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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Matthew Costello

Assistant Professor

Office: 137 Brackett Hall

Phone: 864-656-4210


Educational Background

Ph.D. Sociology
Ohio State University 2012

MA Sociology
Ohio State University 2007

BA Sociology
University of Cincinnati 2005

Courses Taught

Juvenile Delinquency
Collective Behavior and Social Movements
Sociology of Deviance


Matthew Costello is a sociologist whose research focuses on online crime and deviance and political extremism. He received his doctorate in sociology from Ohio State University. Prior to arriving at Clemson, Dr. Costello worked as an Assistant Professor at Arkansas State University. His current research explores online extremism in domestic and cross-national settings. Specifically, it explores factors related to exposure to, targeting by, and production of online extremist material. Dr. Costello’s research has been published in respected journals in the fields of sociology and criminology.

Research Interests

Online Crime and Deviance, Political Extremism and Violence, Criminal Justice, Criminological and Sociological Theory, Social Movements/Collective Action, Political Economy

Research Publications

Hawdon, James, Matthew Costello, Rebecca Barrett-Fox, and Colin Bernatzky. “Perpetuation of Online Hate: A Criminological Analysis of Factors Associated with Participating in an Online Attack.” Forthcoming at The Journal of Hate Studies.

Costello, Matthew and James Hawdon. “Hate Speech in Online Spaces.” Forthcoming in The Palgrave Handbook of International Cybercrime and Cyberdeviance. Eds. Adam Bossler and Thomas Holt.

Costello, Matthew, James Hawdon, Colin Bernatzky, and Kelly Mendes. 2019. “Social Group Identity and Perceptions of Online Hate.” Sociological Inquiry. 89(3): 427-452.

Hawdon, James, Colin Bernatzky, and Matthew Costello. 2019. “Cyber-Routines, Political
Attitudes, and Exposure to Violence-Advocating Online Extremism.” Social Forces. 98(1): 329-354.

Costello, Matthew, Rebecca Barrett-Fox, Colin Bernatzky, James Hawdon, and Kelly Mendes. 2018. “Predictors of Viewing Online Extremism among America’s Youth.” Youth and Society. DOI: 10.1177/0044118X18768115.

Costello, Matthew. 2018 “Oil and Gas Rents and Civilian Violence in the Middle East and North Africa, 1990 – 2004: A Resource Curse, or Rentier Peace?” Social Sciences (Special Issue: The Politics of Peace and Conflict). 7(3): 39.

Costello, Matthew, Joseph Rukus, and James Hawdon. 2018. “We Don't Like Your Type Around Here: Regional and Residential Differences in Exposure to Online Hate Material Targeting Sexuality” Deviant Behavior. 40(3) 385-401.

Costello, Matthew and James Hawdon. 2018. “Online Routines, Social Groups Identity, and the Perpetration of Hate.” Violence and Gender. 5(1).

Costello, Matthew. 2017. “Oil Ownership and Domestic Terrorism.” Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change. 41: 107-136.

Hawdon, James, Matthew Costello, Thomas Ratliff, Lori Hall and Jessica Middleton. 2017.
“Conflict Management Styles and Cybervictimization: Extending Routine Activity Theory.”
Sociological Spectrum. 1: 1-7.

Costello, Matthew, James Hawdon and Amanda Cross. 2017. “Virtually Standing Up or
Standing By? Correlates of Enacting Social Control Online.” The International Journal of Criminology and Sociology. 6: 16-28.

Costello, Matthew, James Hawdon, and Thomas Ratliff. 2016. “Confronting Online Extremism: The Effect of Self-Help, Collective Efficacy, and Guardianship on Being a Target for Hate Speech.” Social Science Computer Review. 35(5): 587-605.

Costello, Matthew, James Hawdon, Thomas Ratliff, and Tyler Grantham. 2016. “Who Views
Online Extremism? Individual Attributes Leading to Exposure.” Computers in Human Behavior. 63: 311–320.

Costello, Matthew. 2016. “Rentierism and Political Violence.” Sociology Compass. 10: 208-217.

Costello, Matthew, Craig Jenkins, and Hassan Aly. 2015. “Bread, Justice, or Opportunity? The Determinants of the Arab Awakening Protests.” World Development, 67: 90-100.

Jenkins, Craig J., Katherine Meyer, Matthew Costello, and Hassan Aly. 2011. “International Rentierism in the Middle East, 1971-2008.” International Areas Study Review. 14: 3-31.

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