Syllabus - INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY, LAW AND SOCIETY...

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INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY, LAW AND SOCIETY (C7) Monday and Wednesday, 12:30-1:50 Professor Kitty Calavita Professor Carroll Seron Room 2379, SE II Room 2373, SE II Office hours: Wed., 2-3:30, Office hours: Monday, 2:00-3:00, And by appointment and by appointment. Office phone: 949 824 7610 Office phone: 949 824 6279 Course Objectives . This course will familiarize you with the study of criminology, law and society. The course introduces you to three interdisciplinary literatures: criminology, socioloegal studies, and the study of the criminal justice system. By the end of the course, you should be able to think about law, crime, and the legal system in a theoretical, data- driven way. The guiding theme of this course is that there is a descriptive level of understanding crime and the legal system, and there is an explanatory, theoretical level. Relatedly, there are conventional and/or surface explanations of how things work and a more critical or sociological understanding. In the American political system, Congress is delegated the task of making law through Article I of the U.S. Constitution. The courts, discussed in Article III of the U.S. Constitution, are given the task of interpreting the law, though some would argue that the U.S. Supreme Court has a lawmaking role as well. Administrators and bureaucrats are delegated authority to make, interpret and enforce rules affecting many aspects of contemporary society, from food and drug safety to banking and the environment. And, a variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies comprise the criminal justice system. Our first goal in this course is to describe these legal institutions, including how a bill becomes a law, how appellate courts interpret the law and in the process make law, how administrative agencies exercise their authority, and how the criminal justice system works. Our second goal is to explain the workings of these political institutions through a sociological lens by asking whether and to what extent race, gender, economics and other such forces in American society affect lawmaking at an institutional level—and, on the street. Our third goal is to combine description with explanation to develop a reflective and critical understanding of crime, law, and society. We will explore this goal through three broad themes: lawmaking, lawbreaking and the justice system. In addition, we will take a brief look at the role of the mass media in social perceptions of crime and law. Here are some of the questions we will be asking:
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Law making —Where does law come from? Why do we have the legal system we have? Why do we have the particular laws we have? Why are some things illegal? Law breaking
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course CRM LAW SC 7 taught by Professor Calavita during the Spring '08 term at UC Irvine.

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Syllabus - INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY, LAW AND SOCIETY...

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