Law as Social Control

Course Number: CRIMLJUS 7330
Course Name: Law as Social Control (Online)
Course Description:    An analysis of the needs, functions, utilization and effects of informal and formal social control mechanisms; theoretical perspectives on social control and law, and empirical examination of theories of law as a social control mechanism.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes

  • Appraise the historical development of social control in the United States.
  • Compare and contrast the consensus and conflict perspectives of society.
  • Distinguish and analyze the various sources of law and their purposes in this country.
  • Differentiate various laws and impacts on formal and informal social control mechanisms.
  • Differentiate and evaluate the various methods of inquiry.
  • Compare and contrast the various theoretical perspectives of social control.
  • Assess various mechanisms of social control.
  • Have an understanding of the critical role class structure and one’s social standing plays in the commission, enforcement, and punishment of crime in the U.S.
  • Critically analyze how law behaves in relation to one’s class standing, racial make-up, and gender.
  • Distinguish the effects one’s race has on how laws are created, enforced, and punishment is applied.
  • Understand the racial inequality present in the criminal justice system.
  • Describe how females have been affected by the gender equality movement in relation to their involvement in crime, victimization, and punishment.
  • Appraise the role of corrections as a means of social control.
  • Compare and contrast the various enforcement strategies and alternatives to incarceration.

Assess the effectiveness of various crime control programs like gun control and drug policies.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1: Foundations and the Context of Law
This unit focuses on the historical development of social control inside the United States, as well as the origination of laws, their effect on social control, and differing perspectives that can emerge in a society.

Unit 2: Research, Theory, Change, and Organization
This unit covers the various methods of inquiry, theoretical perspectives of social control, and the mechanisms that are implemented to achieve social control.

Unit 3: The Role of Class, Race, and Gender in Law and Social Control
This unit focuses on how race, class, and gender influence punishment, law creation, and enforcement in a society. Pay special attention to the inequalities centered around race and gender.

Unit 4: Punishment and Alternate Measures
This unit discusses the role corrections plays as a form of social control as well as enforcement strategies and alternatives to incarceration.

Grading Information

Exercise (What is Social Control?) 5 points
Discussion (2 @ 2.5 pts. each) 5 points
Exams (4 @ 30 pts. each) 120 points
Outline 10 points
Paper 70 points
PowerPoint 20 points
Discussion of PowerPoint 40 points
Group Projects  
Problem Statement 10 points
Participation 180 points
Project Outcome Paper 20 points
Total: 480 points

Grading Scale
A 90% - 100% 405 - 480 points
B 80% - 89% 360 - 404 points
C 70% - 79% 315 - 359 points

This is a graduate-level course. You must earn a “C” or better in order for the credits to count toward your degree.

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