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Criminal Justice 675

CRJU 675
Studies in Criminological Theory

1. Catalog Entry

CRJU 675
Studies in Criminological Theory

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Credit hours (3)

Examines the theories of criminality ranging from classical explanations to recent paradigms.

2. Detailed Description 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.

• Overview of Major Theories and General Perspectives
• Epistemological and Methodological Approaches
    a) Development and construction of theory
    b) Basic methodologies utilized
• Integrated Theory
    a) Multifactor Approaches
    b) Critique and analysis
    c) Policy implications
• Biological Perspectives
    a) Recent theoretical developments
    b) Critique and analysis
    c) Policy implications
• Psychological Perspectives
    a) Recent theoretical developments
    b) Critique and analysis
    c) Policy implications
• Social Structural Perspectives
    a) Recent theoretical developments
    b) Critique and analysis
    c) Policy implications
• Social Process Perspectives
    a) Recent theoretical developments
    b) Critique and analysis
    c) Policy implications
• Conflict Criminology    
    a) Mainstream
        i. Recent theoretical developments
        ii. Critique and analysis
        iii. Policy implications
    b) Radical
        i. Recent theoretical developments
        ii. Critique and analysis
        iii. Policy implications

3. 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.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of this course the graduate student should be able to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the basics of epistemology
• Integrate research with recent theoretical works which purport to explain offending behavior
• Demonstrate an understanding of the problems associated with testing theoretical propositions by examining current research
• Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze criminal justice policies which evolve from criminological theory and research
• Demonstrate an understanding of applied criminological concepts and perspectives
• Discuss theoretical perspectives on race, class, gender, and crime

5. Assessment Measures

Instructors of this course may choose among these methods of assessment and develop others as they deem appropriate:

Students will summarize, in writing, at least 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.  

6. Other Course Information

None

Review and Approval
April 1, 2008