure scenes. British Journal of Criminology, 57, 483-501.


    M.A.; Ph.D. (University of Delaware)

    B.S. (PSU)

    Course Schedule
    CRIMJ 012: Criminology
    CRIMJ 100: Intro to Criminal Justice
    CRIMJ 441: Juvenile Justice System
    CRIMJ 469: Drugs and Drug Policy in the U.S.
    CRIMJ 500: Advanced Criminological Theory
    CRIMJ 568: Qualitative Research Methods