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Karen Laidler

Prof Karen A Joe Laidler

Professor/Deputy Head

+852 3917 2059

9.18, 9/F., The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus


Karen teaches sociology of law, criminology, juvenile delinquency, gender and crime, and social theory. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis and was formerly Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii.

Karen has been involved in juvenile and criminal justice research for over 18 years including a period as Research Associate at the National Council and Crime and Delinquency a leading US non-profit research agency. She has worked on a variety of primary and policy related research including: evaluation of drug intervention programmes; juvenile court intervention; inmate grievance processes; bail reform; sentencing guidelines; risk assessment for juvenile detention; prison planning and classification systems for adult prisons; and drug use problems among methamphetamine users.

Her current research focuses on drug use problems, domestic violence, juvenile delinquents, and the social history of colonial laws in Hong Kong.

Courses taught


University of California, Davis

Research interests

Race and crime
Gangs and delinquency

Current research

Drug use problems
Domestic violence
Juvenile delinquents
Social history of colonial laws in Hong Kong

Selected publications

2003. “Respectability and autonomy: The articulation and meaning of sexuality among the girls in the gang” Journal of contemporary Ethnography. 31(1). Co-authors: A. Schalet and G. Hunt.

2002. “The meaning of gendered culture of getting high: Gang girls and drug use issues.” Contemporary Drug Problems. Co-author: G. Hung and K. Evans.

2001. “Alcohol Use and Abuse among Asian Americans”, in C. Bryant (ed.), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior.

See all publications in HKU Scholars Hub →