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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

CRIM 3311: Advanced Theoretical Perspectives in Criminology

Students explore the diverse nature of theory within the field of crime and deviance by focusing on modern, post-modern, and critical theories. The selected paradigms are studied with regard to their explanatory domain, role in examining social and criminological problems and research implications.

Learning outcomes

  • List and explain the five analytical dimensions that constitute the core of any criminological theory.
  • Apply and discuss the five analytical dimensions to specific criminological explanations of crime.
  • Identify and discuss recent refinements and theoretical developments in a range of areas including cultural studies, feminism, postmodernism, integrative theory, and restorative justice.
  • Discuss and assess criminological explanations of crime ranging from pre-scientific approaches, classical and postclassical conceptions of crime and criminality, individual and sociological positivist theories, social process theories, critical theories, and more recent integrated theories.

Course topics

  • Module 1: What is Crime and Criminology?
  • Module 2: Individually Based Theories of Crime-The Rational Actor
  • Module 3: Individually Based Theories of Crime-Biological, Psychological and Psychiatric Theories
  • Module 4: Sociological Positivism
  • Module 5: Labelling Theory
  • Module 6: Conflict and Radical Theories
  • Module 7: Feminist Theories
  • Module 8: Critical Criminology
  • Module 9: Indigenous Theories
  • Module 10: Integrated Theories
  • Module 11: Critical Perspectives and Policies on Current Issues

Required text and materials

The following material will be available within your course:

  1. Course Readings from Kramar, K. (2011). Criminology: Critical Canadian perspectives. Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada
    Type: Custom Reprint. ISBN: 978-0-13-175529-1

Students will access the following e-texts through the TRU Library:

  1. Hopkins Burke, R. An introduction to criminological theory. (4th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge, (2014).
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-203-49836-1
  1. DeKeseredy, W. S. Contemporary critical criminology. New York, NY: Routledge, (2010).
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 978-0-20-386923-9


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project.

Online Postings (Modules 1 and 3; 3% each) 6%
Online Postings (Modules 5, 8 and 10; 3 % each) 9%
Critical Analysis of Media 15%
Analytic Paper: A Community Example of Sociological Positivist Theory 10%
Analytic Paper: Analyzing Research from a Feminist Perspective 10%
Analytic Paper: Exploring Indigenous Scholarship 10%
Analytic Paper: Theory in Song 10%
Final Research Project Proposal 5%
Final Project: Research Project (mandatory) 25%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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