Deviance, Crime, and Punishment in the Past and Present

Fall 2016
Winter 2017
Spring 2017
Class Size: 50
Credits per quarter

Compare offerings and share your lists with others.

Taught by

How have deviance and crime been viewed differently in societies over time, and how have punishments for deviance and criminal behavior varied by society and historical period?

This program will engage in historical and sociological studies of deviance, crime, and punishment. Our studies will primarily entail a comparison of contemporary American and Western European societies with their historical roots from the 16th century to the present. We will examine themes of power, social control, surveillance, and resistance as they relate to the evolving social definitions of deviance, crime, and punishment. Within these overarching themes, we will consider topics such as crime waves, hysteria, identities, bodies, prostitution, witchcraft, genetic determinism, and the media sensationalization of crime.

This program involves extensive student-initiated studies, and students will learn how to conduct historical and sociological research on a topic of their choice. During the 10-week period spanning the second half of winter quarter and the first half of spring quarter, students will have the option of pursuing their independent research interests or participating in an internship for up to 40 hours a week, the equivalent of 16 credits. During this time, students will communicate electronically with faculty and peers to discuss their learning, and students working locally may meet with faculty and peers every other week for seminar discussions.

Students will return to the classroom in the middle of spring quarter to reflect on, critically examine, and integrate their fall quarter theoretical and methodological learning with their winter and spring quarter research or practical experience. The major project this quarter for interns will be a synthesis paper that details this integration. Research students will produce a research paper that represents a culmination of their best writing and thinking abilities.

Our studies will be grounded in sociology and history, but will turn to other fields, including anthropology, biology, law, and media studies, to enrich our understandings of deviance, crime, and punishment. Throughout the year students will engage in seminars, films, workshops, fieldwork exercises, writing, and research projects designed to deepen their knowledge and apply theory to real-world situations.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

history, sociology, criminology, law, gender studies, humanities, and social sciences.


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.

$50 in fall for theatre tickets.  

Internship Opportunities:

Students will do a major independent research project or internship for the 10 weeks between the middle of winter quarter and the middle of spring quarter.  Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising. Please go to Individual Study for more information.

Research Opportunities:

Students will do a major independent research project or internship for the 10 weeks between the middle of winter quarter and the middle of spring quarter. 

Class Standing: Junior–Senior
Class Size: 50

Scheduled for: Day

Advertised schedule:

First winter class meeting: Monday, January 9th at 10am (Lib 1412)

Located in: Olympia