Criminal Justice-coas | Theories of Crime and Deviance
P200 | 1167 | Verma
Crime has always aroused fascination and morbid attention. The media,
movies and even books feed upon it and the horror of blood spilled is
perhaps matched only by the foreboding curiosity towards the offender. The
question of what is crime, who is a criminal and how to control criminal
behavior has major relevance to our society. The objective of this course
is to understand crime trends and the nature and causes of criminal
behavior. In this course we will focus upon the definition of crime, its
relationship with law and the factors, circumstances or conditions that
influence individuals or groups to get involved in law violating behavior.
We will begin by understanding the problem of the measurement of crime and
explore the trends both spatially and temporarily. Thereafter, we will
examine the biogenetic, psychiatric and psychological explanations of
criminal and deviant behavior and give special attention to the hypothesized
links between criminality and genetics, physiology, mental disorders,
personality and moral development. We will next survey those accounts for
criminal behavior that examine the sociological perspectives of both
individuals and groups. These will include anomie, strain, control,
sub-cultural ecological, group conflict, functionalist and critical
theories. Finally, we will examine some of the specific types of criminal
behavior and investigate how opportunity shapes and facilitates criminal
incidents. We will look at some of the environmental factors that could
impede such harmful behavior too.
George B. Vold and Thomas J. Bernard, "Theoretical
Criminology", 3rd edition.
Marcus Felson, "Crime and Everyday Life", 2nd edition.
Reference will be made to a set of readings on some special
Mid-Term Examination (multiple choice) 25%
Class Participation 5%
Essay Examination (take home) 30%
Final Examination (multiple choice & short answers) 40%
Instructor: Professor Arvind Verma, Criminal Justice Department