This concentration spans topics of criminalization, the legal system, and criminal justice systems, paying particular attention to the way these affect marginalized segments of the population and work to maintain interlocking systems of oppression.  Students in this concentration will learn about the cultural and structural forces that work to define deviance, inform the construction and interpretation of the law, and delimit the experiences of people affected by the criminal justice system.  This concentration prepares students for careers in law, non-profit social justice work, social work, or youth services.  We strongly suggest that students in this concentration take SOC 220 THEORIES OF CRIME AND DELINQUENCY.  

Course Requirements

Open Electives

Open elective credit also is required to meet the minimum graduation requirement of 192 hours.

 

SOC 307

SOCIOLOGY OF SUBSTANCE USE AND ABUSE

Sociological perspectives on substance use and abuse, related high-risk behavior, drug traffic, community impact, and prevention and public policy.

SOC 208

LAW AND SOCIETY

Examines the legal system in its social contexts; considers its moral and social roots, its continuity and contradictions, and its ability to deliver justice. Draws upon cross-national comparison.

SOC 214

POLICE AND THE URBAN COMMUNITY

The nature of police work, decision-making structures and processes, conflict and cooperation in police-community relationships.

SOC 220

THEORIES OF CRIME AND DELINQUENCY

Analysis of theories of causes and control of crime and juvenile delinquency; examination of delinquency subcultures, and the distribution of crime and juvenile delinquency.

SOC 248

WHITE RACISM

This seminar is an introduction to white studies and white racism. White racism is a set of socially organized attitudes, behaviors and beliefs about differences between Blacks and other groups of color in the United States. The focus is on how the color White is constituted as dominant in social life throughout the United States and Western Europe.

SOC 301

THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM:ITS OPERATIONS

An introduction to the juvenile-court system. The interaction of police, judges and court officers. The role of discretion in disposition.
Prerequisites:
SOC 208 or SOC 220 or PSC 260 or BLW 201 is a prerequisite for this course.

SOC 304

SOCIAL DEVIATION

Comparison of theories and conceptual frameworks about deviance. Analysis of deviant life styles and careers. Examination of societal efforts to control deviance. Cross-listed with SOC 468.
Prerequisites:
SOC 101 or SOC 105 is a prerequisite for this class.

SOC 305

POWER, CONSTRUCTIONS OF DEVIANCE, AND SOCIAL CONTROL

This course employs a variety of theoretical paradigms to examine social constructions of deviance and conformity. It pays close attention to the relationship of such behaviors to conventional values, institutions, power, and mechanisms of social control.

SOC 310

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE

In this course, students will explore the history and social meaning of "criminal justice" in the United States. Readings, reflections, and discussions will push students to examine the criminal justice system as a system of social control and will alert students to the raced and classed character of this system.

SOC 315

LAW, POWER AND RESISTANCE

In this course, students examine the law in its social context. Readings, reflections, and discussions will push students to explore the role of law both in the production and maintenance of inequality and in marginalized people's struggles for justice.
Prerequisites:
SOC 208 or SOC 220 or PSC 260 or BLW 201 is a prerequisite for this course.

SOC 316

STREET GANGS

Examines the problems associated with street gangs and "troublesome youth groups" in the United States and Europe. Classical and contemporary theories of gang formation and proliferation are reviewed. Both quantitative and qualitative gang research efforts are studied. Street gang reduction policies and programs (national and local) are scrutinized. Emphasis is placed on the street gang's relationship with other organizations and social actors in the same "habitat."
Prerequisites:
SOC 220 is a prerequisite for this class.

SOC 317

GENDER, CRIME AND JUSTICE

In this course students explore the ways in which gender intersects with crime and justice in the U.S. and increasingly, globally. Using feminist and critical perspectives, this course interrogates the gendered and racial nature of the criminal justice system, examines the ways in which gender intersects with patterns of offending, victimization, survival, and resistance, and looks at the ways that criminal justice institutions and gender interact. It also asks students to think critically about alternatives to incarceration and other ways of establishing "justice".

SOC 322

TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF DELINQUENCY

A review of traditional and current practices of programs designed to treat delinquents and prevent delinquency, with emphasis on the variety of available correctional facilities.

SOC 373

PUBLIC HEALTH AND HIGH RISK BEHAVIOR

Explores problems in community and public health such as HIV/AIDS and injection drug use. Topics may vary.

SOC 390

SEMINAR IN SOCIOLOGY

Selected topics form the basis of an in-depth consideration. Topics vary and may be initiated by students.

SOC 394

COMMUNITY BASED SOCIOLOGY

Combines basic understanding of sociological principles with field experience.

SOC 398

INTERNSHIP

Placement of students in work-study situations relevant to careers in health and human services, social work, juvenile justice, law and society, urban and community services. Clinical and Experiential (can fulfill jr. yr. requirement). (1 to 4 credit hours).

SOC 207

YOUTH AND SOCIETY

Using an historical and cross-cultural perspective, this course examines the social position of youth in today's society; youth subcultures; key institutions within which youth are socialized and controlled.
Prerequisites:
SOC 101 or SOC 105 is a prerequisite for this class.