Barry Goetz

Photo of Barry Goetz
Barry Goetz
Associate Professor of Sociology
(269) 387-5287
3223 Sangren Hall, Mail Stop 5257
Mailing address: 
Department of Sociology
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5257 USA
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1991
  • M.A., Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1985
  • B.A., Urban Studies and Public Policy, Boston University, 1979
Teaching interests: 
  • Social theory
  • Political sociology
  • Sociology of law enforcement
  • Advanced criminology
Research interests: 
  • Drugs and society
  • Policing and society
  • Public safety policy and organization

Dr. Barry Goetz is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Western Michigan University. Goetz has been doing research on police and fire agencies for the past 30 years, and is especially interested in how institutional structures and practices impact social inequality. His current research is on the opportunities and limitations of using pre-arrest/booking intervention methods to link citizens to drug treatment, mental health and other social services, especially amid cut-backs in other areas of the welfare state and as a way to counter aggressive policing practices. He has also done work on arson as a while collar crime and the broader question of fire as an indicator of urban change and gentrification. He was a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral fellow at the Center of Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University (1994-1995) and a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral fellow at UCLA (1991-1992). His Ph.D. is in Sociology (1991) from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a member of the criminal justice faculty at WMU, teaching courses on policing, advanced criminology and drugs and society, as well as a member of the graduate faculty, where he is the Chair of the power and inequality sub-area and member of the criminology sub-area within the Ph.D. Program. Goetz has also worked in local law enforcement, specifically with the Arson Task Force in the City County of San Francisco. He was also a private investigator for a time when he lived in California.