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COURSE SYLLABUS

GIS 3653
CROSS CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS OF CRIME
 

TEXTS:
Steven F. Messner and Richard Rosenfeld
Crime and the American Dream(3rd or 4th edit.)
Wadsworth
Belmont, CA

Frank Schmalleger
Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction (or Any Introduction to Criminal Justice Text) Prentice Hall
Upper Saddle River, NJ

Jianhong Liu and others (ed)
Crime and Social Control in a Changing China (ISBN: 0-313-31652-X) Greenwood Press
West Port, CT
(available in library reserve)

Harry Dammer and Jay Albanese
Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (4th edit.)
Wadsworth
Belmont, CA
(available in library reserve)

Philp L. Reichel
Chapter 10: Japan: Examples of Effectiveness and Borrowing
(available in library reserve)

Ronald L. Akers
Chapter 5: Social Bonding and Control Theories
(available in library reserve)

SUPPLEMENTAL BOOKS IN LIBRARY RESERVE:

Ted Westermann and James Burfeind
Crime and Justice in Two Societies – Japan and the United States

Roy Roberg, Kenneth Novak, and Gary Cordner
Police and Society

Gresham Sykes and Francis Cullen
Criminology
James Inciardi
Criminal Justice

COURSE RATIONALE:

As we entered the 21st century, we have found that the world has become smaller due to the rapid development of global communication technology that serves to narrow the gaps of peoples' perspectives toward common problems. To understand better one's own circumstance it is often beneficial to have a point of contrast and comparison. When we realize that the crime problem and its control in the United States is not the only game, it becomes more interesting and more useful to learn how other nations deal with this issue that seems to be uncontrollable in this society.

This course is designed to help the students to understand that although criminality and crime control mechanisms are deeply rooted in a nation's history, culture and political system, we can still learn lessons from others. The successful experience of crime control in Japan indicate that the social values and the informal social mechanisms such as family, school, workplaces, neighborhood, and religions all affect people's beliefs, behaviors, and the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. With a cross-cultural perspective, it is possible for us to scrutinize our own problems in crime control and find a more effective approach to fight against crime.

GENERAL OBJECTIVES:

1. To facilitate an understanding of the relationship between criminality, culture, formal social control, and informal social control;

2. To create awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of American social cultures and social mechanisms with regard to crime control;

3. To learn Japanese cultural values and their advantages and disadvantages in formal and informal social control;

4. To learn Chinese cultural values and their advantages and disadvantages in formal and informal social control;

5. To encourage an exploration in creating a "desirable social control system" in the U.S. by learning from Japan and China.

REQUIREMENTS:

1. Term Paper (100 points)

The purpose of this assignment is to use a cross-cultural approach to identify the crime problem in the U.S. and attempt to design some desirable social control mechanisms that can help cut down the crime rate.

First, the paper will deal with the crime problems in the United States. You will focus on two or three principal cultural values in American society and find some actual cases/examples to illustrate how these values lead to an inefficient informal social control, that in turn result in a high crime rate.

Next, you will focus on one of the formal social control mechanisms, that is, one aspect of the criminal justice systems in the three nations. By discussing the main characteristics of police, judicial systems, or correctional systems in the U.S., Japan, and China and comparing their differences and similarities, you will...
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