Criminological Theory (Graduate)
Criminal Justice 406
Fall 2006
Temple University

on the web at:
instructor main web site: 

Date of last update: 12/16/2006

What is Criminology?
"Criminology is the study of law making, law breaking, and social reaction to law breaking."
--Edwin Sutherland.


Important information updates will appear in this box

12/19- grades being turned in - memos with details posted - go to memo page - individual emails forthcoming later today

12/5/06 Memo posted from last week about Hawkins, plus the text for the exercise and the "answers"

11/28/06 If you go to the Discussion Boards section of the course Blackboard page, you can post responses to some integrative questions listed there. These are meant to be examples of the kinds of questions that might show up on the second in class exam. These possible questions (and others) also are posted on a memo page here if you just want to look at those and not see what others are saying.

11/25/06 Schlegel and Braithwaite memos added

11/9/06 - questions for Schlegel fixed

11/06/06 - several memos added

10/23/06 Book assignments finalized.

10/17/06 2 Anderson items added - go to memos

10/16/06 -  memo - more directions on specific General Theory of Crime Topics

10/7/06 - first midterm results posted - go to memos

10/3/06 - no office hours this morning

9/25/06  memos from last couple of weeks now available under memos; some questions have been added for thinking about with the first mid-term; grading rubric also posted; go to memos page

9/4/06 Questions posted for Coser and Black. Suggest you read Coser first.

8/29/06 Handout linked for today's class - go to memos - you will be provided a copy in class

Classroom structure  
Attendance Expectations  
Your Grade  
Grading policies  
Sequence of Topics and Readings  
List of BOOKS to buy - alpha by author and in order assigned  
Recommended readings for the future  
Other sites on theory and criminological theory you may find useful (under construction)  
Who's who - link dropped  
LINKS TO QUESTIONS for readings and exams  
Paper assignment

Usage policies and legal notice for WEB pages. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on this WEB page and linked WEB pages at the addresses are the sole property of Ralph B. Taylor and © 1999-2006 by Ralph B. Taylor. None of the opinions expressed on any of these WEB pages represent the opinions  of Temple University or Temple University's Department of Criminal Justice. The only viewpoint presented in these and other WEB pages is that of R. B. Taylor. All these WEB pages were converted from text pages and created as WEB pages by R. B. Taylor in his spare, discretionary time and not as part of required instructional activities, but rather as potential instructional enhancements. As part of his required instructional activities, R. B. Taylor has created paper, non-hyperlinked copies of these pages, and those will be distributed to all enrolled students. Further, the preparation and storage of all these WEB pages did not and does not involve Temple University resources in any manner. All users have the right to freely access and copy these WEB pages provided that they: acknowledge the source, do not make changes on any pages, and do not charge more than copying costs for distribution.  Further, all users by accessing this WEB page or any linked WEB pages in the domain or outside of it, do hereby explicitly and unconditionally indemnify the author of each accessed WEB page, including those in the domain, and all other domains linked to these pages,  from any and all liabilities or claims of damage arising from any variety of defects, inaccuracies, or misrepresentations appearing therein, or arising from trauma or suffering experienced as a result of exposure to any materials taken to be offensive, insensitive, unpatriotic, ill-conceived or otherwise distasteful; or from any uses to which these materials are put.


Instructor R. B. Taylor
Time Tuesday 3:00 - 5:30 , Gladfelter 533 
Office 536-537 Gladfelter Hall
Office Hours Tuesday 1:00 - 3:00
If these times do not work and you need to see me, please call and we can set up an appointment any time.

Further I have a "you can hide but you can't run open and closed door" office policy. This means that outside of posted office hours (a) if my office door is open feel free to c'mon in and (b) If my door is closed but I am here do not hesitate to knock; I am happy to speak with you if I am not under a raging deadline.

Contact 215.204.7169 (v); 610.446.9023 (fax). You also can ring 1-7918 and ask Ms. Salerno (1-7918) if we need to chat and the phone is not being picked up. I will give you folks my home phone number. Since you are graduate students calls in the evenings and weekends are ok.


Current Temple University Syllabus policy also requires that a current Temple e-mail address be listed. Here it is: BUT PLEASE DO NOT USE IT - the university does such a poor job of spam prevention that I am very likely to lose incoming emails amidst the clutter.

Disability statement

You may require special services if you are sight or hearing impaired, or if you wish to register for gaining extra time for taking exams or completing assignments.

 Academic Rights and Responsibilities
Temple University students who believe that instructors are introducing extraneous material into class discussions or that their grades are being affected by their opinions or views that are unrelated to a course’s subject matter can file a complaint under the University’s policy on academic rights and responsibilities.  The full policy can be found at:

The policy encourages students to first discuss their concerns with their instructor.  If a student is uncomfortable doing so, or if discussions with the instructor do not resolve the student’s concerns, an informal complaint can be made to the Student Ombudsperson for the student’s school or college.  Unresolved complaints may be referred to the dean for handling in accordance with the school or college’s established grievance procedure. Final appeals will be determined by the Provost.

An ability to read fairly massive amounts of material in a relatively short period of time and organize those materials; an ability and willingness to participate in in-class discussions and even lead discussion on occasion; an open and inquiring mind about the three main topics, described in Sutherland's quote above; an ability to write relatively short essays.


This course has one simple purpose: to begin to expose doctoral and MA students to important theoretical works in criminology.

If you are a doctoral student, then there is a second purpose as well: to give you experience responding to the types of questions you are likely to encounter on the "theory" portion of the advanced exam. More specifically, there are two in-class exams which are meant to simulate, in terms of the questions assigned, and the conditions under which the exams are given, the actual advanced exams. This is called modeling or practicing to the criterion.

Even though the advanced exams are much dreaded this course will I hope be one of the most interesting, stimulating and dare I even say "fun" courses in the program. We will be wrestling with some of the most fundamental and vexing questions in the discipline of criminal justice / criminology / sociology / psychology.

I hope that the course also will be a searching one for you yourself. I hope that by the end of the semester you will have your own position on some of the perennial questions addressed here. These are important questions and you need to grow your way into answers to these.

Classroom Structure

This class will be run as a seminar.

"The seminar is that midpoint between the lecture and the individual tutorial." (Jay Parini (July 23, 2004). "The Well-tempered seminar." The Chronicle Review.)

  1. [n]  a course offered for a small group of advanced students
  2. [n]  any meeting for an exchange of ideas

Note the phrases "advanced students" and "exchange of ideas." One definition of exchange is "to give and receive reciprocally."

This means YOU are going to do a lot of talking, and we are ALL going to be doing a LOT of listening and thinking. I and other students will be asking questions. I and you will be discussing and providing "answers" and reflecting out loud.

Except for the first week, when I am blabbing at you, and the third week, where you are reading sections from two books, you are reading a book a week.

To help get you oriented to each reading:

It goes almost without saying that what is required of you each week is to read the book, think about the answers to the questions posed, reflect more generally on the work, and be prepared to think and talk about stuff.


I have made a couple of changes since the last time this course was offered. Those changes were instigated in part by reading students comments from the last course.

First, some of the readings have changed. This does not mean the works dropped are unimportant in the criminological canon. Rather, it means either that they were too demanding given the mix of MA and doctoral students in this class, or came too close in coverage to other readings.

Another reason for changing the reading set was to move away from too much emphasis on the second part of Sutherland's definition, law breaking. The new set includes an additional reading on responses to law breaking (Schlegel), in addition to the micro (Hawkins) and macro (Garland) texts already included on responses to law breaking.

Schlegel's book also gives us some more coverage of white collar crime and regulatory responses to crime. These are both important and growing areas within criminology and criminal justice, and they are too often given short shrift. Schlegel highlights the problems in this area, and argues for a desert perspective.

In addition, I wanted to encourage students to think about crime using a broader framework, the framework of conflict. Toward that end I have included two additional volumes. I substituted Black's "The Social Structure of Right and Wrong" for his earlier "The Behavior of Law." Black seeks to construct pure sociological theory. His earlier book is important, and has spawned volumes of research. But his later book sets law breaking and responses to law breaking in the broader context of conflicts between parties. Coser's book is also sociological, and was singlehandedly responsible for dethroning functionalism (a la Talcott Parsons) as the reigning paradigm in sociology in the 1960s, a position it had maintained for decades. Functionalism says: things work the way they work because that is the best arrangement. If you see conflict, like crime, it is because things are out of equilibrium. The conflict perspective says: when you see conflict you see conflict, but you also see broader individual, group, or societal goals being served or benefits being created by those conflicts if you look hard enough.

I can see your evaluations now: readings had too much sociology! I don't need this stuff! But give it a try.

An section of an additional "standard" criminology text also has been introduced: Sutherland's (morphing to Sutherland and Cressey's morphing to Sutherland and Cressey and Luckenbill's) "Criminology." In it you will read about differential association theory. As stated in the book, it is somewhat problematic. Other theorists have modified it and incorporated its insights into other theoretical perspectives. But Sutherland is included because he gives you an overview. What is this field all about? Why are we trying to figure these things out? What are the enduring conundrums?

In response to student feedback I have introduced weekly, short introductory spiels courtesy of your instructor, and I will stick doggedly to the separation between class times devoted to exposition and class times devoted to criticism.

The Weekly Schedule

Each class will be structured, roughly, as follows:
1. 6:00 - 6:10~6:15 Housekeeping then: On the spot. I will call on one or two students -- at random -- and ask each one to read an answer to at least one question, or to read something else they have written for that material. So each week you will be doing some writing. Here are your choices:
    a. Write some answers to at least a couple of the questions posted about the reading, questions that you found interesting
    b. Write down and elaborate on a pressing question or two that comes up for you about the theory
    c. Write about how you think the theory applies to something that has happened recently in the news or in public events.

In other words, every week you are not only going to be completing the reading, you also are going to be doing some writing about each work, and you want to be prepared to report out or discuss what you have written. Writing about the theory is a key step in your processing of that theory. It also helps you get warmed up for the exam writing.

2. 6:15 - 7:00 Basic Exposition. This period of the class is devoted solely to theoretical exposition. We will not get side tracked into criticizing the theory, or pointing out its limitations or its inconsistencies. The purpose is simply to describe the major points of the theory - more on what this means in the first class. Again, this will be in the form of discussion. I will be firm about no criticism during this period. The point during this section is to be sure as many students understand as much as they can about what the theory is saying. At the conclusion you want to have a clear sense of what does the theory say, on what evidential basis, and what key issues in criminological theory does this help us with. I will really need to have your cooperation in observing this boundary between exposition and criticism.

3. 7:00 - 7:15 Break

4. 7:15 - 8:15 Criticism In this section, we discuss limitations, inconsistencies, illogical properties, and/or potential shortcomings of the theory under discussion. You can throw in your personal criticisms here. At the conclusion you want to have a clear sense of at least a couple of limitations with the theory. These could be limitations in terms of its concepts, its hypotheses, its focus, or its evidentiary basis. Or perhaps something else.

5. 8:15 - 8:30 Look ahead. I will offer for your rumination over the next seven days several meagre morsels about the upcoming theory, by way of introductory comments.

More on the Writing

Why am I asking you to write a little each week? Because sometimes it is only when we put pen to paper that we know what we think.

I will be asking you to turn in what you have written each week. Although these will not be graded, you want to do these to get part of your course credit (see below).

To get credit for what you write and turn in you need to write 500 words. I encourage you to devote those 500 words to one question or one theme or one main point. Don't write 100 words on each of five questions. In other words, I am asking you to write a structured piece.

Again, this assignment links to getting ready for the exam. Writing Essay McNuggets will help prepare you for writing the Essay Big Whopper in the actual advanced exam.

I will not have time to do a detailed review of each of your writings each week. But you can ask me -- twice during the semester -- to give you detailed written feedback on what you have written in a weekly assignment. When you want to request that feedback send me the writing as an email attachment with 406 writing in the subject line. I will share some thoughts.

For those seeking some advice on writing short essays I cannot recommend too strongly Lucille Vaughan Payne's "The Lively Art of Writing"  especially chapters 6 and 7 and if you have the time chapters 2 through 5. The Amazon link is:

but it takes 2 - 4 weeks to ship.

Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" is another essential. You can get the early Strunk version online at:

I strongly recommend you read section: V. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED


Attendance Expectations
It is vital that you not miss a class unless it is absolutely impossible to attend. If you are going to be unable to attend class for pressing personal or health reasons please give me a voice mail or email beforehand

For ASC week, we ARE having class. Those students attending ASC are excused from class that week BUT they will have a specific reporting out assignment for the class on the following week.

What Your Grade is Based On

20% Typewritten weekly 500 word pieces, as described above. You will receive full credit for completing all of these assignments and turning them in on time.
30% In-Class First Midterm
30% In-Class Second Midterm
15% Final Short Paper
5% Participation. If you are here every week, and have something to say every week, you will receive full credit for this portion of the course.

The weekly writing was explained above.

For each in class midterm, you will receive on the day of the exam a series of questions. You will select a small number of them, and you will write on them for 2.5 hours, and then turn in your written work. The exams will ask you general questions which are similar to the questions you will see on the advanced exam. I will give you some "tips" on preparing for these exams.

The final short paper is an application exercise. It will be based on any one of the following books - you choose:

  1. Simon, D., & Burns, E. (1997). The Corner: A Year in the life of an inner-city neighborhood. New York: Broadway Books. This is an ethnographic study of a year in the life of DeAndre McCullough, and his friends, acquaintances and relations in southwest Baltimore. You will be asked to write along the lines of (more details to follow): what theory explains DeAndre's slide into delinquency and a life of crime, and what are the prospects for a turnaround?
  2. Stephenson, N.  (1988). Zodiac. New York: Bantam. Neal Stephenson is one of America's pre-eminent science fiction writers, along with the late Octavia Butler, of course. In this book large corporations are fouling Boston Harbor with PCBs in mysterious ways and  Sangamon Taylor, obnoxious, unfeeling, sexist pig and former chemist turned environmental activist is trying to get them to stop. Although the plot may sound quaint, you may recall the heavily polluted Boston Harbor figured as a theme in the 1988 presidential campaign, along of course with Willie Horton. You will be asked to write along the lines of (more details to follow): what would Braithwaite say about Sangamon's strategies for dealing with polluters generally?
  3. Stiles, T.J. (2003). Jesse James: The Last Rebel of the Civil War. New York: Vintage. Stiles is an independent historian who has traced the life and times of Jesse James from before the Civil War to the bitter end. Stiles situates the James family in the racially, economically, politically explosive pre- and post-war Missouri context. This is no stupid John Ford western; this is serious historical research about one of the most innovative (who invented train robberies?), ingenious (who defeated Mr. Pinkerton himself?), politically charged (an important newspaper editor was one of his lead defenders), but perhaps also sociopathic criminals of the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. You will be asked to write along the lines of (more details to follow): either a) apply Laub and Sampson, or Hirschi (1969)  or Sutherland to James' turn to criminality  or b) explain how the factors contributing to James' criminality are not adequately addressed by the criminological theories addressed in this course, and what kind of a theory is needed to construct more satisfactory explanation.
  4. Stanton, M. (2003). The Prince of Providence: The True Story of Buddy Cianci, America's Most Notorious Mayor, Some Wiseguys, and the Feds. New York: Random House (paperback 2004). The following is a review of this book that appeared in Publisher's Weekly (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.):

More than just a biography of Providence's first Italian-American mayor, once considered one of America's most vibrant young politicians, this expose also captures Rhode Island's and Providence's turbulent political histories and their direct effect on Buddy Cianci, one of America's most successful and most notorious politicians. Rhode Island, a haven for outcasts and freethinkers, earned the "colonial reputation as `Rogue's Isle,' a city of hustlers, gamblers and ward-heelers" that continued to be warranted well into the 1980s thanks to Providence being a home base of the American Mafia, an Irish-American Democratic political machine and a cast of dirty politicians. Presenting the complex civic and political environment in which Cianci rose to power, Stanton is able to showcase the mayor as both a product of his city as well as a new breed of Rhode Island politician. Stanton, using his skill as an investigative newspaper journalist, dissects every aspect of the mayor's upbringing, education, public and private lives. Outlining Cianci's virtues and vices-easygoing charmer and accused rapist, anticorruption candidate and king of the kickback, city revitalizer and public funds abuser-produces a colorful, nuanced portrait of the mayor. More than just the story of one politician's success and transgressions, Stanton's in-depth examination of Cianci is representative of the American political system as a whole, which at its best passionately serves the greater good and at its worst serves the whims and wants of a select few.

You will be asked to write along the lines of (more details to follow): analyze Cianci's "criminal career" using either (not both) a Laub and Sampson "turning points" perspective or by relying on Schlegel's critique of our legal system's problems in figuring out how to punish corporate criminals. Or: you could write a paper outlining the multi-level, multi-causal, multi-domain (dare I say over-determined) nature of the forces leading to Cianci's criminality and how none of the theories addressed in this course provide a perspective that captures these forces.

The paper, except that it will be short - 5 pages or so - and it will be an application exercise. You will get more specific directions on the paper late in the semester.  I am not weighting the paper a whole bunch, because I don't want you to worry about it.

CLICK HERE to get to the paper assignment (not active yet)




We will discuss in class the nature of academic misconduct, including plagiarism. You are responsible for understanding the different varieties of academic misconduct, and for understanding the Graduate School's policies as described below.  If I encounter solid evidence of academic misconduct I will discuss the matter with you, and then deliver the consequence I deem appropriate. Possible consequences include: failure on the assignment in question (i.e., a 0); assigning a failing grade for the course; or attempting to have you expelled from Temple University. Should you wish to contest a decision I make on academic misconduct, I will inform you of the procedures to follow. The department and the college have fully specified grievance procedures for graduate students. 

For details on college policies click here:

The following materials are from the University's Graduate Bulletin statements on academic honesty [   - go to regulations]

Academic Honesty

Temple University believes strongly in academic honesty and integrity; therefore, any kind of academic dishonesty is prohibited. Essential to intellectual growth is the development of independent thought and of a respect for the thoughts of others. The prohibition against academic dishonesty is intended to foster this independence and respect. Primarily, the two types of academic dishonesty include the following: Plagiarism and Academic Cheating.

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person’s labor, ideas, words, or assistance. Normally, all work done for courses — papers, examinations, homework exercises, laboratory reports, oral presentations — is expected to be the individual effort of the student presenting the work. There are many forms of plagiarism: repeating another person’s sentence as your own, adopting a particularly apt phrase as your own, paraphrasing someone else’s argument as your own, or even presenting someone else’s line of thinking in the development of a thesis as though it were your own. All these forms of plagiarism are prohibited both by the traditional principles of academic honesty and by the regulations of Temple University. Our education and our research encourage us to explore and use the ideas of others, and as writers we will frequently want to use the ideas and even the words of others. It is perfectly acceptable to do so; but we must never submit someone else’s work as if it were our own, rather we must give appropriate credit to the originator.

Academic Cheating is, generally, the thwarting or breaking of the general rules of academic work or the specific rules of the individual courses. Some examples include: falsifying data; submitting, without the instructor’s approval, work in one course that was done for another; helping others to plagiarize; or cheating from one’s own or another’s work; or actually doing the work of another person.

The penalty for academic dishonesty can vary from a reprimand and receiving a failing grade for a particular assignment, to a failing grade in a course, suspension, or expulsion from the University. The penalty varies with the nature of the offense, the individual instructor, the department, and the school or college.

The following is from the College of Liberal Arts:

For more information about what constitutes Academic Dishonesty or about disciplinary and/or academic grievance procedures refer to the University’s Statement on Academic Honesty and the Student Code of Conduct or contact the Student Assistance Center, 215-204-8531.

Makeup Policy

There will be no makeups for a missed midterm or final exam unless

* you notify me before the missed exam

* and you have a reason for missing the exam that I find valid (e.g., car accident) (I no longer accept excuses like your friend's grandmother dying.)

* and I have something in writing, for my records, verifying the nature of the problem (e.g., the police report on the car accident, the estimate from Joe's Body Shop)

 Late Assignments

There is one out of class assignment. It is due on the date indicated. I reserve the right to lower the grade for assignments that are handed in late. The amount the grade is lowered increases the longer the delay in handing the assignment in. Depending on the assignment, the grade may be lowered 1% to 10% a day.

To get credit for the weekly writing assignment it must be received by the beginning of class time to receive credit.

If you have an excuse for a late assignment I will take this into account only if you notify me beforehand about the problem and I find your excuse for the delay to be a valid one and I have something in writing. Again, a friend's grandfather's death may be questionable.

 Regrading Policy
You have the right to submit any exam or assignment for regrading. If you wish to submit an assignment for regrading proceed as follows:

 Prepare a written statement explaining why the assignment should be regraded. This applies to written assignments, essay exams, and multiple choice exam questions where you think there was more than one correct answer.

 On a cover sheet print your name, SSN, name of the assignment or test, date of the assignment or test, and the date you submitted the assignment for regrading.

Staple the cover sheet to your written rationale and the original assignment.

I will review your request for regrading. I will consult with other faculty if I deem that appropriate. As a result of your request for regrading the grade on your original assignment may stay the same, or it may go up, or it may go down.

Grading Standards for Papers
It is expected that the paper you turn in will be, in addition to interesting, engaging, and original, well edited.  I will take off for mis-spellings and flagrantly poor grammar, and for poor organization. A More detailed rubric will follow.

Sequence of Topics And Readings


Date Topic and Readings (readings are to be done BY that week)
1. 8/29/06

Introduction. What do you think about when you think about a theory. What are the key elements? What are different ways to analyze someone's theory. Issues of focus and range. Differences between single level and multilevel theories. Macro, meso, and micro theories. How to grasp a theory. How to criticize a theory.

2. 9/4/06

The Traditional Starting Point
Perspectives on crime and criminology, differential association, white collar crime

Sutherland, E. H., Cressey, D. R., & Luckenbill, D. F. (1992). Principles of criminology (11th ed.). New York: Rowman and Littlefield:
You will need to download these files. they are large - and there are five of them. Click below:

3. 9/11/06 Going macro and putting crime in a sociological perspective: functions served by conflict; crime as a way of resolving conflict

Coser, L. (1956). The Functions of Social Conflict. New York: Free Press:
33-95 (chapter 2 through chapter 5, Proposition 9)
133-149 (chapter 7, proposition 15 through chapter 8)

Black, D. (1998). The Social Structure of Right and Wrong (Revised ed.). New York: Elsevier Science / Academic Press.
Chapters 1, 2,3 and pp 159-163.

4. 9/18/06 Going Macro-Structural: variations in crime over time in the U.S.
LaFree, G. 1998. Losing Legitimacy: Street Crime and the Decline of Social Institutions in America. Boulder, CO: Westview.
5. 9/25/06

Going Super-Macro: Variations in crime across countries.
Messner, S. F. and R. Rosenfeld. 2000. Crime and the American dream. Monterey: Wadsworth.

6. 10/3/06 First In-class Midterm
7. 10/10/06

Starting to think about individual criminality:

Gottfredson, M., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A General Theory of Crime. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

8. 10/17/06

Individual criminality: Bringing in Race and Symbolic Interactionism

Anderson, E. 2000. Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City. New York: W.W. Norton.

9. 10/24/06

Offending: A Cognitive and Social Psychological Perspective: Individual-level control theory

Hirschi, T. 1969. Causes of delinquency. Berkeley: University of California Press.

10. 10/31/06

Offending: Individual Level, life course perspective

Laub, J. and R. J. Sampson. 2003. Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives : Delinquent Boys to Age   70. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

NOTE: This is ASC week -let me know if your conference attendance conflicts with course attendance

11. 11/7/06

Responses to crime and criminals, and maybe even white collar criminals

Braithwaite, J. 1989. Crime, Shame and Reintegration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

12. 11/14/06 White Collar Crime I: Responses to corporate criminals: The Severity Conundrum,  Impacts of Punishments on Perceived Severity, and a Desert Approach

Schlegel, K. (1990). Just Deserts for Corporate Criminals. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Read: ix - xiv; 3-74, 91-115,147-175 (optional: 1770191).

13. 11/28/06

White Collar Crime II: Responses to regulatory offenses from the ground up: How do regulators manage to regulate

Hawkins, K. 2003. Law As Last Resort: Prosecution Decision-Making in a Regulating Agency (Oxford Socio-Legal Studies). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

14. 12/5/06 Back to Macro Issues: Society and a Fundamental Shift in "Who" Sets Responses to Crime:

Garland, D. 2002. The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Wednesday 12/6 is the last day of regularly scheduled classes. 12/7 and 12/8 are study days



TUESDAY - Second in-class exam

FRIDAY - NOON - Your 5 page paper is due - Email it as an attachment to me at Please do not be late on this. Grades are due the following Monday. I may apply special late penalties for this one assignment: every 24 hours you lose a grade on the assignment.

Recommended readings for the future (check back - there may be later additions)

    Each of the volumes listed below, save for the Paternoster and Bachman reader, was an important book at the time it appeared, and for a time afterward. Each is a major work by a major, well known author. Strongly recommended you go to work on this list well before you try the advanced exam.

Bursik, R. J., Jr.; Grasmick, H. 1993. Neighborhoods and crime. Lexington: Lexington Publishers. Chs. 1-3. This is probably the best introduction you are going to get to the human ecology approach to crime and communities, and the social disorganization generally.

Cloward, R. A. and L. E. Ohlin. 1960. Delinquency and opportunity. New York: Free Press. A major restatement of differential association theory into opportunity theory.

Hagan, J. 2003. Justice in the Balkans: Prosecuting War Crimes in the Hague Tribunal (Chicago Series in Law and Society). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Do you think international justice is achievable, and relies on large scale institutions rather than lone crusaders? Read this book.

Hagan, J. and B. McCarthy. 1998. Mean Streets: Youth Crime and Homelessness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Excellent, high quality study of how homeless kids get involved in crime, and who protects them or doesn’t.

Katz, J. 1990. The Seductions of Crime. New York: Basic Books. Jack Katz is considered a strange theorist by some, but this volume is widely read. It looks at what attracts people to crime.

Lane, R. (1986). Roots of Violence in Black Philadelphia 1860-1900. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Lane (see comments below) links violence in African-American areas with the zoning of these communities for vice. Excellent complement to Bursik and Grasmick. Short

Lane, R. (1997). Murder in America: A History. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. Roger Lane of Haverford College is the premier historian of crime and criminal justice in the United States. This volume discusses murder and responses to murder from pre-colonial times up to yesterday. There are two major themes here. 1. There are three criminal justice systems (for whites, African-Americans, Native Americans). 2. Criminal involvement or the lack thereof was critically linked to the involvement of specific groups in the schooling in preparation for industrial jobs, and having industrial jobs.  This is the magnum opus of a master.

Merry, S.E. 1999. Colonizing Hawai'i. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Chronicles how whites set up the legal system in Hawai’i in the 1800s. Merry, who is by training a cultural anthropologist, is a first class theorist and the model she develops is highly textured and compelling.

Moffitt, T.E., A. Caspi, M. Rutter, and P. A. Silva. 2001. Sex Differences in Antisocial Behaviour : Conduct Disorder, Delinquency, and Violence in the Dunedin Longitudinal Study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reviews the question: why do some delinquents persist into adulthood, and others desist, and what does gender have to do with all this.

Morris, N. 2003. Maconochie's Gentlemen: The Story of Norfolk Island & the Roots of Modern Prison Reform (Studies in Crime and Public Policy). New York: Oxford University Press. The compelling story of an effort to develop a civilized prison at a time when all prisons were pretty uncivilized.

Paternoster, R. and Bachman, R. (eds.) (2001).  Explaining Criminals and Crime:  Essays in Contemporary Criminological Theory.  Los Angeles: Roxbury. This is an undergraduate reader, but the chapters are clear, the volume is short, and the editors have these excellent introductions. In general I hate readers, but this one is short, the writing clear, and editor contributions excellent.

 Petersilia, J. 2002. When Prisoners Come Home: Parole and Prisoner Reentry. Oxford University Press. Re-entry and reintegration is one of the hottest topics today, and this book is going to give you the best overview.

Sampson, R.J. and J. Laub. 1995. Crime in the Making: Pathways and Turning Points Through Life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Before Laub and Sampson, there was Sampson and Laub. Uses the same data source, Glueck and Glueck, and looks at transitions of crime from the early delinquent years into early and mid adulthood.

Savelsberg, J.J.. and P. Bruhl. 1994. Constructing White-Collar Crime: Rationalities, Communication, Power (Law in Social Context). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Looks at how law makers made decisions about computer crime, and captures the connections they were making in their heads between various problems and trends, and the sentencing laws being developed.

Simon, D., and Burns, D. (1997). The Corner. New York: Grove Press. Don't see the HBO series. Read the book. The best of the recent spate of urban ethnographies from drug-plagued neighborhoods. Others include books by Bourgois, Venkatesh, Pattillo-Mccoy, and Terry Williams.

Wilcox, P., K.C. Land, and S.A. Hunt. 2003. Criminal circumstance: A Dynamic multicontextual criminal opportunity theory. New York: Aldine deGruyter. A multilevel theory about committing crime, and being a crime victim. Strongly recommended, but only after you have had CJ 605.

Wilson, J. Q., and R. J. Herrnstein. 1985. Crime and human nature. New York: Simon and Shuster. A while back this was the hottest book around about biology and crime. Comprehensive, authoritative, the authors push a perspective that blends learning and biology. Some may find it politically offensive, but it is broad ranging.

Wilson, W. J. 1996. When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor. New York: Knopf. For my money the best work there is connecting urban economic conditions like high unemployment, neighborhood life, family life, and involvement in crime and delinquency. The model is truly multilevel, talking about national and regional dynamics down to the individual household. Discussion at the end about our approach to poverty, and how it contrasts with the European model.

Wright, R. T. and S. Decker. 1997. Armed Robbers in Action: Stick-up and Street Culture. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Let’s go out and talk to some armed robbers and see what they tell us about why they do what they do. More readable than Katz, if you want to look at offender motivation from the offenders’ perspective.


Other Criminology Course Sites and/or author's pages and/or exam sites

Bill Chambliss, Sociology, George Washington University, Sociology of Law, Criminology. I like the way he has listed the major "paradigms" on this syllabus. If you want to learn more about paradigms, read Kuhn.

Bernie Cohen, Ph.D. program in Criminal Justice at John Jay College, graduate theory course. This looks like a pretty typical deviance course, except that is has a bit of stuff thrown in on policing, and a section on conflict type theories.

Duke University, Department of Sociology, advanced theory exam in Crime, Law and Deviance. This is a list of questions you may find helpful. It reflects some of the concerns of Ken Land, an author of a text we are reading.

Cecil Greek at FSU is best known for his monster web page in criminal justice. Here is the link to his syllabus on grad crim theory. Of particular interest on this site, besides all the whizzy graphics, are the link to past theory exams, and you also can see FSU's suggested reading list.

Ryan Spohn: Graduate Criminology at Kansas State University in Sociology. The list of additional suggested readings is massive, so don't be daunted, but you may find it helpful; it is heavily sociologically oriented

Sul Ross State University (Texas), guide for theory exam for MS in Criminal Justice. This is just a list of questions. They are pretty specific, probably more specific than what you will see on your theory exam, but it may give you some thoughts.

Pamela Tontodonato, Justice Studies, Kent State University, Graduate Crim Course. Although this is a reader based course, what is interesting about this syllabus is the set of labels used to organize the topics. It is narrower than what we are doing here because the focus is just on understanding offending. There is no attention to law making or responses to law breaking.

StrongBad's Routine Activities


Following up on Sutherland:

Another (perhaps dated) take on the areas of the field:

The following material is a quote from Reckless, Walter C. (1967). Introduction. In W.C. Reckless (ed). The Crime Problem. New York: Appleton-Century-Croft. Pp. 9-10.

 If, in the interest of realism, we admit that criminology is concerned with the study of criminal and delinquent behavior as well as with its control, prevention, and treatment (in spite of the fact that there are as yet no validated criminologists), one can specify the following major concerns of criminology as perceived by various kinds of specialists who identify with the field in its current pre-autonomous state of development.


 1.       The reporting of law violations, clearance by arrest, criminal identification (including operations of crime laboratories), and the improvement of measures to record crime, arrest criminals, and identify violators.

2.       A comparative study of criminal law in various countries as related to social, economic, and political systems, with appropriate attention to transitions in developing countries and to the system of traditional sanctions in tribal societies.

3.       The specification of demographic characteristics of juvenile and adult offenders at points in the legal process (usually at the point of arrest or at the point of admission to a penal or correctional institution), where it is possible to record

4.       The formulation, testing, and revision of hypotheses or theories which attempt to explain crime and delinquency in general or any particular pattern of offense or criminal activity in particular.

5.       The identification and description of basic components of the behaviors which are legally defined as criminal and delinquent in various countries of the world, leading to classifications which approximate the kinds of classifications natural scientists have made. The same procedure should be followed in regard to orders or systems of criminal behavior such as dacoity in India, smuggling, piracy, traffic in women and girls, traffic in narcotic drugs, rack­eteering in the United States, etc.

6.       The study of recidivism and habitual criminals, and the identification of first offenders, recidivists, hard-core offenders, including offenders with character disorders and mental disturbances who relapse into delinquency and crime.

7.       The study and control of problems of deviancy which have a close connec­tion with crime such as abnormal sex offenders, prostitution, suicide, narcotic drug addiction, chronic alcoholism, addictive gambling, begging, vagabondage.

8.       The study and implementation of law enforcement and the operation of spe­cial laws such as habitual-offender laws and abnormal sex offender laws.

9.       The study of the effectiveness of measures for treatment and rehabilitation of offenders, by penal and correctional institutions, probation, and aftercare service (parole), including the study of impact of detention while awaiting trial or disposition.

10.   The evaluation and operation of programs for the prevention of delinquency and crime.