Allen E. Liska

Allen Liska, a professor in the University's Department of Sociology from 1979 until his death last December, made important contributions to the sociology of crime/deviance and to social psychology. In the former, he conducted influential research on social control, the fear of crime, and the functions of crime in society; in the latter, he made significant additions to the literature on the interrelationships between attitudes and behaviors.

Through his work in these two areas, Liska published more than 50 articles, commentaries, and reviews in some of the best journals in the field. In addition, he published three edited books and a well-received textbook, Perspectives on Crime and Deviance (1999). Because of his expertise, he was also asked to contribute chapters for the work of others. His research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

Liska's distinction was evidenced by his tenure as chair of the American Sociological Association's Section on Crime, Law, and Deviance, as well as his membership on the Social Psychology Section and Executive Council. He was also on the editorial boards of several leading journals including American Sociological Review, Social Forces, and Criminology. In November, he was named a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), which recognizes persons who have made a scholarly contribution to the intellectual life of the discipline, whether in the form of a singular, major piece of scholarship, through cumulative scholarly contributions, or through ASC organizational activities.

Liska, chair of the sociology department from 1985 to 1988, played a meaningful role in training new professionals in his field, directing more Ph.D. students than any other member of the department, and also co-authoring extensively with his students. He held the position of visiting professor at the University of Belgrade (Yugoslavia) and at Nankai University (China).

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