Course Exam—Soci 305 (Sociology of Crime)

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Explore legal elements, the explanations of crime, sociological theories, and more in SOCI 305: Sociology and Crime.  Sociology 305 is a three-credit arts or social sciences course with no prerequisites and includes a challenge for credit option.

In SOCI 305, students learn a wide range of topics related to crime: legal principles, sociological approaches to crime such as social inequalities, social movements and economic factors, measurements of crime and the theoretical explanations of the crime drop, and policy considerations.

Who Should Take This Course and Why

Lovers of criminal sociological theory unite—Athabasca University has the perfect course for you.  Mr. Gordon Drever has been teaching the ‘Sociology of Crime’ at AU for over twenty years, alongside a similar course (Crime and Deviance) at Northern Lakes College.  If his twenty-plus years of teaching experience isn’t enough, he’s also been a consultant to the Crown as well as consulting with police in crimes involving a sectarian religious context.  He has a confession to make though, stating, “My academic training and research work has been in anthropology.” (He really has his bases covered!) His experience in the realm of anthropology fieldwork gave him some understanding of the comprehension of crime due to cases that unfolded during his time in rural Mexico.

Mr. Drever enjoys seeing students with a background in the field, such as police officers, corrections officers, and social workers, but don’t fret if you don’t have a background in these areas, just bring an interest in the sociology of crime and you’re sure to enjoy this course.

Course, Assignments, and Exam Details

This course is split into ten units, covering a vast array of materials and knowledge.  Alongside the e-text (students may also purchase a physical textbook at an additional cost, linked in the course outline), each unit includes a study guide.  The guides provide an exceptional amount of information including the unit objectives and written “lectures.”  Between the textbook and the course material, students will have no issue accessing the required information-plus exciting additional information for those who love to go above and beyond in their learning.  The ten units cover The Rule of Law, The Legal Elements of Crime, Measuring Crime, The Crime Drop and Enterprise of Criminology, Explaining Crime, Realist Theories, Relativistic Theories, Understanding ‘mere murder’, Murder Extraordinaire, and Policy Considerations.  Students will also find additional readings linked at the end of each unit section.  This course may be heavy on the reading, but the information is incredibly interesting for lovers of criminal theories.  Dare I say, you may even want to read more beyond what is provided.

SOCI 305 includes two assignments, a mid-course quiz, and a final exam.  The first assignment is a research proposal worth 10% of the final grade, and the second is the research paper, worth 25% of the final grade.  The research options in the course assignment are endless, so long as it correlates to some aspect of sociology and crime.  The first assignment is listed as due after unit three, and the second following unit seven.  As for the mid-course quiz, students will find this after unit six.  It’s a 60-question multiple choice quiz that covers units 1-6 and is worth 35% of the final grade.  Lastly, the final examination.  Worth 30% of the final grade, the final exam is written and students will have a list of questions to prepare.  It’s split into two parts: Part A presents 4 of 12 possible questions, and students write their answers to two of these four in approximately 800-1200 words.  Part B includes 14 possible questions to prepare from where four will be presented on the exam, and two must be answered in 350-600 words.  To pass the course, students must achieve a 60% on the final exam, and a 60% overall grade for the course.

Course Advice

“Even though the topic list and requirements for the research papers are written in generic terms, there are always opportunities to bring in your personal experience and knowledge (not to be confused with opinion).  If a student has an interest in the field which does not quite match the assigned topics: no problem, just ask.” If you can use personal experience, Mr. Drever can gauge your familiarity with the sociological framework—plus he says he finds these interesting!

From the perspective of a past student, start working on your final exam preparation early.  Between the study guide and textbook, students will have no problem answering the questions on the provided list.