Holly Campeau, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts - Sociology Dept


Area of Study / Keywords

Crime & Deviance; Organizational Behaviour; Policing; Sociology of Law; Culture; Social Inequality; Policy


I received my PhD (2016) from the University of Toronto where I split my time between the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. My doctoral dissertation (supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council) specifically examines "police culture" and the impact of various dimensions of change surrounding the occupational landscape of law enforcement, including intensifying mechanisms for oversight, increasing pressure for accountability and transparency, shifting officer demographics, and mounting legislative effort to standardize police service. 

I was the recipient of the 2016 Dennis William Magill Canada Research Award from the University of Toronto for my article "Police Culture at Work: Making Sense of Police Oversight", published in the British Journal of Criminology. My work has also been awarded by the Canadian Sociological Association and the American Sociological Association for best paper.

I assisted in the research and development of a two-part series for IDEAS, CBC RADIO ONE, which considers the current status of policing in complex and unsettled times.

Part 1: Policing: To Serve or Protect (episode link: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/policing-to-serve-or-protect-1.4157149)

Part 2: Policing: Old Cops, New Expectations (episode link: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/policing-old-cops-new-expectations-1.4171516)

I am also a Senior Researcher with the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. As a team of justice scholars with a diverse set of skills and areas of expertise, we study justice systems under pressure and support organizations seeking insight.


As a sociological criminologist, I aim to shed light on “how culture works” in the broader field of law and criminal justice. My work focuses on organizational cultures of criminal justice institutions and the system of relations among their members and constituents. I have recently turned my focus toward police interactions outside the department to unpack the “dual perspective” of police-citizen encounters through interviews with officers and individuals who have been arrested. I am also exploring questions about the new economy of innovation in the criminal justice sector as practitioners and representatives in government seek reform strategies in the face of problems with sustainability and legitimacy. 


I have experience teaching a number of courses relating to crime, deviance and criminal justice, including:

- Introduction to Criminology

- Sociology of Crime

- Social Institutions and Crime

- Policing

- Deviance and Social Control 

- Crime and Public Policy

- Social Problems


SOC 225 - Criminology

Examination and attempted explanation of crime and juvenile delinquency, with an analysis of the social processes leading to criminal behaviour.

Winter Term 2021 Winter Term 2022
SOC 323 - Sociology of Policing

Examines the nature of policing, its structure and function from a sociological perspective. Focus on theoretical analyses of policing, history of policing, police-citizen relations, strategies, powers, and culture of police, its public and private forms. Prerequisite: SOC 225 or SOC 327 or consent of instructor.

Winter Term 2021 Spring Term 2021 Winter Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Holly Campeau


Policing, Recognition, and the Bind of Legal Cynicism
Author(s): Holly Campeau, Ron Levi and Todd Foglesong
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: Social Problems
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spaa017
Institutional Myths and Generational Boundaries: Cultural Inertia in the Police Organization
Author(s): Holly Campeau
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Policing & Society
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/10439463.2017.1371718
Neoliberal Legality as Dual Process: Embeddedness, Courts and Crime Prevention in the United States
Author(s): Holly Campeau, Ron Levi
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: British Journal of Criminology
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azy026
"The Right Way, the Wrong Way, and the Blueville Way”: Standards and Cultural Match in the Police Organization
Author(s): Holly Campeau
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Sociological Quarterly
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/00380253.2018.1483782
“Police Culture” at Work: Making Sense of Police Oversight
Author(s): Holly Campeau
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: British Journal of Criminology
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azu093