Link to jeanne's Birdie Calendar. Race, Crime & Law: CRMJ/SOCA 490, Fall 2001, UWP

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Race, Crime & Law
CRMJ/SOCA 490 Fall 2001

University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: July 23, 2001


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 1-1:50 p.m.

Brief Description:

CRMJ/SOCA 490 will explore the intersections of race, crime and law in terms of the historical context, the present-day situation, and finally, future directions. We will examine "race, crime, law" from the viewpoints of the offender, the victim as well as the criminal justice practitioner within the various aspects of the criminal justice process -- from law enforcement to courts to corrections. In addition, we will focus on the interrelationship between theory, policy, and practice. Whatever position you take on "race, crime and law," 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 the new millennium.


  • Fellman, Gordon.(1998) Rambo and the Dalai Lama.
  • Kennedy, Randall.(1997) Race, Crime, and the Law.
  • Walker, Samuel et al. (2000) The Color of Justice .
  • Dear Habermas Website [refer to handout]
  • College pocket dictionary
  • (optional) Habermas, Jurgen. (1996) Between Facts and Norms.
  • (optional) Minow, Martha. (1990) Making All the Difference.


You must have:
  • A bound notebook/journal
  • An e-mail address (available through school)
  • Internet access (access PCs in microcomputing labs on campus)

Learning Objectives for the Course

The student will learn:

A. to know the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Measured by requirement to choose from both and explain choice on grade percentage form.

B. to work cooperatively with others, by juxtaposing strengths. Measured by self report and written and oral contributions to discourse.

C. to recognize differences between theory, factual knowledge, and the application and synthesis of that knowledge in praxis. Become familiar with the interrelationship between the types of knowledge and to balance them, as evidenced by grade percentage form.

D. to use a vocabulary which permit discussion of theory: difference, the Other, structural violence, privileging subjectivity, unstated assumptions, transformative discourse, relativism, tolerance of ambiguity, and so forth. Measured by self-tests and incusion of references in written and oral contributions to discourse.

E. to recognize the principle contributions to social theory of Habermas, Minow, Freire, bell hooks, and others. Measured by self-tests and inclusion of references in written and oral contributions to discourse.

F. to categorize theoretical approaches by reference: a) to where the problem and the solution are assumed to be, and b) to the balance between adversarialism and mutuality. Measured by exam questions and inclusion in written and orgal contributions to discourse.

G. to evaluate materials on race, crime and law. Measured by self-tests and inclusion of citations in written and oral contributions to discourse.

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, when they become commodified.

The overall grading criteria is based on the 5Cs - communication, consistency, competency, creativity, and cooperation, (refer to Dear Habermas site, Evidence of Learning . Your coursework must show scholarly discipline in conceptually linking your learning to theory, policy, practice, and to course readings and discussions.

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.

Measures of Learning

We insist that you write, because writing is still important to communication, and affords a richness of experience we think higher education should afford you. I insist that you e-mail your contributions, and keep them relatively short (25 words or less) so that I can give them the attention that matters.

  • Self-Report Measures (up to 20% may be selected)
    • Self-Tests (up to 10%)
    • Journal (up to 20%)
    • Dictionary Records (up to 10%)

  • Creative Measures (up to 80% may be selected)
    • Latent Learning (up to 20%)
    • Venturing Out to Speak on Your Own (up to 20%)
    • Analysis and Synthesis (up to 80%)
    • Interactive Projects (up to 80%)
    • Measuring and Reporting Your Own Learning (up to 10%)

  • Traditional Measures (up to 60%may be selected)
    • Midterm Exam (up to 30%)
    • Final Exam (up to 30%)

Important Notes

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, Renee' Sartin-Kirby - Coordinator (595-2610).

Deadlines/Due Dates - All due dates and deadlines are firm. Late assignments and exercises will not be accepted. A "no show" will result in an "F" for that particular task. The absolute final deadline for all course work is Monday, December 10th, 1 p.m. central time.

Communicating - 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.

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 ).


WeekTopicReadings due
1Introductionpreface & foreword to all texts; K, ch. 1
2Adversarialism & Mutuality
**Wed, 9/12 Computer Workshop
F, parts 1, 2, & 3
3Adversarialism & Mutuality
Race, Ethnicity & Crime
F, parts 4 & 5
4 Victims & Offenders: Myths & Realities W, ch. 2; K, ch. 2
5Race, Ethnicity, Social Structure & CrimeW, ch. 3; K, ch. 3
6Justice on the Streets?W, ch. 4; K, ch. 4
7The CourtsW, ch. 5; K, ch. 5
8Justice on the Bench?
**Fri 10/26 - Last Day to Drop Course
W, ch. 6; K, ch. 6
9Race & the Composition of JuriesK, ch. 7-8
10Race and SentencingW, ch. 7
11The Color of DeathW, ch. 8; K, ch. 9
**Fri, 11/23 Thanksgiving Break
W, ch. 9; K, ch. 10
13Color of JusticeW, ch. 10; K, Afterword
14Theory, Policy, Practice -----
15Theory, Policy, Practice
**Mon, 12/10, 1 p.m. Central Time - Final Absolute Deadline