SOC 235 Syllabus


Division:        Arts and Sciences                                                                                                               Date:  February 2014


Curricula in Which Course is Taught:  Administration of Justice


Course Number and Title:                       SOC 235, Juvenile Delinquency


Credit Hours:    3                Hours/Wk Lecture:    3       Hours/Wk Lab:                    Lec/Lab Comb:   



I.              Catalog Description:         Studies topics such as marriage and family in social and cultural context.  Addresses the single scene, dating and marriage styles, child-rearing, husband and wife interaction, single parent families, alternative lifestyles.  Lecture 3 hours per week.


II.            Relationship of the course to curricula objectives in which it is taught: 


This course is required in all ADJ program specializations and promotes an understanding of juvenile offenders in a social context.  It may also be used as a liberal arts elective in transfer programs.


III.           Required background: 


ENG 1 is a prerequisite.  ENG 2 is a corequisite.


IV.          Course Content:

A.   Overview of Juvenile Delinquency

B.   Dimensions of the Delinquency Problem

C.   Biological Explanations

D.   Psychogenic Explanations

E.   Sociological Explanations

F.    The Family and Delinquency

G.   Schools and Delinquency

H.   Youth Subculture

I.      Gangs

J.    Juvenile Delinquency and the Criminal Justice System


V.  Learner Outcomes


The student will:


VI.  Evaluation

A.   Understand the difference between criminal behavior and juvenile delinquency.

B.   Define and give examples of mores and folkways as different kinds of social norms governing our behavior

C.   Explain the concepts of conformity and deviance as alternative responses to the behavioral expectations of society for its members.

D.   Understand how unreliable and/or invalid data-gathering procedures can lead to questionable findings and conclusions regarding the magnitude of juvenile delinquency.

E.   Critique the weaknesses and limitations of theories of deviant and delinquent behavior that are based on biological and physiological variables.

F.    Outline and discuss some of the specific theories developed by psychiatrists and psychologists to explain the causes of juvenile delinquency.

G.   Define and explain specific sociological concepts and theories of deviant and delinquent conduct, including Strain or Anomie Theory and Cultural Transmission Theory.

H.   Define and explain specific sociological concepts and theories of deviant and delinquent conduct, including Social Learning Theory and Social Control Theory.

I.      Summarize the contributions and limitations of the various sociological theories of deviance and delinquency.

J.    Explain how family variables such as social class, family size, the nature of family interaction, and parental discipline relate to juvenile delinquency.

K.   List ways in which the schools have become a “combat zone” or arena of confrontation between many students and their teachers and school administrators.

L.    Identify specific attitudes, values, beliefs, behaviors, and norms characterizing the youth subculture.

M.   Comprehend the magnitude of the juvenile gang problem; that is, the number of gangs, number of gang members, and gang involvement in delinquent behavior.

N.   Define due process and provide an overview of some of the constitutional and legal issues that influence the handling of juveniles by the police.

O.   Explain the motives and ideology of the Child Savers together with their positive and negative impacts upon the juvenile justice system.

P.   Distinguish between different types of juvenile facilities such as detention facilities, training schools, and group homes.

Q.   Summarize some of the major juvenile treatment programs in the United States.

R.   Summarize some of the major recommendations that have been made for rethinking the problem of juvenile delinquency.

Students are required to complete at least one term paper as defined by faculty.  Students will also be evaluated using quizzes, tests, additional writing assignments and projects designed by faculty.


All written assignments will be assessed for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and consistency according to the conventions of standard English.



         VII.    This course supports the following  objectives:


DCC Educational Objectives:


Critical Thinking

Cultural and Social Understanding

Scientific Reasoning