FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

 

 


CCJ5606

 

Survey of Criminological Theories

 

THE STUDY GUIDE

 

 

Fall 2006
Last updated Monday, August 21, 2006

 


http://campus.fsu.edu
http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/

 

 

 

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida 32306

Copyright ã2006 Florida State University and Cecil Greek

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the Florida State University.


Table of Contents............................................................................................................................................... iii

Introduction........................................................................................................................................................... 1

Welcome.................................................................................................................. 1

Help with FSU Procedures and Technology.............................................................................................. 2

For Help with University or Course-Related Problems......................................... 2

For Help with Technical Problems......................................................................... 2

About this Study Guide...................................................................................................................................... 4

Syllabus for CCJ5606.......................................................................................................................................... 5

Course Number, Name, and Prerequisites............................................................. 5

Course Description................................................................................................. 5

Required Course Materials.................................................................................... 6

Course Requirements............................................................................................. 7

Course Schedule..................................................................................................... 8

Course Policies..................................................................................................... 11

Week 1..................................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

Week 2..................................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

Week 3..................................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

Week 4..................................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

Week 5..................................................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

Week 6.................................................................................................................................................................... 32

Week 7.................................................................................................................................................................... 35

Week 8.................................................................................................................................................................... 39

Week 9.................................................................................................................................................................... 42

Week 10.................................................................................................................................................................. 45

Week 11.................................................................................................................................................................. 50

Week 12.................................................................................................................................................................. 53

Week 13.................................................................................................................................................................. 56

Week 14.................................................................................................................................................................. 60

Week 15.................................................................................................................................................................. 64

 


Survey of Criminological Theories

Dr. Cecil E. Greek

Welcome

 

Welcome to CCJ 5606, A Survey of Criminological Theories. This is a required course for the master’s degree in Criminology, with a major in Criminal Justice Studies. Through weekly reading assignments and activities such as group discussions and exercises, you will be learning about the history of intellectual attempts to explain the causes of criminal behavior. In addition, you will be asked to apply these models to contemporary criminal justice system processing.

Resources available to you as you participate in this learning experience include your instructor, coursemates, the textbooks and website, and the FSU library system. Your instructor is available to answer any questions you may have about the course. Share your questions and concerns with him, and he may be able to offer you suggestions and assistance. You should also consider your coursemates as primary resources, since you will be collaborating with them throughout the semester.

You can communicate with your instructor and coursemates through email and telephone, or if desired and feasible, you can arrange to meet in person. If you have a question or concern that you believe others may share, use the online discussion groups—that way, answers to your questions will be available for others to see. It is also a good idea to scan periodically through the questions and answers posted by others to see if someone else has asked a similar question. If you have more personal concerns, you can also use email to get in touch with your instructor or coursemates.

Consult the Web resources frequently throughout the semester.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Although you are attending FSU from a distance, you are not far from help. A complete distance learning community and support group will help answer your questions and remedy any problems, from enrolling in courses and developing an academic plan to accessing your course website and submitting assignments via the Web.

 

For Help with University or Course-Related Problems

 

Your distance-learning community includes the following help:

See your academic coordinator for questions and concerns about:

§         Academic requirements of the University and your department
or school

§         Procedural matters such as course equivalency substitutions, course prerequisites, or graduation checks

See your course mentor for questions and concerns about:

§         course content

§         your progress in the course

 

 

 

Course-specific questions you might ask an instructor:

§         “Can you help me understand the difference in meaning between the terms protocols and standards in the Week 9 assignment? They sound like the same thing.”

§         “What can we do about one of the other students in our group project who isn’t doing anything? The rest of us can’t continue until she finishes her part of the project.”

 

 

 

General questions you might ask an instructor:

§         “When I go to take my proctored exam, will the proctor be able to answer questions I might have about the test?”

§         “Will I be at a disadvantage because I live too far away from you to ever meet with you face-to-face?”

See your lead faculty only when your mentor directs you to do so
or when you have a problem that is not adequately addressed by
your mentor.

 


For Help with Technical Problems

 

If your problems or questions concern your computer equipment, software, Internet connection, or the course website, follow the procedures described in one of the following two boxes:

 

 

 

If you have a technical question and are able to connect to
the Internet:

1.       Check the distance learning FAQs page at:

http://www.fsu.edu/~webhelp/CourseInfo/faq.html

2.       If you do not find an answer to your question, check the wealth of information and contacts provided in the Student Handbook to Distance Learning, available online at:

http://online.fsu.edu/

3.       If your question or problem is not addressed by the websites listed above, then send an email to:

oddl@inquiry.fsu.edu.

If your problem concerns your course website, please include the following information in your email:

§         The area in the course website at which you are experiencing difficulties (e.g., Discussion Board, Virtual Chat room, or file upload)

§         A detailed description of the problem and exact transcriptions of any error messages

§         Your course, course prefix, section, and instructor’s name

§         Your name, email address, and a daytime phone number

And, if you can, include the following technical information:

§         The Web browser your are using (e.g., Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, AOL)

§         The operating system you are using (i.e., Windows 95, 98, or NT; Mac; Linux; or Unix)

§         Whether you are connecting with a modem or within a network

You will receive a reply to your email on the next business day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a technical question and are not able to connect to
the Internet:

Call the ACNS Help Desk at 1-850-644-8502.

 


 

 

 

This study guide presents each week or unit of this class through the following headings and sections:

 

 

¨       Objectives

This section describes the skills you should master.

 

 

¨       Topics

This section lists the major areas that the readings and lectures will cover.

 

 

¨       Instructional Activities

This section describes the week’s activities you should complete. It includes readings, online discussion forums, group activities, etc. These should be completed by the start of the following week.

 

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

This section describes the work students must complete each week that goes toward graded assessments. These should be completed by the start of the following week. Pay attention to whether work should be submitted via drop box or discussion forum post, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Syllabus for CCJ5606

Course Number, Title, and Prerequisites

 

Course Number:

Course Title:

Credit Hours

Prerequisites:

 

CCJ5606

Survey of Criminological Theories

3 semester hours

None

Course Description

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Course Objectives

 

This course provides a comprehensive overview of criminological theory. As such the course covers religious and demonological explanations, the classical and neo-classical school, biological explanations, the various psychological theories, subcultural theory, social disorganization, anomie theory, economic models, labeling theory, learning theory, and critical theories.

The general pattern we will follow with each theory/model will be to examine its original derivation within its social context, how the model has been altered as new research has emerged, and the theory's current popularity (or lack thereof). The reading of original works will be emphasized, as well as summaries or commentaries. Analytical comparisons of basic components of all theories will provide a guide for understanding theory construction.

 

1. To understand the use of the scientific method in the construction of theory. Students will develop skills to critique theories from a scientific perspective.

2. To comprehend the significance of social, historical, and political factors as related to the emergence, popularity, and rejection of theories. Students will be expected to analyze theories in light of these factors.

3. To understand in what ways contemporary theories are being employed within the criminal justice system. The class will focus on the implications of various theories for policy.

4. To understand that criminological theory has included both
competing perspectives and integrated models. Students will assess the utility of each approach.

Required Course Materials

 

Textbooks:

Katz, Jack. 1990. Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in Doing Evil. NY: Basic Books.

 

Jacoby, Joseph (editor). 2004. Classics of Criminology. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. 3rd Edition.

 

Messerschmidt, James. 1993. Masculinities and Crime. Rowman and Littlefield 

 

Pfohl, Stephen. 1994. Images of Deviance and Social Control: A Sociological History. NY: McGraw-Hill. 2nd Edition.

 

Reynolds, Paul. 1971. A Primer in Theory Construction. Macmillan.

 

 

 

 

Other Required Reading:

 

 

Articles:

You will find some additional readings linked from the online lecture materials.

 

 

Video:

There is one required video, Professor Chiricos; discussion of theory construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Requirements

 

Theorist Paper Assignment
http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/hw1.htm

Due Dates

 

 

 

Select Theorist

Week 3, (Sept.17)

 

 

 

Initial Bibliography (10 pts.)

Week 4, (Sept. 24)

 

 

 

Part One (10)

Week 5,  (Oct. 1)

 

 

Part Two (10)

Week 6, (Oct. 8)

 

 

Part Three (10)

Week 8, (Oct. 22)

 

 

 

Part Four (10)

Week 9, (Oct. 29)

 

 

 

Peer Reviews (10)

Week 10.11 (Nov. 5, 12)

 

 

 

Final Version (40)

Week 13, (Nov. 26)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Theory Project

http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/hw2.htm

Due Date:

December 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date

Book

Chapter

Theory/Theorist

 

Week 1

Pfohl
 

Chapter 1
 

Introduction
Demonic Perspective

 

Week 2

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 3
45
14
8
9
15

Classical/Rational Choice
Beccaria
Bentham
Wolfgang
Cohen and Felson
Clarke and Cornish

 

Week 3

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 4
20
19
21
23
22
25

Pathological Perspective
Dugdale
Lombroso
Goddard
Hooton
Healy
Wilson & Herrnstein

 

Week 4

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 5
4
30
1
32
10

Social Disorganization
Shaw & McKay
Shaw & McKay
Thrasher
Miller
Brantingham & Brantingham

 

Week 5

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 6
16
38

Functionalist Perspective
Durkheim
Hirschi

 

Week 6

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 7
26
27
31
36
28

Anomie Theory/Strain
Durkheim
Merton
Cohen
Cloward & Ohlin
Agnew

 

Week 7

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 8
2
3
34
35

Learning Theory
Sutherland
Sutherland
Sutherland
Burgess & Akers

 

Week 8

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 9
40
33
41
42

Labeling Theory
Tannenbaum
Sykes & Matza
Lemert
Becker

 

Week 9

Pfohl
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby
Jacoby

Chapter 10 & 11
17

59
48
18
49
61

Critical Perspectives
Marx
Foucault
Rusche & Kirchheimer
Quinney
Chambliss
Sykes

 

Week 10

Katz

Chapters 1-4

Seduction Theory

 

Week 11

Katz

Chapters 5-8

Seduction Theory

 

Week 12

Messerschmidt
Jacoby

First Half
43

Feminist Theory
Klein

 

Week 13

Messerschmidt
Jacoby

Second Half
44

Feminist Theory
Chesney-Lynd

 

Week 14

Reynolds

First Half

Theory Construction

 

Week 15

Reynolds

Second Half

Theory Construction

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Policies

 

 

Academic Honor Code:

The Academic Honor System of the Florida State University is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility 1) to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in the student's own work, 2) to refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in the University community, and 3) to foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility on the part of the University community
The complete code is available at: http://dof.fsu.edu/honorpolicy.htm

 

Required Citation Format:

The APA system of citation and referencing as detailed here (http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/ccj2020/apa.htm) must be followed for all written work. Any other questions concerning style or format should be referred to Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (4th. edition, 1994).). Plagiarism will not be tolerated.

 Students with disabilities:  Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) be registered with the Student Disability Resource Center on his or her own campus; (2) bring/send a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type.  This should be done during the first week of class.  This syllabus may be made available in an alternate format upon request. For full information, contact the FSU Student Disabilities Resource Center at: http://www.disabilitycenter.fsu.edu/index.html

Mandatory First Day Attendance Policy:

All students are required to attend the first day of class or they are dropped from FSU courses. As this class does not meet in person, the method of taking attendance on the first day will be conducted via email. Students are required to send an email to the instructor on Monday August 28 by 11:59 PM or they will be dropped from the course. Send the email to cgreek@mailer.fsu.edu.

 

Grades

Grades in this course will be based on assessment of class assignments and class participation in discussion forums, chats, and other group activities. The latter will account for 50% of your final grade (200 possible points). 100 points for weekly discussion questions plus 100 points for the small group Jacoby readings discussions. Each of the two major writing assignments will each constitute 25% of the overall grade. For the written assignments a grade of 0-100 will be assigned. Final grade average will be based on converting the point total to a 0-100 point scale. For example, scores of 195, 90, and 80 would result in a final 90 average (an A-).

 

Grading Scale

 

 

 

Letter

Average

A

92-99

A-

90-91

B+

88-89

B

84-87

B-

80-83

C+

78-79

C

74-77

C-

70-73

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Week 1: Introduction and Demonic Perspectives

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 1, you should be able to:

§         Identify fundamental ways deviance and social control are related.

§         Explain what differentiates a theoretical perspective from a formal theoretical perspective or a power-reflexive perspective.

§         Identify the two major types of demonic deviance.

§         Explain how the two major types of demonic deviance may be related.

§         Discuss types of evidence which have been used to prove demonic forces are present.

§         Identify different types of responses societies have used to lessen demonic deviance.

§         Discuss why women and homosexuals suffered under regimes based upon the Judeo-Christian tradition.

§         Compare contemporary liberal and conservative demonic interpretations of evil.

§         Discuss why most criminologists reject demonic interpretations yet many people still see them as viable today.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 1 will cover the following:

ú         Philosophical issues and criminological theories regarding human nature, free will versus determinism, and soft determinism

ú         An overview of theoretical perspectives on deviance

ú         Historical religious explanations for deviant and criminal behavior

ú         The relationship between theodicy and evil

ú         Temptation versus possession models

ú         Contemporary religious explanations for criminal behavior

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

1.       Read Chapter 1 in Pfohl, “Images of Deviance and Social Control.”

2.       Read the online lecture for Week 1, “Philosophical Issues and Criminological Theory.”

3.       Visit linked sites embedded in the online lecture.

4.       Read Chapter 2 in Pfohl, “The Demonic Perspective: Otherworldly Interpretations of Deviance.”

5.       Read the online lecture for Week 1, “Demonic Perspectives.”

6.       Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

7.       Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapters 1 & 2

ú         Online lectures, Week 1

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 2:

1. Discuss your theory of human nature.
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

After reading this week’s assignments, what is your opinion on human nature? Are people inherently evil, inherently good, or a mixture of good and evil intentions? Upon what other factors is your model based?

2. Discuss the major problems related to using religious explanations of criminal behavior.
Please post your responses to threaded discussion.

Based on this week’s readings, why have religious explanations of deviant and criminal behavior proven to be so problematic?

3. Discuss contemporary religious explanations of criminal behavior.
Please post your responses to threaded discussion.

In your opinion, are religious explanations of deviance of any value today?

 

 


 


Week 2: The Classical School

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 2, you should be able to:

§         Discuss the major changes in European society that gave birth to the classical perspective.

§         Identify the ways the classical perspective remains fundamentally dependent on religiously grounded ideas.

§         Discuss the impact the classical perspective has had in Europe and America over the hundred years since its inception.

§         Explain why the classical perspective became so popular again in the late 20th Century.

§         Explain whether or not the classical model’s basic tenets are empirically testable and why.

§         Describe what is really known about the impacts of deterrence.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 2 will cover the following:

ú         Rational explanations for deviant and criminal behavior

ú         The historical and cultural setting in which classical theory emerged

ú         The strengths and weaknesses of classical theory

ú         The reemergence of classical theory at the end of the 20th century

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

1.       Read Chapter 3 in Pfohl, “The Classical Perspective; Deviance as Rational Hedonism.”

2.       Read the online lecture for Week 2, “The Classical School.”

3.       Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

4.       Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

5.       Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapter 3

ú         Online lecture, Week 2

ú         Jacoby textbook readings:

ú         Beccaria reading

ú         Bentham reading

ú         Wolfgang reading

6.       Complete the week’s exercises.

 

 

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 3:

1. Choose a theorist for your term paper.
Post your choice to threaded discussion.

You may choose any theorist, including one written about in a previous class. Two students can not pick the same theorist.

2. Complete additional readings exercise.

Instructor will contact you via email or Course Announcements to inform you of your group assignment and whether or not you are the selected discussion leader. The discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week the chosen student (discussion leader) will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

Ø                 a list of the author’s major points

Ø                 the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

Ø                 the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

3. Discuss preference for the classical model.
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

It has been the instructor’s experience that police officers and prosecutors prefer the classical model. Why do you think that this would be the case? What types of factors are likely to be overlooked?

4. Participate in the optional chat session on finding sources for your term paper.
Date and time to be announced.

 


 


Week 3: The Positive School: From Historical Models to Contemporary Biological and Integrated Perspectives

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 3, you should be able to:

§         Discuss what factors explain the emergence and persistence of pathological perspectives of deviance despite lack of genuine scientific evidence.

§         Explain how scientists could come to the conclusion that external physical appearance could be related to criminal behavior.

§         List examples of pathological theories that are based on circular reasoning.

§         Discuss why some of the treatment methods developed by pathological theorists had some impact on reducing deviant behavior.

§         Identify genetic and biological contributions to antisocial behavior and drug abuse.

§         Identify social and environmental triggers that increase likelihood for antisocial behavior and drug abuse.

§         Describe feedback loops between the environment and our biology which result in (a) environmentally induced modifications of biological features, and (b) biological susceptibilities modifying social responses to an individual's behavior, both of which can alter risk status.

§         Identify the early warning signs of susceptibility to antisocial behavior, including drug abuse.

§         Describe methods that the criminal justice system can use to become more effective in preventing and treating antisocial behavior by incorporating recent findings from the behavioral sciences.

§         Recognize and discuss the social, legal and ethical issues and controversies surrounding the incorporation of biological perspectives into the field of criminology.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 3 will cover the following:

ú         Scientific explanations for deviant and criminal behavior

ú         Biological explanations that relied upon examination of external physical traits

ú         Suggested prevention and control techniques based upon early biological theories

ú         Theories related to mental defects

ú         The first chromosome-related models

ú         Genetic and biological contributions to antisocial behavior and drug abuse

ú         Social and environmental triggers that increase likelihood for these behavioral outcomes

ú         Feedback loops between the environment and our biology which result in (a) environmentally induced modifications of biological features and (b) biological susceptibilities modifying social responses to an individual’s behavior, both of which can alter risk status

ú         Early warning signs of susceptibility to antisocial behavior, including drug abuse

ú         Methods that the criminal justice system can use to become more effective in preventing and treating antisocial behavior by incorporating recent findings from the behavioral sciences

ú         The social, legal and ethical issues and controversies surrounding the incorporation of biological perspectives into the field of criminology

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

1.       Read Chapter 4 in Pfohl, “The Pathological Perspective: Deviance as Sickness.”

2.       Read the online lectures for Week 3, “The Positive School: Historical Approaches” and “Contemporary Biological Perspectives.”

3.       Visit linked sites and readings embedded in the online lectures.

4.       Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

5.       Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapter 4

ú         Online lectures, Week 3

ú         Jacoby textbook readings:

§         Dugdale reading

§         Lombroso reading

§         Goddard reading

§         Hooton reading

§         Healy reading

§         Aichorn reading

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 4.

1. Complete additional readings exercise.

Instructor will contact you via email or Course Announcements to inform you of your group assignment and whether or not you are the selected discussion leader. The discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week a chosen student will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

§         a list of the author’s major points

§         the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

§         the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

2. Are criminals biological defectives?
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

In your opinion, are some criminals biologically defective? If true, what implications does this fact hold for criminal justice system processing?

3. Compare early and contemporary biological models.
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

How do contemporary biological models differ from their early 20th Century ones? Describe how the criminal justice system might better respond to what we now know about biological predispositions to crime.

 

 


 


 


Week 4: The Ecological Approach and Social Disorganization

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 4, you should be able to:

§         Discuss why the social disorganization perspective, as developed in Chicago during the 1920s, enjoyed such popular acceptance.

§         Describe how researchers who supported the social disorganization perspective combined quantitative and qualitative techniques in their studies.

§         Identify the key similarities between the social control theories of Reckless and Hirschi and more contemporary versions of social disorganization theory.

§         Discuss the major shortcomings of social disorganization theory.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 4 will cover the following:

ú         The ecological and social disorganization approaches as examples of sociological explanations for deviant and criminal behavior

ú         The factors explaining why the ecological approach emerged where and when it did

ú         The popularity of the ecological approach

ú         Economic factors and crime rates

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

6.       Read Chapter 5 in Pfohl, “The Social Disorganization Perspective: Rapid Change and Normative Breakdown in the Slums of Chicago.”

7.       Read the online lecture for Week 4, “The Ecological Approach and Social Disorganization.”

8.       Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

9.       Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

10.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapter 5

ú         Online lecture, Week 4

ú         Jacoby textbook readings:

§        2 Shaw and McKay readings

§        Thrasher reading

§        Miller reading

§        Kobrin reading

 

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 5:

 

1. Choose a theorist for your term paper.
Post your choice to threaded discussion.

You may choose any theorist, including one written about in a previous class. Two students can not pick the same theorist. First come, first served on this.

2. Complete additional readings exercise.
Instructor will contact you via email or Course Announcements to inform you of your group assignment and whether or not you are the selected discussion leader. The discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week a chosen student will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

§         a list of the author's major points

§         the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

§         the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

3. Implications of the social disorganization model.
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

If disorganized neighborhoods truly do produce crime, how might the police have the greatest impact? Describe several effective strategies that could be incorporated into community policing activities.

 


 


Week 5: Functionalist Explanations of Crime

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 5, you should be able to:

§         Explain why the functionalist perspective in the 1950s replaced the Chicago School’s social disorganization perspective.

§         Discuss why the functionalist perspective is ultimately neither unverifiable nor falsifiable through empirical research.

§         Explain how Merton attempted to avoid tautology and false teleology in his revisions of functionalist criminology.

§         Discuss how it should be determined how much deviance is beneficial for a society.

§         List the major benefits of the functionalist theory of criminality.

§         Discuss who benefits least from functionalist deviance.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 5 will cover the following:

ú         Functionalist models as examples of sociological explanations for deviant and criminal behavior

ú         The factors leading to the emergence of functionalism as a dominant model in the 1950s

ú         The inherent contradictions in identifying crime as an inevitable aspect of social systems

ú         Current interest in functionalist theory

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

11.   Read Chapter 6 in Pfohl, “The Functionalist Perspective: Cybernetics, Negative Feedback, and the Benefits of Deviance.”

12.   Read the online lecture for Week 5, “Functionalist Perspectives.”

13.   Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

14.   Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

15.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapter 6

ú         Jacoby textbook readings:

§        Durkheim reading

§        Hirschi reading

16.   Complete the remaining assignments.

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 6:

1. Complete theorist project section one.
Post your materials to the DropBox.

Section one: the historical context within which the theorist produced his or her ideas:

Discuss the historical social and political environment in which the theorist developed his or her model(s). Pfohl is quite good at doing this in his chapters and could be used as a model for what should be discussed.

 

2. Complete additional readings exercise.
Discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week a chosen student will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

§         a list of the author’s major points

§         the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

§         the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

3. Is functionalism a valuable model?
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

In your opinion, what are the most valuable contributions made by the functional perspective to understanding the origins of crime? What are its major weaknesses?

 


 


Week 6: Anomie Theory

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 6, you should be able to:

§         Describe in detail the differences between the social disorganization perspective and anomie theory.

§         Compare and contrast Merton’s more American version of anomie theory with Durkheim’s more European conception.

§         Discuss ways in which the criminal justice system might better respond to this model.

§         Identify the ways anomie theory is employed today within criminology.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 6 will cover the following:

ú         The similarities and differences between the social disorganization model and anomie theory

ú         How Durkheim’s and Merton’s version of anomie theory differ

ú         Continuing use of anomie theory within strain theory and other models

ú         The implications of anomie theory for criminal justice practice

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

17.   Read Chapter 7 in Pfohl, “The Anomie Perspective.”

18.   Read the online lecture for Week 6, “Anomie.”

19.   Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

20.   Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

21.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapter 7

ú         Jacoby readings:

§        2 Durkheim readings

§        Merton reading

§        Cohen reading

§        Cloward and Ohlin reading

22.   Complete the exercises.

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 7.

1. Complete additional readings exercise.
Discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week a chosen student will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

§         a list of the author's major points

§         the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

§         the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

2. What explains the popularity of anomie theory?
These post your comments to threaded discussion.

Anomie theory remains very popular within sociological criminology. What do you think best explains this fact? What impact upon the criminal justice system might this model have if it were applied?

 


 


Week 7: Learning Theory

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 7, you should be able to:

§         Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Tarde’s three laws of imitation.

§         Explain Sutherland’s revision of differential association theory as a response to criticisms or its simplicity.

§         Compare early versions of learning theory to contemporary versions that combine psychological and sociological components.

§         Discuss ways of scientifically testing learning theory.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 7 will cover the following:

  • Tarde’s three laws of imitation as an early model of learning theory
  • Differential association theory and its relation to social disorganization theory
  • The components of modern social learning theory
  • The difficulties associated with validating learning theory

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

23.   Read Chapter 8 in Pfohl, “Learning Theory.”

24.   Read the online lecture for Week 7, “Learning Theory.”

25.   Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

26.   Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

27.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapter 8

ú         Jacoby readings:

§        3 Sutherland essays

§        Burgess and Akers reading

28.   Complete the exercises.

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 8.

1. Complete theorist project section two.
Post your materials to the DropBox.

Section two: a summary of his or her original theory:

Present a summary of the most important points of the theorist's model(s). This should come from original sources rather than commentary. Be only as complex as necessary, but if the theorist’s ideas changed over his or her career, be sure to include discussion.

 

2. Complete additional readings exercise.
Discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week a chosen student will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

§         a list of the author’s major points

§         the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

§         the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

3. Why does learning theory appear to be so plausible an explanation for crime?
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

What, in your opinion, accounts for the widespread popularity of learning theory as a common sense explanation for crime? Is there a role for the educational system to play in preventing crime?

 


 


Week 8: Labeling Theory

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 8, you should be able to:

§         Explain why labeling theory focuses on law, the law creation process, and the administration of law rather than criminals.

§         Discuss whether labeling theory was a product of the 1960s attack on authority.

§         Compare and contrast labeling theory to psychological explanations of criminal behavior

§         Cite examples of criminal justice attempts to delay labeling

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 8 will cover the following:

ú         Labeling theorists focus on the criminal justice system rather than on criminals

ú         Why labeling theory emerged as a product of the 1960s

ú         Labeling theory’s attack on psychological explanations of deviance

ú         Criticisms of the societal reaction perspective

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

29.   Read Chapter 9 in Pfohl, “Societal Reaction Perspective.”

30.   Read the online lecture for Week 8, “Labeling Theory.”

31.   Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

32.   Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

33.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapter 9

ú         Jacoby readings:

§        Tannenbaum reading

§        Sykes and Matza reading

§        Lemert reading

§        Becker reading

34.   Complete the exercises.

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 9.

1. Complete theorist project section three.
Post your materials to the DropBox.

Section three: discussion of how the model has been critiqued and altered as new research has emerged:

Discuss the major criticisms of the theory. Review critical articles and books. If the theory has been further developed as a result of response to criticism discuss it.

 

2. Complete additional readings exercise.
Discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week a chosen student will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

§         a list of the author’s major points

§         the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

§         the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

3. How should the criminal justice system respond to labeling theory?
Please post your comments to threaded discussion.

In what ways might labeling theory be perceived as oppositional to the criminal justice system? How might the criminal justice system prevent labeling from occurring?

 


 


Week 9: Critical Perspective

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 9, you should be able to:

§         Discuss how key elements of Marx’s critique of capitalism as being incorporated into contemporary critical theory.

§         Explain the roles of power and knowledge as they relate to policy-making within the criminal justice system.

§         Discuss the implications of the counter-cultural roots of critical theory for the likely rejection of this model by current ruling authorities.

§         Explain critical theory in light of it’s identification with the oppressed such as minorities, women, and homosexuals.

§         Discuss the implications of rejecting positivism as a basis for constructing theory.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 9 will cover the following:

ú         The roots of contemporary critical theory within the Marxian tradition

ú         Power and knowledge as key terms in the critical perspective

ú         Contemporary critical theory as a response to the 1960s counterculture

ú         Critical theory and its relationship to feminist critical thought

ú         Critical theory’s attack on positivism

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

35.   Read Chapters 10 & 11 in Pfohl, “Critical Perspectives.”

36.   Read the online lecture for Week 9, “Critical Theories.”

37.   Visit linked sites embedded in the online lectures.

38.   Read the additional assigned readings from the Jacoby reader.

39.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the following readings:

ú         Pfohl, Chapters 10 & 11

ú         Jacoby readings:

ú         Marx reading

ú         Rusche & Kirchheimer reading

ú         Quinney reading

ú         Chambliss reading

40.   Complete the remaining assignments.

 

 

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 10.

1. Complete theorist project section four.
Post your materials to the DropBox.

Section four: Assess the theory’s current usage/popularity within criminology:

How popular is this theory at the turn of the century? Are there current criminologists using this model for research purposes? Ways to get such information is by reviewing ASC and ACJS program abstracts and the numbers of articles in criminology-related journals. (Count the number of paper sessions, presentations, and articles on various theoretical models.)

 

2. Complete additional readings exercise.
Discussion leader will post her summary of the article to threaded discussion. One of the small groups will ask questions based on the summary and post these to threaded discussion. Discussion leader will post answers to threaded discussion.

Each week a chosen student will post a summary of one of the additional readings. This summary should include:

§         a list of the author’s major points

§         the principal types of criminals and crimes their model best explains

§         the primary weaknesses of their theory

While all students should read these additional essays, only those in the small group should pose questions for the discussion leader. Discussion leader will attempt to answer these questions as if they were put to the original essay author. For example, how would Bentham respond to a question such as “What are the major benefits of controlling criminals using a panopticon design?”

3. Discuss implications of critical theory
Post your comments to threaded discussion.

Why is critical theory perceived as a threat to the status quo? Is it possible for the current criminal justice system to respond to critical theory without undermining its own authority?

 


 



Week 10: Seduction Theory I

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 10, you should be able to:

§         Identify the ways in which Katz’s theory is different from other models we’ve examined.

§         Explain criminal behavior as a process rather than the result of predispositions.

§         Discuss the relationships between adolescence and shoplifting and between masculinity and “bad-ass” behavior.

§         Compare righteous slaughters to other types of murders.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 10 will cover the following:

ú         The basics of Katz’s approach to theory

ú         Criminal behavior as a process of developing both the skills and motivations for committing criminal acts

ú         Under what circumstances a righteous slaughter is likely to occur

ú         The appeals of shoplifting

ú         The dramaturgical aspects of male gang-banging behavior

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

41.   Read this week’s on-line lecture on Katz’s seduction theory. Be sure to visit some of the linked sites

42.   Read chapters 1-4 of Katz. Topics include righteous slaughter, sneaky thrills, "badasses," and street gangs.

43.   Participate in this week’s threaded discussion(s).

44.   Complete this week’s exercises:

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 11:

1. Compare Katz’s seduction theory to other models.
Post to threaded discussion.

In what ways are the premises of Katz’s approach to theory different from other models we have discussed in this course? How has he specifically applied this approach to the study of murder, shoplifting, and gang behavior?

2. Exchange a copy of your theorist paper with two students for peer review.
Post your materials to the DropBox for two other students to pick up and pick up two papers from other students to review.

Use the peer review document. It includes a format for reading and editing the work of other classmates. (It is based on all the things the instructor looks for in assigning a final grade to a term writing project.)

 

 



 


Week 11: Seduction Theory II

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 11, you should be able to:

§         Discuss the learning process involved in becoming a successful robber.

§         Explain why so few persist at robbery.

§         Discuss race and gender as factors in career robbery.

§         Critically analyze Katz’s model of cold-blooded, senseless murders.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 11 will cover the following:

ú         The rewards v. the risks of robbery as a criminal activity

ú         Who is likely to persist at robbery

ú         The relationship between race and robbery

ú         Actors likely to be involved and scenarios leading to cold-blooded, senseless murders

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

45.   Read this week’s online lecture on Katz’s seduction theory. Be sure to visit some of the linked sites

46.   Read chapters 5-9 of Katz. Topics include robbery, race and crime, and cold-blooded, senseless murder.

47.   Participate in this week’s threaded discussion(s).

48.   Complete this week’s exercises:

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 12.

1. Discuss Katz on robbery and cold-blooded, senseless murder.
Post to threaded discussion.

What are the major factors Katz cites in regard to the persistence of robbery?

What is your opinion of Katz’s explanation of the high incidence of black Americans in committing robbery? What implications could be drawn about race and crime generally?

What, in your opinion, are the most problematic elements of Katz’s explanation of cold-blooded, senseless killers?

2. Complete peer Review of Class Theorist Projects.
Return to original authors via email attachment.

Using the on-line peer review form, complete the review of one other student’s project. Send your review to the student.

 

 



 


Week 12: Feminist Theory I

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 12, you should be able to:

§         Discuss the limitations of traditional theory from the perspective of feminist theory.

§         Compare and contrast the various strands of current feminist theory.

§         Describe how feminist theories would account for traditional male and female crime patterns.

§         Critically assess Messerschmidt’s version of feminist theory.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 12 will cover the following:

ú         Gender blindness within traditional theory

ú         Inadequacy of traditional explanations of gendered nature of crime

ú         Radical feminism's contribution to criminological theory

ú         The criminological focus of socialist feminism

ú         Messerschmidt’s perspective on the gendered nature of crime

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

49.   Read this week’s online lecture on feminist theory. Be sure to visit some of the linked sites.

50.   Read chapters 1-3 of Messerschmidt. Topics include how feminist theory differs from traditional male-centric theories, and the role of radical feminist and hegemonic masculinity models in explaining crime.

51.   Participate in this week’s threaded discussion(s).

52.   Complete this week’s exercises:

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 13.

1. Compare feminist theory to other models.
Post to threaded discussion.

In what ways are the premises of Messerschmidt’s approach to theory different from other models we have discussed in this course? How valid are his criticisms of traditional theory, in your opinion?

Create a list comparing what you think is most valuable about radical and socialist feminism in explaining criminal behavior to Messerschmidt’s.

2. Complete peer review of class Theorist projects.
Return to original authors via email attachment.

Using the online peer review form, complete the review of a second student’s project. Send your review to the student.

 

 



 


Week 13: Feminist Theory II

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 13, you should be able to:

§         Compare various models used to explain male gang behavior.

§         Discuss the relationship between class and male victimization of women.

§         Explain how women are victimized in various workplace locales.

§         Describe the experiences of women in policing.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 13 will cover the following:

ú         The relationship between lower-class masculinity and certain crime patterns

ú         Victimization of women within the workplace

ú         Victimization of women within the home

ú         The experience of women as police officers

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

53.   Read this week’s on-line lecture on feminist theory. Be sure to visit some of the linked sites.

54.   Read chapters 4-6 of Messerschmidt. Topics include how feminist theory explain class differences in male victimization of women, the links between masculinity and crime, and how the criminal justice system is impacted by gender imbalances.

55.   Participate in this week’s threaded discussion(s).

56.   Complete this week’s exercises: 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 14.

1. Discuss feminist theory and specific crime patterns.
Post to threaded discussion.

Compare Messerschmidt’s feminist analysis of gang behavior to Katz’s.

Discuss the importance of class and place in regards to patterns of male victimization of women.



 


Week 14: What is Theory?

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 14, you should be able to:

§         Identify the meaning of theory and its basic elements.

§         Discuss the functions that theory performs for the social scientist.

§         Describe how theory and the “real world” are connected.

§         Discuss how concepts are used to describe the world that we encounter.

§         Recognize the benefits and drawbacks to the process of conceptualization.

§         Assign concepts to particular phenomena observed in the “real world.”

§         Recognize the differences between concepts and variables.

§         Discuss the differences among types of relation statements.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 14 will cover the following:

ú         The meaning and functions of theory and its connection to the “real world”

ú         The elements of theory: concepts, relation statements, and explanation

ú         How conceptualization takes place

ú         The benefits and drawbacks of conceptualization

ú         Types of relation statements: laws, axioms, propositions, hypotheses, empirical generalizations

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

57.   Read Chapters 1-4 in Reynolds’ A Primer in Theory Construction.

58.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the reading, the lecture, and the exercises described below.

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before the start of
Week 15:

1. List a variety of concepts that you think different people might assign to the following phenomena. You may certainly list the concept that you think best fits, but also list concepts that you think others might choose.
Please post your responses to threaded discussion.

ú         The premature termination of pregnancy by deliberate, externally imposed or induced means.

ú         The closing of factories in America by American companies, and the opening of similar factories in Mexico and Central America.

ú         The decision to build the Ford Pinto as originally designed, with the gas tank behind the rear axle despite warnings from Ford engineers that rear-end collisions would cause explosions and cost human lives.

ú         The jury decision to find O.J. Simpson “not guilty.”

2. List a variety of measurable, or observable variables that you think could be used to operationally define the following concepts:
Please post your responses to threaded discussion.

ú         Education

ú         Punishment

ú         Crime

ú         Fear of Crime

 

3. Complete final version of Theorist project.
Post to DropBox.

The final version should include revisions based upon peer reviews and instructor input. If there are graphics included in your Web page, please send those as well.


 


Week 15: How Does Theory Work?

¨       Objectives

After completing the activities for Week 15, you should be able to:

§         Discuss the ways that hierarchical theories work.

§         Describe the strengths and weaknesses of hierarchical theories.

§         Structure a simple hierarchical explanation.

§         Discuss the variety of “pattern” types of explanations.

§         Describe how causal process explanations work.

§         Do causal process explanations.

 

¨       Topics

The lectures and readings for Week 15 will cover the following:

ú         Explanation as the essential function of theory

ú         How hierarchical theories work, their benefits and weaknesses

ú         The value of hierarchical theories in relation to the doing of research

ú         How hierarchical theories are “open at the top”

ú         How “pattern” explanations are different from hierarchical

ú         Doing causal process explanations

 

¨       Instructional Activities

You should complete the week’s activities in the following order:

59.   Read Chapters 5-8 in Reynolds’ A Primer in Theory Construction.

60.   Read Chiricos and Delone, “Labor surplus and punishment.”

61.   View the lecture on How Theory Works by Ted Chiricos.

62.   Participate in the threaded discussion(s) based on the readings, lecture and exercises described below.

 

¨       Assessment Exercises

The following exercises must be completed and posted before undertaking final exam project:

1. For each of the following pairs of concepts, construct a hierarchical explanation with at least one axiom, one proposition, one hypothesis, and two empirical generalizations:
Please post your responses to threaded discussion.

§         Crime and Punishment

§         Family Structure and Delinquency

2. For each of the following empirical generalizations, develop at least two plausible causal process explanations. These should be in simple diagrammatic form. Append any necessary assumptions or qualifications of relationships noted in the text.
Please post your responses to threaded discussion.

ú         In Florida counties, for the year of 1999, there is an inverse relationship between rates of arrest and rates of crime.

ú         In cities of 100,000 or more in the United States, for the year of 1999, there is a positive relationship between rates of homicide and percent of households headed by a single parent.

 



 


Week 16: Finals Week

¨       Assessments

§         Turn in Your Personal Theory Project (Assignment 2)