Link to What's New This Week CRMJ/SOCA 233: Criminology

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Created: June 22, 2003
Latest Update: November 6, 2003

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Site Teaching Modules CRMJ/SOCA 233 Criminology:
Week 12 Marxist Criminology
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition, you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.

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Week 12: Week of November 16, 2003

  • Topic:Marxist Criminology

  • Preparatory Readings & Other Materials:
    • Williams and McShane. Criminology Theory. chapters by Quinney, Spitzer and Turk
    • Pollock. Criminal Women. ch. 6 and 7
    • Documentary, "Thug Life in D.C." to be shown in class.
    • The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison

    • optional -- Adler. Criminology. ch. 8

  • Lecture: in class

  • Concepts:

    • conflict theory
    • Marxist criminology
    • capitalist bourgeoisie
    • proletariat
    • lumpenproletariat
    • social class
    • power
    • capitalism
    • revolution
    • dialectic

  • Discussion Questions:

    1. Across all the readings in Williams & McShane's conflict theory section, what can you point to as elements that are in common?

    2. What are the major similarities and differences between consensus theories and conflict theories?

    3. How does the consumer behavior experiment relate to labeling theory and Marxist criminology? Provide examples to illustrate your point.

    4. How does labeling theory and Marxist criminology relate to the documentary, "Thug Life in D.C."? Why.

    5. What is Pollock's critique of labeling theory and Marxist criminology? Do you agree or disagree with her critique? Why.

  • Past Lectures and Related Links:

      Theory Resources Page

      Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

  • Some Recommended Activities:

    1. Show and Tell: Bring in a current event or find a program (other than those mentioned in the readings or lectures) showing how Marxist criminology informs policy and practice.

    2. Explore one of these topics:
      --- Trace the development of the term, "underclass."
      --- Compare and contrast "crime in the streets" with "crime in the suites". How does this relate to social class?
      --- Does an elite rule America? How does this relate to criminology? Why.

    3. Recommended Readings

      Richard Quinney. Class, State and Crime .

      Richard Quinney. Critique of the Legal Order .

      Richard Quinney. The Social Reality of Crime .

      Austin Turk. Criminality and Legal Order .

      Jeffrey Reiman. The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison.

      William Bonger. Criminality and Economic Conditions.

      William Chambliss. Law, Order and Power.

      Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young. The New Criminology .

    Now, check the Minimum Requirements for Criminology, Week 9, 10, 11, and 12.

    Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, June 2003.
    "Fair use" encouraged.