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In Memoriam: Jock Young

Professor Jock Young died Saturday morning, November 16, 2013, in Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital of anaplastic thyroid cancer.  Jock had approached this awful disease with typical courage and humor and up until Wednesday, while in hospital, he was still commenting on his students’ essays and dissertations and working on his next book proposal.  Jock Young was one of the most renowned, productive, and respected criminologists in the world and a founder of the school of “critical criminology.”

Together with Stan Cohen, Jock developed the notion of a “moral panic,” which came to be widely employed in sociological writing and in everyday parlance.  Even before coming to CUNY, he had had a long and distinguished career as a sociologist and criminologist in his native United Kingdom.  A member of the Royal Society of Arts in London, prior to his move to New York Jock was Professor of Sociology at the University of Middlesex and head of its Centre for Criminology.  Most recently, he had completed a trilogy on contemporary social life that included The Exclusive Society (1999), The Vertigo of Late Modernity (2007), and The Criminological Imagination (2011).

The American Society of Criminology (ASC) recognized Jock’s contributions in a series of major awards.  In 2008, he received its Sellin-Glueck Prize for Outstanding International Contributions to Criminology.  The following year, the ASC’s Critical Criminology Division presented Jock with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2011 he received its Distinguished Book Award for Cultural Criminology: An Invitation, co-authored with Jeff Ferrell and Keith Hayward.  Jock’s lifetime of significant intellectual contributions was recognized most recently by the British Society of Criminology, which honored him with its 2012 Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Jock directed the Common Studies Programme, a consortium of schools in Europe as well as John Jay and the Graduate Center, which meets once a term for an intensive several days of lectures and discussions between students and professors from at least 10 universities.  Many CUNY students have participated in those sessions over the years and many of them have gone on to become professors in CUNY and other universities.  Jock loved his students and he taught his classes at the GC up until his final weeks.

Jock Young is survived by his wife, our colleague Jayne Mooney, his sons, Jesse, Joseph, and Fin, and his step-daughter Annie, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.  Those of us who had the privilege of knowing him will recall his wry wit, his incisive observations about contemporary life, and his enthusiasm for his students.  We will miss him immensely.

Remembering Jock Young

Read about Jock in the Guardian


An event to celebrate Jock’s life will be held in the Skylight Room on Wednesday, December 18th, 4-6pm, followed by a get-together in a room above O’Reilly’s Pub on 35th Street.  Jock’s family, friends, colleagues, and students are all invited to attend.


Information on the Jock Young Memorial Fund

As many of you are aware the John Jay College family recently lost a great contributor to the college and one of the intellectual giants of the international community of scholars in criminology, our Distinguished Professor Jock Young. Our college will host a memorial this spring with more information to come.  Jock leaves behind a wife, Associate Professor Jayne Mooney, and two teenage children.  They face not only the sudden loss of a beloved husband and father but a host of financial challenges associated with Jock’s catastrophic illness and loss of income.
Our college has created the Jock Young Memorial Fund which will assist Jock’s family with medical expenses and providing for his sons at this time.
Contributions should be submitted to the John Jay Bursar's Office, L70.00NB.  Cash and checks are accepted.  Checks should be made payable to: John Jay College of Criminal Justice and "Jock Young" can be indicated in the memo portion of the check.  Our Human Resources Office, Executive Director Kevin Hauss, will be the administrator of the account. Thank you for your generosity and support of our dear colleague, Jayne Mooney, and hers and Jock's family.