SOAN 314


The field of criminology covers two main areas: (1) analysis of law-breaking and (2) investigation of the ways in which laws are made and enforced by the criminal justice system. The first seeks to answer the question, Why do people break (or follow) the law? The second asks, How is (criminal) law made and enforced? These issues are examined historically and cross-nationally but there is particular attention given to contemporary conditions in the United States, a country with a high rate of offending and probably the highest rate of incarceration in the world. In addition to investigating the variation in offending and victimization, the course examines the extent to which the U.S. criminal justice system is biased against certain classes and groups.