The research interests of Lonnie Athens are in criminology; domination,violence, and conflict; and naturalistic methods. He is the author of three books : Domination and Subjugation in Everyday Life, The Creation of Dangerous Violent Criminals, and Violent Criminal Acts and Actors Revisited. He also has edited or co-edited several anthologies, including Violent Acts and Violentization: Assessing, Applying and Developing Lonnie Athens' Theories and Radical Interactionism on the Rise.
In addition, he has published dozens of articles that have appeared in journals, such as The American Sociologist, Deviant Behavior, Sociological Quarterly, International Journal of Group Tensions, Journal of Classical Sociology, Journal for Theory of Social Behavior, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Cultural Studies<>Critical Methodologies, Qualitative Inquiry, International Review of Qualitative Research, Symbolic Interaction, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, and Migration World. Although Athens has spent most of his professional life in academics, he has also worked in a variety of capacities in the criminal justice system, including as an expert witness and consultant for the state and defense in murder trials. His work has been mentioned on episodes of the T.V. series, "Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit," "Murder in the First Degree," and "The Dr. Drew Show," as well as many times in the New York Times.
- D.Crim., University of California at Berkeley, 1975
- M.S., University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1972
- B.S., Virginia Tech, 1970
"Mead and Park: A "Socio-Biographical" account of their becoming pragmatists, but developing opposing interactional viewpoints." Journal of Classical Sociology, Online(2015):DOI 10.11771468795x15574416/(hard copy anticipated 2016).
"Violentization: A Relatively Singular Theory of Violent Crime." Deviant Behavior: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2015) 36: 625-39.
"Mead's Conception of the Social Act: A Radical Interactionist's Critique." Studies in Symbolic Interaction, 41:25-51, October 2013.
""Radical" and "Symbolic" Interactionism: Demarcating Their Borders." Studies in Symbolic Interaction, 41:1-24, October 2013.
"Park's Theory of Social Conflict and His Fall from Grace in Sociology." Cultural Studies<>Critical Methodologies, 13: 75-87, January 2013.
"Mead's Analysis of Social Conflict: A Radical Interactionist's Critique." American Sociologist 43, 428-447, December 2012.
"The Self-Revelations of 20th and 21st Century Interactionists: Breaking the Academic Mold." Studies in Symbolic Interactionism, 38, 1-8, September 2012.
"Interactionism: The Growing Threat of Intellectual Extinction." Studies in Symbolic Interactionism, 36, 1-15, September 2012.
"Human Subordination from a Radical Interactionist's Perspective." Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 40(3), 339- 368, August 2010.
- "Naturalistic Inquiry in Theory and Practice." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 39(1), 87- 125, February 2010.
"The Roots of Radical Interactionism." Journal of Theory of Social Behavior, 39(4), 387- 414, January 2010.
- Winner of George Herbert Mead Award for Career Achievements from Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
- Winner of Scholar of the Year Award for Physical and Social Scientists from Seton Hall University
- Past President of Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
- Advisory Editor for Symbolic Interaction (since 2004)
- Editor of the "Blue-Ribbon Paper" Series published in Studies in Symbolic Interaction (2007-2012)
- Advisory Editor for Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (since 2010)
- Member of Scientific Committee for International Society for Psychology and Law (since 2008)
- Life and work subject of 3 books: Richard Rhodes' Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologists; Ceretti's and Natali's, The Cosmology of Violence: The Unknown Perspective of Lonnie Athens, and Andrea Pannocchia's The Deviant Communication, Journey to the Discovery of a Borderline Sociologist, the Violentization Theory of Lonnie Athens: