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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ross L. Matsueda
SOC 401
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Sociology

Selected topics of contemporary interest taught by a sociologist active in the field. Topics vary and may be substantive, theoretical, or methodological.

Class description

SOC 401D: Crime and the Life Coursee

This course introduces life course perspectives on crime and deviance. It begins by defining child behavior problems, juvenile delinquency, and adult crime. It then introduces a life course perspective on crime and discusses controversies about the age-crime curve. We then discuss three prominent theories of the life course: low self-control, informal control, and symbolic interactionism. Finally, we discuss three major stages of the life course: early child development, adolescence, and adulthood, emphasizing the role of major life course transitions, including schooling, careers, marriage, and military service.

Student learning goals

Understand the importance of a life course perspective.

Understand basic theories, concepts, and research methods for life course criminology.

Understand the connection between sociological theories and ideas and real-world phenomena.

Be capable of simulating the work of social scientists by applying theoretical tools to case studies and other data.

Be a critical consumer of media reports and politicians' claims about crime across the life course.

Develop your critical and analytical skills through oral participation and written assignments.

General method of instruction

This is a lecture course with class participation.

Recommended preparation

Introductory sociology and criminology are important for success in the course.

Class assignments and grading

Two exams, participation in class debates and discussion, and a term paper.

Grades are based on points from the two exams, term paper, and class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Ross L. Matsueda
Date: 02/07/2013