Sociology 305 covers a wide range of topics related to crime and the criminal code in Canada. These topics include the tension in law between a purely ‘black letter’ approach based strictly on legal principles and precedents, and a sociological approach to law that explains it in terms of economic factors, social inequalities, and social movements promoting specific moral agendas. The course devotes a significant portion of study to the ways in which crimes are measured, both formally in terms of recorded offences and informally in terms of victim surveys. In this context the course reviews the correctional data that suggests a significant over-representation of Natives in the justice system. A focus on the measurement issues also raises the issue of the long-term trends in crime, with specific attention to the crime drop since the early 1990s, and the various accounts offered to explain it.
- Coordinator: hrivassanchez