Link to What's New This Week Law and Social Change: CRMJ/SOCA 352, Spring 2014, UWP

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Law and Social Change
Syllabus for CRMJ/SOCA 352. Spring 2014

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: August 24, 2003
Latest update: May 8, 2014

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Index of Topics on Site Syllabus for Law & Social Change

Susan Takata
Office: 370 MOLN
Office Hours: MWF 8:45-9:45am & by appointment
Phone: (262) 595-2116
FAX: (262) 595-2471
Class meets MWF 11-11:53 a.m.

Brief Description:

CRMJ/SOCA 352 will provide a broad theoretical background against which to explore policies in the system of law, in the definition and enforcement of the law, and to follow those policies as they have been and are presently affected by social change. Whatever position you take on law and justice, the readings in this course should challenge you to think about the theory and assumptions that underlie your position, and the many alternatives that have been and will continue to be presented in this new millennium.


  • Arrigo, Bruce. Social Justice/Criminal Justice..
  • Crow Dog, Mary. Lakota Woman.
  • Tygiel, Jules. Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and his Legacy.
  • Rodriguez, Luis. Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A..
  • Houston, James & Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Farewell to Manzanar..
  • Curran & Takata. The Sociology of Law Handbook. (online text).

  • Dear Habermas website
  • Johnson, Spencer. Who Moved My Cheese? (optional)
  • Habermas, Jurgen. Between Facts and Norms. (optional)
  • Minow, Martha Making All the Difference. (optional)


You must have:
  • a three-ring binder
  • an e-mail address
  • Internet access (access to PCs in microcomputing labs on campus)

Course Objectives

  • Answerability Objective: To master the concept of aesthetic processes of answerability and its role in creating an atmosphere of morality and ethics in our institutions and world systems, particularly the educational system. Outcomes: You will participate in class discussions, respecting the answerability of every member of the community, and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. You are expected to demonstrate active and involved learning. Written expression is as important as dialog participation and other means of expression (such as art or photography). Silence will not be acceptable, though I am willing to consider a preference for interpassivity.

  • Technological Objective: To master the simple use of any computer that happens to be available. Our assignments and readings are on the Internet. Please be sure you know how to access them and to post ot the discussions. Outcomes: You will be expected to access class materials on the Dear Habermas website.

  • Theoretical Objective: To come away from this course with a deep understanding of the role that theory plays in our lives, particularly as it relates to law and social change. To use a vocabulary which permit discussion of theory: the tension between facts and norms, difference, the Other, structural violence, privileging subjectivity, unstated assumptions, relativism, tolerance of ambiguity, inequality, diversity, and so forth. Outcomes: Measured by inclusion of references in written and oral contributions to discourse. During class discussions, you will consider the framing of the facts you cite, the illocutionary discourse in which you must engage to hear one another in good faith, and the importance of such a forum to in depth consideration of issues in the law and social change.

  • Visual Criminological Objective: To review and evaluate materials on law and social change by creating a visual presentation of your learning in this course. Outcomes: You will present one visual project to the class at the end of the semester. Your visual project should reflect your competence and creativity in this course.

  • Praxis Objective: To recognize differences between theory, factual knowledge and the application and synthesis of that knowledge in praxis. Outcomes: You will apply theoretical discussions to examples within your own institutions and life worlds, as they relate to the interrelationship between law and social change. Focus on conceptually linking critical theory to current events and personal narratives shared in class discussions.

Grades and Grading

Grades can be important feedback when they are collaborative and used as feedback to guide further learning. They are harmful when they become a reified end in their own right. Because we are required by the institution to give grades, there must be a means of your letting us know what you have learned. We expect each of you to communicate with us, so that we come to know you and your learning. Meaningful learning comes when we stretch the corners of each other's mind by looking at these concepts from multiple perspectives that come from our myriad unique experiences.

The 6Cs - communication, courtesy, consistency, competency, creativity, and cooperation continue to represent our standards for evaluation, (refer to Grades on the Dear Habermas web site). Your coursework must show scholarly discipline in conceptually linking your learning to "theory, policy, practice," and to course readings, class discussions, and other materials.

Ideally, four progress checks (meeting with the professor every four weeks) throughout the semester is recommended. A minimum of two progress checks with the professor is required (at midterm and at the end of the semester). Measures of Learning

  • First Meeting (includes first half discussion questions, journal, attendance)......................................... 10%
  • Visual Project Progress @ Midterm (includes completed bibliography, in progress self-assessment)......20%
  • Second Meeting (includes second half discussion questions, journal, attendance)............................... 20%
  • Final Visual Project (includes visual project & final self-assessment) ................................................... 50%

    Grade Scale

    95-100 = A
    90-94 = A-
    88-89 = B+
    85-87 = B
    80-84 = B-
    78-79 = C+
    75-77 = C
    70-74 = C-
    68-69 = D+
    65-67 = D
    60-64 = D-
    59 and below = F

  • Statement on Plagiarism - DON'T DO IT!! Give credit to those whose ideas and words you use. Cooperation and sharing in this class will earn you a better grade. Adversarialism is not a part of our teaching. We believe that learning flowers in an environment that permits mutuality to flourish.

    Concealed Carry Weapon -- As provided in the 2011 Wisconsin Act 35 - Concealed Carry Law, you are notified that firearms are not permitted in the classroom or during class activities. Anyone found in violation will be subject to immediate removal in addition to academic and/or legal sanctions.

    Communication - It is your responsibility to communicate an emergency and other situations in a timely manner to the professor. Communicating your whereabouts is important. Don't be a field mouse.

    Students with Disabilities - Students with disabilities are encouraged to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss accommodations. Accommodations should be authorized through the Disability Services Office, WYLL D175. Dr. Renee' Sartin-Kirby - Coordinator can be reached at (262) 595-2610.

    Deadlines/Due Dates/Meeting Times - All due dates, meeting times, and deadlines are firm. Late assignments will not be accepted. A "no show" will result in an "F" for that particular task.

    Groupwork: You may work in groups on any or all exercises or assignments. Cooperative learning groups are strongly encouraged. You can work with more than one group, and with different groups. All names of active group members should be recorded as indicated on the exercise material. (Refer to Cooperative Learning on the Dear Habermas site ).



    WeekTopic and Class PreparationTextual Readings
    Week 1
    Teaching/Learning Model
    Arrigo, intro
    Week 2
    Law & Social Change

    Why Habermas? Who's Habermas?
    Socio of Law Handbook Introduction ; Chapter 1, part 1 ; Chapter 1, part 2
    Week 3
    Difference and Privileging Subjectivity
    Socio of Law Handbook Chapter 2
    Week 4
    Marxist Criminology & Socialist Feminism Arrigo, ch. 1-2; CrowDog, ch. 1-4
    Week 5
    Critical Race Theory & American Indians
    **First Meetings begin
    Arrigo, ch.9; CrowDog, ch. 5-10
    Week 6
    Peacemaking Criminology & American Indians
    Arrigo, ch. 3; CrowDog, ch. 11-16, epilogue
    Week 7
    Prophetic Criticism & African Americans
    **Monday, March 17th - Visual Project @ Midterm due
    **Friday, March 21st - Last Day to Drop Course
    Arrigo, ch. 4; Tygiel, ch. 1-10
    Week 8
    Spring Break
    M 3/24, W 3/26, F 3/28 - No Classes
    Week 9
    Anarchist Criminology & African Americans
    Arrigo, ch. 5; Tygiel, ch. 11-17
    Week 10
    Semiotics & Latinos/as
    Arrigo, ch. 7; Rodriguez, new introduction, preface, ch. 1-5
    Week 11
    Constitutive Criminology & Latinos/as
    Arrigo, ch. 8; Rodriguez, ch. 6-10, epilogue
    Week 12
    Chaos Theory & Asian Americans
    **Second Meetings begin
    Arrigo, ch. 10; H&H, foreword, ch. 1-11
    Week 13
    Queer Theory & Asian Americans
    ** Fri, 5/2 - Final Visual Project due

    Arrigo, ch. 12; H&H, ch. 12-22
    Week 14
    Law, Social Change & the FutureArrigo, ch. 13
    Week 15
    Summary & Conclusion
    ** Monday, 5/12 - Last Day of Class

    Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, August 2003.
    "Fair use" encouraged.