Criminal Justice-coas | Lethality: Homicide and Self-Destruction
P461 | 1466 | Phil Parnell


Lethality focus on various social and cultural conditions in which
humans tend to kill other humans.  This area of study is characterized
by a wide range of analytic approaches, one approach often ignoring
the existance of others.  A major purpose of this course is to
familiarize you with several different approaches to the study of
human killings, to encourage you to consider these approaches
critically, and then to judge for yourself which analyses most
adequately explain the types of killings they address.  There is an
emphasis on social relationships, such as relations among kin and
among groups that tend to generate homicide, as well as on the roles
of killing in cultures of the United States.  However, readings
consider a wide range of factors that may both generate and inhibit
himicide:  bioligical factors that analysts claim we all share,
psychological dispositions as the bases of mass killings, social and
economic change, and roles of violence in harnessing the unknown.

Throughout the course we consider the roles of killing in the United
States as a nation that links together various forms of society and
culturte.  These questions take us beyond the causes and prevention of
violence into violence as a shared and common event through which
people in the United States examine and discuss the state and nature
of families, communities, the law, the government, individuals, shared
symbols, and other components of local and national life.

A goal of this course is development of your underestanding of various
approaches to the study of homicide. Understanding does not
necessarily involve acceptance.  Another goal is development and
exploration of your own questions about homicide.

Requirements:
The course grade will be based on three eight-page essays that are
discussions and critiques of assigned readings and course topics,
student-generated questions concerning the assigned readings, and
in-class participation.

Grade:   Essays 70%
Questions  20%
Additional participation 10%

Readings:
Glimore, Mikal 1994.  "Shot in the Heart"  New York: Anchor Books
(Doubleday)
Jenkins, Philip 1994.  "Using Murder - The social Construction of
Serial Homicide"  New York:  Aldine de Gruyter

Class Meeting:  One 150 minute class per week, M, 2:30-5:00P, SY 200

Instructor:  Professor Phil Parnell, Criminal Justice Departmen