Introduction to Criminology
This one-semester course is intended as a guide to the field and theories of criminology. It’s structured into lessons and Course Activities as follows: The first lesson discusses criminology as a field of study. The next two lessons discuss theories, which suggest that people engage in crime to satisfy self-interests and individual traits influence criminal behavior. The next lesson discusses the theory that motivated offenders are most likely to commit crimes when they are influenced by routine activities of potential victims. The next three lessons describe theories that suggest that people engage in crimes when social institutions fail to have a positive influence on them, they are labeled as criminals, and they associate with peers with criminal backgrounds. The next lesson familiarizes you with the theory that people engage in or refrain from criminal activities based on how they respond to certain events (turning points) in their lives. The next three lessons describe theories that influence of political and social powers, inability to achieve societal goals, and breakdown of social order contribute to criminal behavior. The next two lessons discuss theories that crimes and criminal behavior can be reduced by advocating peace and justice, reducing physical opportunities, and increasing the risks of being caught. The last lesson familiarizes you with the theory that focuses on preventing the escalation of serious crimes in a community.