Sociology 444

SOCY 444: Juvenile Delinquency

Prerequisite: SOCY 110 or SOCY 121

Credit Hours: (3)

This course examines felony and status offenses among juveniles and focuses on theories dealing with the impact of school, family and various subcultures on socializing youth. The differential handling of youthful offenders is also covered. Credit for SOCY 444 will not be granted after a student has received credit for CRJU 410, Juvenile Justice, or the equivalent course.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

I. Introduction to the World of the Delinquent

A. Status Offenses
B. Juvenile Felons
C. Statistics on the Extent and Types of Delinquency
D. The "Typical" Delinquent

II. Theories of Delinquency: Exposition and Criticism

A. Shaw and McKay, Ecological Theory
B. Shaw and McKay, Social Disorganization
C. Merton, Anomie
D. Miller, Value Conflict
E. Cohen, Reaction Formation
F. Labeling Theory
G. Sutherland, Differential Association
H. Sykes and Matza, Neutralization
I. Cloward and Ohlin, Alienation

III. Three Socializing and Labeling Agents

A. The Family and Resources
B. The School and Differential Opportunities
C. The Peer Group and Legitimate Adolescent Leisure Activities

IV. The Juvenile Justice System Post Gault

A. Impact of Gault Decision and the Philosophy of "Needs" of the Child
B. Criteria for Disposition and the Role of the Judge
C. Role of Professional and Paraprofessional

1. In-Take Worker
2. Probation officer
3. Clinical psychologist
4. Recreation counselor
5. Vocational counselor
6. Community organizer and volunteers

D. The Future of Juvenile Justice


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is conducted as a lecture course with as much discussion as possible.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will examine:

1. the causes of delinquency;
2. societal and systemic responses to delinquents.


Assessment Measures

Assessment of student progress is made by such means as tests, quizzes, papers, and contributions to class discussion by students.


Other Course Information

Students taking the course for graduate credit must submit a term paper of 18-25 pages, with a minimum of 15 professional citations; in addition, an oral presentation of the research must be made to the class.


Review and Approval

January, 2004 Reviewed Peggy A. Shifflett