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.


After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Summarize the underlying assumptions, aims, and implications of established and contemporary criminological theories.
  • Explain and contrast constructs of crime and deviance.
  • Discuss and critically 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.
  • Articulate the connection between criminological theory, public policy, and political ideology.

Course outline

CRIM 3311 includes the following 11 modules:

  • 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

  1. Kramar, K. Criminology: Critical Canadian perspectives. Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada, (2010).
    Type: 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: ISBN: 978-0-203-49836-1
  1. DeKeseredy, W. S. Contemporary critical criminology. New York, NY: Routledge, (2010).
    Type: ISBN: 978-0-20-386923-9


To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project. The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.

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 * 25%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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