Feb 05, 2023  
2015-2016 Saint Joseph’s College Online 
2015-2016 Saint Joseph’s College Online [Archived Catalog]

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SO 321 - Crime and Popular Culture

This course is designed to give students an overview of the study of crime and the media, specifically, the social construction of crime through various media outlets (newspapers, television news, television dramas and comedies, the Internet, movies, and video games). There will be detailed discussions pertaining to the interconnectedness of crime, the media and popular culture. Furthermore, students will gain critical insights into how the media influences public perceptions and attitudes towards crime, crime control, crime control agents and the victims of crime. The course will also explore and assess the research linking media and criminal behaviors. Students would benefit from a basic understanding of the criminal justice system.

The online format allows students to interact with the professor and other students in asynchronous discussion boards. Online course materials will help clarify points made by the author(s). Discussions will help other students think critically about issues surrounding particular issues related to crime and the media. It is crucial that students actively engage in the discussion boards as they are the focal point in the online environment. The week long on campus component of the course is designed to have a more in-depth discussion about the key themes identified and to develop a more critical mindset when assessing popular culture depictions of crime, criminality and justice.

Prerequisites & Notes
This course is being offered during the 2016 summer session with an on campus component.


Course Learning Objectives

  • Understand how the popular culture mediums come to shape and construct crime, crime control, victims of crime and the agents of crime control.
  • Examine crime and the media through the use of both sociological and criminological paradigms.
  • Engage students in a critical analysis of various news-making sources and examine how the news systematically evaluates crime related news.
  • Discuss and explore the portrayals of race, class and gender as related to crime in the various media outlets.
  • Use critical thinking skills to assess the media and the portrayal of crime.

Credits: 3 Offered: Online: Summer Session 2016, Semester 201703

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