A Justice Site
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP - Archives
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: April 21, 2005
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.
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Week 15: Week of April 24, 2005
Topic:Crime-and-Justice Attitudes and Policies
- April 25th through May 6th -- Second Meetings. If you have not scheduled a meeting, see me ASAP.
- May 6th - Last Day of Class
Preparatory Readings & Other Materials:
- Surrette. Media, Crime, and Criminal Justice. -- Chapter 7.
- Merlo and Benekos. What's Wrong with the Criminal Justice System? -- Chapter 6.
- Potter and Kappeler. Constructing Crime -- Epilogue.
- Documentary: "---" (to be shown in class).
Lecture related links:
- Check out this link -- Ray Surette's website
- W.I. Thomas' concept definition of the situation
- Metaphor and Theory. Read the Blind Men and the Elephant fable. Think about how this fable relates to the course.
- Martha Minow. Making All the Difference: Exclusion, Inclusion and American Law. Check out this link Martha Minow on the Dear Habermas site.
Concepts to be covered:
- fear of crime
- public and media agenda
- echo effects
- drug courts
- crime reduction
Questions to go with Creative Measures:
- Discuss a local criminal justice policy that has been influenced by news media coverage or a media-based lobby effort to pass crime-related legislation. (S:238)
- Discuss the implications of the increasing entertainmentization of crime-and-justice media. (S:238)
- Discuss how the media have influenced your social construction of crime-and-justice reality. (S:238)
- Does the mass media have too much influence on society? What should be done in the area of crime and justice concerning the media? Why. (S:238-239)
- What specific aspects of content of the media do you find most troubling? Why. (S:239)
- Explain the reduction in officially reported violent crime in the United States. Who is to be partly credited for this decrease: back-enders or front-enders? Why. (M&B:186)
- Provide an argument of guarded "optimism" regarding the criminal justice system and its crime policy in the next century. Now, prepare an argument of "pessimism" regarding the criminal justice system and its crime policy in the next century. Which view do you expect to predominate? Why. (M&B: 186)
- What's "right" with criminal justice? Respond to the criticisms of the system. (M&B:186).
- Identify a current serious criminal justice problem or issue. Evaluate the influence of ideology, the media and politics on it. What is the current approach being utilizaed? What do you recommend for the future? (M&B:186)
- Do you agree or disagree with Potter and Kappeler's conclusions? Why.
- Select a recent criminal justice issue (i.e., gangs, death penalty, terrorism) and trace the public attitudes and beliefs.
- Explore how much time people (i.e., children, teenagers, young adults, older adults, the elderly) spend watching television? surfing the Internet? going to the movies? listening to the radio?
- Research the War on Drugs and other drug wars. Who is winning and who is losing? Why.
- Note: Creative measures must: 1) focus on "media, crime, and criminal justice." 2) Must be pre-approved. 3) Cannot be something that you are doing for another course. 4) Research cannot be 100% online (i.e., google, askjeeves). Must conduct library research using scholarly works.
- Geoffrey Canada. Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America.
- Elliott Currie. Crime and Punishment in America.
- Samuel Walker. Sense and Nonsense about Crime and Drugs:A Policy Guide.
- J. Carlson. Prime Time Enforcement.
- V.E. Kappeler et al . The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice.
- Charles Derber. People Before Profit.
- Paul Klugman. The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century.
- Michael Moore. Dude, Where's My Country?
- Robert W. McChesney. Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times.
- Lawrence Lessig. Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. Lawrence Lessig, a law professor at Stanford University, has made his book free online.
- Herbert Schiller. Information Inequality.
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