Sociology | Criminology
S325 | 3884 | Lavin

S325 Criminology (3 CR)
3884 11:15-12:30 MW

Crime, although generally considered a less than desirable
feature of society, is pervasive in our culture.  From pop
culture and media representations romanticizing organized crime
and serial killers to news reports of school shootings, we are
almost perpetually reminded of the presence of crime in our
society.  We become so familiar with crime that we rarely pause
to think about it in any meaningful way until we are directly
confronted with it.  But, what is crime?  This question appears
to be overly simplistic and obvious at first glance.  However,
during the course of this class, we will discover just how
difficult it is to define crime.  In part, this difficulty
exists because what is defined as a crime differs across time
and by culture.  Beginning with the premise that crime is
socially constructed, we will examine criminological theory and
attempt to come to an understanding of what constitutes a
crime, why people commit crimes, how we measure criminality,
how our legal system/media/society as a whole responds to
crime, as well as examining the different types of