Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


Examines the social context of crime and deviance. Topics may include theories of crime and deviance; the criminal justice system; white collar, organized, and street crime; social class, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, and crime; and legal implications of crime and deviance. Socioeconomic and multicultural issues emphasized throughout the course. Sociological concepts of deviance and social control. Theories of structural conditions contributing to conformity and non-conformity will be explored.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Define the major concepts in criminology.
  2. Differentiate between deviant and non-deviant behavior.
  3. Define the concept of social norms and explain why they exist in all cultures as a way to maintain social control.
  4. Categorize deviant behaviors.
  5. Compare and contrast sociological theories of deviant behaviors.
  6. Describe examples that illustrate the major criminology theories.
  7. Compare and contrast the principles, procedures, and methods used by sociologists in the collection of crime-related data.
  8. Analyze criminal patterns and trends.
  9. Analyze society's means and methods of addressing criminal behavior.
  10. Analyze crime rates and variation of criminality as they exist historically and cross-culturally and propose explanations for these variations.
  11. Examine the role of the police, courts, and corrections as a means to enforce, sanction, and punish criminal acts.
  12. Analyze the legal and criminal justice system as a social institution.
  13. Define and identify the types of crime and the people who commit crime.
  14. Differentiate between actual crime and perceptions of crime.
  15. Analyze how race, gender, sexual orientation, age and class affect arrest, charging and sentencing.
  16. Assess various types of intervention and prevention programs developed to reduce criminal behavior.
  17. Analyze social inequality within the criminal justice system.
  18. Demonstrate an understanding of the social construction of deviance.

Course Content

  1. Criminology and the Sociological Perspective
    1. The Sociological Perspectives
    2. Crime, Deviance, and Criminal Law
    3. Research Methods in Criminology
  2. Public Opinion, the News Media, and Crime
    1. Public Opinion and Crime Policy
    2. News Media Coverage of Crime and Criminal Justice
    3. Research on Public Beliefs about Crime and Criminal Justice
  3. The Measurement and Patterning of Criminal Behavior
    1. Measuring Crime
    2. Trends in U.S. Crime Rates
    3. Geographic and Social Patterns of Criminal Behavior
    4. Chronic Offenders and Criminal Careers
  4. Victims and Victimization
    1. Defining Victims and Studying Victimization
    2. Patterning of Victimization
    3. Explaining Victimization
    4. Costs and Consequences of Victimization
    5. Victims in the Criminal Justice System
  5. Theories of Crime
    1. Classical and Neoclassical Perspectives
      1. Theology and Science
      2. Rational Choice Theory and Deterrence Theory
      3. Routine Activities Theory
    2. Biological and Psychological Theories
    3. Sociological Theories
      1. Anomie and Strain Theories
      2. Social Disorganization and Social Ecology
      3. Learning Theories
      4. Control Theories
      5. Labeling Theories
      6. Feminist Theories
      7. Conflict and Radical Theories
  6. Violent Crime
    1. Homicide
    2. Assault
    3. Robbery
    4. Rape
    5. Intimate Partner Violence
    6. Child Abuse
  7. Property Crime
    1. Burglary
    2. Larceny/Theft
    3. Auto Theft
    4. Arson
    5. Forgery, Fraud and Computer Crime
  8. White Collar Crime and Organized Crime
    1. Occupational Crime
    2. Organizational Criminality and Corporate Crime
    3. Economic and Human Costs of White Collar Crime
    4. Explaining White Collar Crime
  9. Political Crime
    1. Crimes by Government
    2. Crimes Against Government
  10. Consensual Crime
    1. Drugs
    2. Prostitution and Pornography
    3. Gambling
  11. Policing
    1. Crime Control and Due Process Models
    2. Development of the Modern Police Force
    3. Working Personality and Police Behavior
    4. Police Discretion
    5. Impact of Policing on Crime
    6. Women and Racial Minorities in Police Forces
  12. Prosecution and Punishment
    1. Criminal Courts and the Adversary System
    2. Punishment, Social Structure, and Inequality
    3. Impact of Punishment on Crime
    4. The Death Penalty
  13. Reducing Crime
    1. Social, Cultural and Community Crime Prevention
    2. Developmental Crime Prevention
    3. Criminal Justice Approaches to Crime Prevention

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning course, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Class discussions
Active learning exercises
Oral presentations
Critical essay(s)
Examinations or quizzes

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, 10th Anniversary Edition. 2020.

Barkan, Steven E.. Criminology: A Sociological Understanding, 7th ed.. 2017.

Prior, Sarah, and Lynn Jones, editors. Investigating Difference: Human and Cultural Relations in Criminal Justice, 3rd ed.. 2018.

Reid, Sue Titus. Crime and Criminology. 2017.

Reiman, Jeffrey, and Paul Leighton. The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice. 2020.

Siegel, Larry J.. Criminology: Theories, Patterns, and Typologies, 13th ed.. 2018.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Weekly college level readings from primary and secondary sources averaging 50-100 pages in length
  2. College level writing assignments based on primary and secondary source reflection and/or analysis in the form of critical essays, journal entries, and/or weekly topical discussion responses