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Criminal Justice 675

CRJU 675: Studies in Criminological Theory

Prerequisites: Graduate Standing

Credit Hours: (3) Three hours seminar

This course examines the theories of criminality ranging from classical explanations to recent paradigms.

 

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The content of course will vary from semester to semester depending upon recent published research that will be included under each topic for analysis.

I. Introduction

            A. Overview of major theories and general perspectives

II. Epistemological and Methodological Approaches

            A. Development and construction of theory
            B. Basic methodologies utilized

III. Integrated Theory

            A. Multifactor Approaches

                            1. Hirschi’s model
                            2. Wilson-Hermstien Crime and Nature

            B. Critique and analysis
            C. Policy implications

IV. Biological Perspectives

            A. Recent theoretical developments
            B. Critique and analysis
            C. Policy implications

V. Psychological Perspectives

            A. Recent theoretical developments
            B. Critique and analysis
            C. Policy implications

VI. Social Structural Perspectives

            A. Recent theoretical developments
            B. Critique and analysis
            C. Policy implications

VII. Social Process Perspectives

            A. Recent theoretical developments
            B. Critique and analysis
            C. Policy implications

VIII. Conflict Criminology

            A. Mainstream

                            1. Recent theoretical developments
                            2. Critique and analysis
                            3. Policy implications

            B. Radical

                            1. Recent theoretical developments
                            2. Critique and analysis
                            3. Policy implications

 

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will combine seminar and lecture format. Students will be expected to actively participate in class by presenting critiques and policies they have formulated based on the discussions and readings.

 

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of this course the graduate student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basics of epistemology.
2. Integrate research with recent theoretical works which purport to explain offending behavior.
3. Understand the problems associated with testing theoretical propositions by examining current research.
4. Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze criminal justice policies which evolve from criminological theory and research.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of applied criminological concepts and perspectives.

 

Assessment Measures

Students will summarize, in writing, one of the class research reading assignments which deal with a current test of a particular criminological theory. Each student will also be expected to select a particular theory or perspective and investigate that theory by reviewing a minimum of five research studies, and examine policy implications for the particular perspective chosen.

 

Other Course Information

None

 

REVIEW AND APPROVAL

DATE ACTION APPROVED BY
March 1999