Link to jeanne's Birdie Calendar. Race, Crime & Law: CRMJ/SOCA 365, Fall 2002, UWP

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Race, Crime & Law
Syllabus for CRMJ/SOCA 365 -- Fall 2002

University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: August 27, 2002

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 365 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]
  • (optional) Habermas, Jurgen. (1996) Between Facts and Norms.
  • (optional) Minow, Martha. (1990) Making All the Difference.
  • College pocket dictionary


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

Course Objectives

  • To provide an experiential forum for civil discourse.
  • To select social issues of importance to us for discussion of validity claims.
  • To review the principles of ethics and legitimacy in the system of law.
  • To produce collaboratively essays on the social issues chosen to serve as textual information for those to whom we present our discourse.
  • To produce an actual forum in which to present our civil discourse as a model for other students and community leaders.

Learning Objectives

The student will learn:

  • to recognize differences between theory, factual knowledge, and the application and synthesis of that knowledge in praxis. Become familiar with the interrelationships between theories, policies, and practices relating to race, crime and law. Measured by the student's ability to choose between the types of knowledge and to balance them, as evidenced by grade form.
  • to evaluate materials on race, crime and law. Measured by self-reports, tests, inclusion of citations in written and oral contributions to discourse.
  • to recognize the principle contributions to social theory of Habermas, Minow, Freire, bell hooks, and others. Measured by self-reports and inclusion of references in written and oral contributions to discourse.
  • 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-reports, tests, and inclusion of references in written and oral contributions to discourse
  • to work cooperatively with others, by juxtaposing strengths. Measured by self report, 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. Because we are required by the institution to give grades, there must be a means of your letting us know what you hae learned. We expect each of you to communicate with us, so that we come to know you and your learning. Meaningful learnings come when we stretch the corners of each others' minds by looking at these concepts from multiple perspectives that come from our myriad unique experiences.

The 5Cs - communication, consistency, competency, creativity, and cooperation continue to represent our standards for evaluation. Refer to Evidence of Learning 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 and discussions.

Measures of Learning

Three times during the semester we will check that you have provided us with some evidence of your learning. That will establish a continuity in your learning. You are invited to choose the measure of learning that fits your learning style best. More details will be provided in class.

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.

Other 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 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 Friday, December 6th, 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, 9/11 Computer Workshop
F, parts 1, 2, & 3
3Adversarialism & Mutuality F, parts 4 & 5
4 Myths & Realities about Race & CrimeW, 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 10/25 - 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
12Corrections W, ch. 9; K, ch. 10
13Color of Justice
**Fri, 11/29 No Class - Thanksgiving Break
W, ch. 10; K, Afterword
14Relating Race, Crime, Law to Theory, Policy, Practice
**Fri, 12/6, 1pm central time - Final Absolute Deadline
15Relating Race, Crime, Law to Theory, Policy, Practice-----
16Relating Race, Crime, Law to Theory, Policy, Practice
**Mon, 12/16 - Last Day of Class