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CRM 2201 Criminology

Course Description

Examines the causes of criminal behavior. Also examines ethical issues, policy implications, and research. 

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Discuss the theory and the research methodology used to test various theories of crime, delinquency, and behavior
  • Explain that correlation does not equate to causation
  • Identify the historical foundations of criminological theories
  • Define the macro versus the micro viewpoints of crime, delinquency, and behavior
  • Summarize the various theoretical schools of thought on crime, delinquency, and behavior and their utility in examining, explaining, and preventing crime and delinquency

Week 1

Lecture: Introduction

Lecture: Researching Crime and Measuring Criminal Behavior


  • Explain the purpose of counting crime and measuring criminal behavior
  • Discuss the ingredients of crime defenses, typologies of crime, measurements of crime, nature of crime, extent of crime, and characteristics of crime

Week 2

Lecture: Schools of Thought Throughout History


  • Explain criminological schools of thought throughout history
  • Discuss the importance of classical and positivist criminology; biological, psychological, and sociological determinism; and historical versus contemporary criminology

Week 3

Lecture: Biological Perspectives

Lecture: Psychological Perspectives


  • Explain psychological and biological perspectives of crime
  • Discuss psychology and criminality, mental disorders and crime, biology and criminality, and crime and human nature

Week 4

Lecture: Sociological Theories and Cultural Deviance Theory


  • Explain strain and cultural deviance theories of crime
  • Discuss the interconnectedness of sociological theories; anomie, strain, and cultural deviance theories
  • Illustrate ways these theories form policy

Week 5

Lecture: The Formation of Subcultures


  • Explain the formation of subcultures
  • Discuss the functions of subcultures
  • Distingush and identify subcultures of delinquency and violence, Miller’s Theory, and gangs
  • Identify how theory forms policy regarding subcultures 

Week 6

Lecture: Labeling Theory, Conflict Theory, and Radical (Marxist) Theory


  • Explain labeling, conflict, and radical theories
  • Compare and contrast labeling, conflict, and radical theories

Week 7

Lecture: Environmental Theories


  • Define the principles of environmental theory
  • Discuss situational theories of crime
  • Explain theories of victimization
  • Identify key ways to prevent crimes from occurring 

Week 8

Lecture: Social Control Theories


  • Explain social control theory
  • Discuss theories of social control, containment theory, recent theoretical explorations
  • Identify how these theories inform policy

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. February 2012