Jason Jimerson, Ph.D.

“My students learn about life. They also learn how to use sociology to help others as well as themselves.”


Department Chair; Director of Criminal Justice; Professor of Sociology

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago – Chicago, IL
  • M.A., University of Virginia – Charlottesville, VA
  • B.A., Earlham College – Richmond, IN

Year Joined Franklin



Adult play, basketball, theory, organizations, criminal justice and criminology

“How do people get things done?” is the question that I find most interesting. My research has focused on explaining how adults play games, such as basketball, without authorities, such as coaches or referees. More recently, I have become interested in how adults make music in improvisational settings, such as at blues and jazz jams. I teach Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of Sport, Sociological Theory, and Organizations. As the director of criminal justice, I teach Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Corrections. I also take students to prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities every year, where they often speak with prisoners. My goal is to produce graduates who can “get things done” in criminal justice, non-profits, business, philanthropy, and life in general. My students’ success is my success.

How do you prepare students for life after college?

My colleagues and I deliver sociology courses that enable students to gain skills that serve them well after graduation. For example, students learn practical skills, like survey design, statistical analysis, and data reporting, which employers value.

How do you prepare criminal justice students?

Students move intellectually from the abstract to the applied, from the classroom to the court. First, students learn about the history, scope, and regulations of the criminal justice system, with an emphasis on the U.S. Constitution. Second, they learn about cops, courts, and corrections. Third, students learn about criminals and their crimes. Fourth, they work as interns in criminal justice organizations. Ultimately, they learn how the system is supposed to work and how it does work.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Honors and Awards

2001 ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, IU Sociology Dept.
1994 Robert Park Lectureship Award
1993 Dorothy Danforth Compton Fellow
1992 Trustee Fellow
1990 Commonwealth Fellow


Runkle Faculty Development Grant Recipient
Rinker Endowment for Faculty Excellence Grant Recipient

Selected Scholarship

Shirts and Skins, written by Jason Jimerson and directed by Ronald Osgood, was shown on WTIU: Bloomington, Indiana’s PBS television station in 2002 and 2003, and broadcast on WFWA in Fort Wayne, Indiana in September, 2003.


Jimerson, Jason B. and Oware, Matthew. 2006. “Telling the Code of the Street: An Ethnomethodological Ethnography.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35(1): 24-50
Jimerson, Jason B. 2001. “A Conversation (Re)Analysis of Fraternal Bonding in the Locker Room.” Sociology of Sport Journal 18(3): 318-339
Jimerson, Jason B. 1999. “’Who Has Next?’ The Symbolic, Rational, and Methodical Use of Norms in Pickup Basketball.” Social Psychology Quarterly 62(2): 136-156
Jimerson, Jason B. 1996. “Good Times and Good Games: How Pickup Basketball Players Use Wealth-Maximizing Norms.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 25(3): 353-371
Baker, Wayne E. and Jason B. Jimerson. 1992. “The Sociology of Money.” American Behavioral Scientist 35(6): 678-693

What Students Say

“Professor Jimerson’s ability to connect real-world situations to classroom objectives has always inspired me to think critically about my stance on social issues. I still reflect on his teachings when I make professional decisions.” – Nia Wilson ’12

“Professor Jimerson really prepared me to be ready for my career. His emphasis on clearly communicating the point, evidence, and implications of information has given me the ability to impact the organizations I have worked for.” – Geoff Zentz ’06

“Dr. Jimerson cares deeply about his students and the Franklin College community. He always encourages me to ask questions and to be critical of the world around me. If I ever have a question about social justice, I turn to Dr. Jimerson for answers.” – Victoria ”Tori” Sexton ’19

In My Spare Time…

I have coached basketball and soccer at the YMCA. I also play guitar and sing. I have sung at blues clubs in Chicago, Houston, Memphis and Indianapolis.