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Patrick O'Brien

Patrick O'Brien Dr. Patrick O’Brien earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He also received an M.A. in sociology and a B.S. in specialized studies from Ohio University. Dr. O’Brien has been teaching at the college level for over a decade instructing lower-division introductory courses in sociology, criminology, deviance and social problems while additionaly creating upper-division courses focusing on drugs, punishment, criminality, and the law. His primary academic interests include criminology, social control, drug laws, media, and qualitative methodology. 

 Current Position

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder (2013)
  • M.A., Sociology, Ohio University (2006)
  • B.S.S., Sociology & Criminology, Ohio University (2004)


  • O’Brien, Patrick K., Patricia A. Adler, and Peter Adler. 2016. “Deviant Identity.” Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition.
  • O’Brien, Patrick K. 2014. “Social Control.” Encyclopedia of Social Deviance, edited by Heith Copes and Craig J. Forsyth. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Courses Taught

Current Courses

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Social Problems


Past Courses

  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Sociology of Punishment
  • Drugs, Criminality, and the Law
  • Deviance in U.S. Society
  • Drugs in U.S. Society



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