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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 321
Course Title: Criminology
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Theories concerning the nature, cause, control, treatment, and prevention of crime. Topics include current trends in U.S. crime rates; media coverage of crimes; patterns of victimization; characteristics of property crimes, violent crimes, corporate crimes, political crimes and victimless crimes. Critical examination of current law enforcement and correctional policies and practices is included. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

By Adler, Freda; Gerhard O. W. Mueller; & William S. Laufer (McGraw Hill)
Criminology: A Sociological Understanding
By Barkan, Steven (Prentice Hall)
Introduction to Criminology
By Barlow, Hugh D. & David Kauzlarich (Prentice Hall)
Criminological Theories: Bridging the Past to the Future
By Cote, Suzette (Sage)
Criminology and Social Theory
By Garland, David & Richard Sparks (Oxford University Press)
Criminological Theory
By Lilly, J. Robert; Francis T. Cullen; & Richard Ball (Sage)
Criminological Theories: Traditional and Nontraditional Voices and Themes
By Moyer, Imogene (Sage)
Crime and Criminology
By Reid, Sue Titus (McGraw Hill)
Critical Issues in Crime and Justice
By Roberts, Albert (Sage)
Criminology Today: An Integrative Introduction
By Schmalleger, Frank (Prentice Hall)
Gun Violence: The Real Costs
By Cook, Philip J. & Jens Ludwig (Oxford University Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Crime and Everyday Life
By Felson, Marcus (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Current Perspectives on Sex Crimes
By Holmes, Ronald & Stephen T. Holmes (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Gangs in America III
By Huff, C. Ronald (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
States of Confinement: Policing, Detention and Prisons
By James, Joy (Palgrave)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics
By Jacobs, James B. (Oxford University Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Crimes of the American Nuclear State: At Home and Abroad
By Kauzlarich, David & Ronald C. Kramer (Northeastern University Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Drug Users in Society
By Neale, Joanne (Palgrave)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism
By Taylor, Robert, (Prentice Hall)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment
By Zimring, Franklin (Oxford University Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Punishment and Democracy: Three Strikes and You’re Out
By Zimring, Franklin, Gordon Hawkins, & Sam Kamin (Oxford University Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison
By Reiman, Jeffrey (Pearson/Allyn & Bacon)
Course Objectives
  • To explore the concept of crime and describe the development of criminal law and criminology.
  • To recognize the nature and extent of crime in the U.S. and articulate the problematic nature of using crime statistics.
  • To analyze theoretical perspectives on crime.
  • To understand both crime and social control efforts.
    Measurable Learning
  • Explain the concept of crime and describe the emergence of criminal law and the development of the discipline of criminology.
  • Explain the nature and extent of crime in the U.S. and articulate the problematic nature of using crime statistics.
  • Explain crime causation and control in classical theory, biological, psychological, social structural, social process and conflict theories.
  • Evaluate various types and patterns of crime and analyze them in terms of applicable theories.
  • Explain Marxist criminology and feminist criminology, recognizing significant theorists working within these traditions and the alternatives they offer to mainstream criminological theory.
    Topical Outline:
  • Alternative theoretical perspectives on crime: Marxist criminology and feminist criminology
  • Definitions of crime and criminology, the historical development of the criminal law and criminology
  • The nature and extent of crime, sources of data, and the problems with crime statistics
  • Theories of crime causation: the classical choice and deterrence theories, biological and psychological theories, social structure theories, social process theories, social conflict theories; and the policy implications of these theories for crime control
  • Crime topologies; including violent crimes, economic crimes, and public order crimes
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: October 31, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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