Profile for Peter Marina

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Peter Marina

Associate Professor
Sociology & Criminal Justice
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Specialty area(s)

Urban Ethnography, Critical & Cultural Criminology, Race & Ethnicity, Criminal Justice, Human Rights Policing, Transgressive Criminology, Travel and Tourism, Urban Sociology, Hispanic Immigration, among other topics.

Brief biography

Dr. Peter Marina, a New Orleans native, is a PhD graduate of the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, and author of Down and Out in New Orleans: Transgressive Living in the Informal Economy (Columbia University Press, 2017), among other books. As a sociologist and criminologist, Marina writes about new and emergent forms of transgression in our highly contradictory late-modern social world. His approach to sociology incorporates the striking dialectic of history and biography that allows him to penetrate and interact with a wide range of culturally diverse social groups around the world — from inner-city youths and street kids, to urban street performers and willful outsiders on the social fringes of the metropolis, to religiously inspired residents of the inner-city and urban occultists and Satanists, and most recently, to down and out urban dwellers — in a quest to make sense both empirically and theoretically of this rapidly changing, surprising but always fascinating world.

Current courses at UWL

Social Problems (120); Sociological Foundations (200); Sociology of City Life (319); Delinquency (321); Criminology (322); Qualitative Explorations (416, Capstone); Human Rights Policing (Extended Learning)

Creator/Professor- Human Rights Policing Certificate Program, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse Extended Learning (Fall 2020 – Current) - This program trains law enforcement agents how to apply human rights to policing. Law enforcement agents who complete the program receive a Certificate of Completion in Human Rights Policing.


Ph.D., Sociology: New School for Social Research, New York, New York
M.A., Sociology: University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana
B.A., Education: University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana


Teaching history

Deviance; Urban Sociology; Sociology of Conflict; Power, Ideology, and Social Movements; Qualitative Methods in Social Research; Problems in Urban Community; Ethnic and Minority Relations; Sociological Writing; Masculinities; Women's and Gender Studies; Sociology of the Family; Creative Writing; American History; World History; Independent Studies

Professional history

Creator of the Human Rights Policing Program, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Extended Learning

Visiting Research Scholar. University of New Orleans
(Research on Transgressive Sociology)

Visiting Summer Lecturer. University of New Orleans (Criminology - 4921)

Visiting Professor. University of Missouri – St. Louis

Lecturer. City University of New York (John Jay College of Criminal Justice)

Research and publishing


Human Rights Policing: Reimagining Law Enforcement in the 21st Century (with Pedro Marina). Under Contract with Routledge Press (spring 2022).

Down & Out in New Orleans: Transgressive Living in the Informal Economy. Columbia University Press (September 5, 2017).

Chasing Religion in the Caribbean: Ethnographic Journeys from Antigua to Trinidad.
(Palgrave Macmillan. Paperback– September 7, 2019. Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2016 edition.(ISBN:978-1349934218)).

Getting the Holy Ghost: Urban Ethnography in a Brooklyn Pentecostal Tongue-Speaking Church (Originally published March 2013; New paperback edition published – October 31, 2014: Lexington Books).

(In Progress) New Hispanic Places: Immigration, Revitalization, and Urban Change in Post-Industrial New Jersey (with David Gladstone).

(In Progress) America's Third Coast: Tourism and Social Life in the Mississippi Gulf South


PETER MARINA INTERVIEW WITH WPR: UW-La Crosse Offering Class On 'Human Rights Policing' To Local Law Enforcement (September 8, 2020)

PETER MARINA INTERVIEWED BY JOURDAN VIAN IN LA CROSSE TRIBUNE- UW-L program to dig deep into ‘human rights policing’
La Crosse Tribune, 31 August, 2020

PETER MARINA ON WWNO- In case you missed it live, here is an excerpt from Peter Marina’s talk about his book, “Down and Out in New Orleans.” (The full, unedited version of the talk is here.)

PETER MARINA ON NPR NEW ORLEANS- Dr. Marina’s interview begins at 13 minutes This week on The Reading Life: Peter Marina, author of “Down and Out in New Orleans: Transgressive Living in the Informal Economy”.

PETER MARINA IN NEW ORLEANS’ THE GAMBIT- Meet the sociologist who lived among New Orleans squatters and street performers The Gambit, January 5, 2018


  1. Social Problems in the Age of Discontent: A Manual for Sociological Thinking. Kendall Hunt Publishing, Second Edition. ISBN: 978-1-7924-6631-3.

“Buskers of New Orleans: Transgressive Sociology in the Urban Underbelly.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (first published on August 2, 2016).

"Becoming a God Hunter Towards Conversion in a Brooklyn Tongue-Speaking Church." Social Compass 2016, Vol. 63(1) 76–92.

Sample Articles Outside Academia

"A Call for Human Rights Policing: We Can Make the World Better.” The Blue Magazine. Vol. 12, Issue 5, (November 26, 2021).

“The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil” La Crosse Tribune (March 22, 2020)

“How New Orleans Became the Paris of the Mississippi: A Cultural Magnet and Melting Pot, From the 1920s to Today” (The Literary Hub, 2017)

“Diversity Makes Us Better.” La Crosse Tribune and Chippewa Herald (February 12, 2017)
“Broken-windows Policing is Failed Policy.” La Crosse Tribune (November 4, 2015)
“County's Juvenile Arrest Rate Hurting our Kids.” La Crosse Tribune (April 26, 2015)
“Hispanic Community Strengthens Community.” La Crosse Tribune (October 8, 2014)

Book Series Editor

2016-Current. Series Editor: Ethnographies of Religion (A New Series from Lexington Books).



Peter Marina, Sociology, authored the article "A Call for Human Rights Policing: We Can Make the World Better” " in The Blue Magazine (Vol. 12, Issue 5) published on Nov. 24 by The Blue Magazine. We need a standard national human rights police training program that trains law enforcement agents how to apply human rights in their everyday police interactions with community members. That’s why I created the Human Rights Policing Certificate Program offered through the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse’s Extended learning Program.

Submitted on: Nov. 29, 2021



Peter Marina, Sociology, served as the chair for a panel titled "Transgressive Studies for the Age of Discontent" at the American Society of Criminology. This panel forms the theoretical and methodological underpinnings for the emerging subfield of an anarchistic transgressive criminology. In the time of heightened discontent, new modalities of transgression emerge in both predictable and highly surprising, unexpected ways. The discussions showcase innovative approaches to understanding transgression in our neoliberal society.

Submitted on: Nov. 23, 2021



Peter Marina, Sociology, presented "State-sanctioned Gangs: Police, Human Rights, and Transgression" at American Society of Criminology on Nov. 17 in Chicago. This paper serves as part of a new book, now under contract, that focuses on police, human rights, transgression, and a new vision of law enforcement for a newly emerging era in human history.

Submitted on: Nov. 23, 2021



Peter Marina, Sociology, authored the book "Social Problems in the Age of Discontent: A Manual for Sociological Thinking" published on Aug. 2 by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company. This educational book, just like Marina's sociology and criminal justice classes, is for budding intellectuals interested in pushing the boundaries of thought beyond staid, orthodox, mainstream discourse.

Submitted on: Oct. 22, 2021



Peter Marina, Sociology was interviewed by NPR with Laine Kaplan-Levenson of New Orleans Museum of Art's literary 'Arts and Letters' series on Sept. 18, 2018. TriPod: New Orleans at 300 returns with a new TriPod Xtra segment. As part of the New Orleans Museum of Art’s literary ‘Arts and Letters’ series, Laine Kaplan-Levenson spoke with sociologist Peter Marina in front of a live audience about his book ‘Down and Out in New Orleans.’ The two discussed the various informal economies in New Orleans, and alternative lifestyles people choose as a way to live outside of mainstream society.

Submitted on: Sept. 19, 2018