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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74784 Find in a Library
Title: Critical Criminology in the Classroom
Author(s): R C Kramer
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Eric Document Reproduction Service
Arlington, VA 22210
Sale Source: Eric Document Reproduction Service
P. O. Box 190
Arlington, VA 22210
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Recommendations are given for structuring a college-level introductory criminology course around a criminality labeling perspective and a social conflict and power definition of criminal behavior.
Abstract: The central theme of both the labeling perspective and the various conflict power approaches, including radical Marxist criminology, is that crime is a label or a legal status and not a type of behavior. The labeling perspective maintains that the way in which criminology concepts are defined influences the types of issues and questions focused upon. Conflict and power approaches assume that criminality is a legal status, while traditional approaches defined criminality as a social behavior. To increase student understanding of crime as a social phenomenon, criminology instructors should incorporate these concepts into an introductory criminology course by organizing the course around five major topics: (1) a comparison of definitions of crime as a behavior and crime as a legal status; (2) investigations of bias in crime statistics; (3) an historical, analytical, and critical survey of criminological theory; (4) a review of the literature on criminal law, law enforcement, the structure and functioning of criminal courts, and the correctional process; and (5) types of criminal behavior including violent, property, corporate, occupational, public order, organized, professional, and political crime. Course materials are suggested and briefly annotated, case studies are cited, and a course outline is presented. Eighteen references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Conflict theory; Course materials; Deviance; Higher education; Labeling theory; Radical criminology
Note: Paper presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Boston, Massachusetts, August 30, 1979.
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