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Criminology Class, Fall 1999

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: September 2, 1999
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

200 Word Summaries of Lectures and Class Discussions

Introductory Lecture
Discussion of Intro Lecture
Nita Metz and jeanne
The World
Poem by Nita Metz



August 31, 1999: Introduction

Perspective for criminology in this class will be founded on critical theory, that emphasizes the part of our theories and policies that aren't working and need somehow to be fixed, to take the people who are being excluded, or whose needs are not being met, seriously. That is our relationships to Habermas. Habermas expresses hope that we will somehow find the means to live together without destroying either ourselves or the globe. He believes the best means we currently know to this end is public discourse, or people talking to and listening to one another in good faith, allowing every validity claim to be heard, recognizing the need to balance individual freedome to create and realize our potential without failing to recognize the needs of the community as a whole.

Women, people of color, anyone who is "different," have been excluded for most of our collective histories. For that reason we chose one text on women's relation to criminology. We trust that detailed coverage of how women have been excluded will help you to generalize about how all "difference" leads to some exclusion. The classic readings provide you with theoretical background; the Adler text, which will be discussed on the site, will provide you with a solid overview of criminology as a discipline. The site will provide readings and examples of the ways in which color, ecology, religion, and geography also affect our approach to criminology.


Class Discussion

Juanita Metz wrote on Wednesday, September 1, 1999:

"I really enjoyed your lecture yesterday. I am curious to hear more about how "we" are destroying Mother Earth and Her atmosphere. I am not clear about the connection of the effects of perfume to humans and that being a result of the damage to Mother Earth. Can you explain?

Thank you. And yes, I think I can explain. The problems lie with increasing toxicity in our atmosphere. With so many toxins breathed in, people's immune systems are not responding as strongly as they once did, and people are increasingly ill from allergic responses to the toxins, especially children. Fragrances are simply one more set of chemicals we are adding to the air we breathe, and some immune systems can't handle these additional chemicals. There is apparently sufficiently widespread occurrence of this problem in Canada that there has been some legal response to the pollution of the atmosphere with fragrances, and it has been outlawed. Does that help?


Class Discussion

This e-mail came in on the morning of September 2, 1999:

How does corporate America live with itself while laying off /downsizing thousands of people? Disrupting the lives of Americans who have faithfully given service to an organization/company for any number of years. Possibly, forcing some people to the streets.

This I say is Criminal Behavior practiced by Corporate American Business. Where is the social responsibility and good faith between business and the workforce?  Are there labor laws protecting the citizenry against this very real criminal?

Habermas, surely has thoughts pertaining to this socially constructed attitude and way of practicing  business while doing in the laborer. Can I, consider this business practice of downsizing as a social business construction of the 1990's?


Let's discuss this in Wednesday's lecture. jeanne