Sociology 231

Juvenile Delinquency

Idaho State University
Idaho Falls Campus
Spring 2007
Thursday 5:00-7:30 PM
CHE 222

David H. Kessel

Office Hours.........4:30-5:00 Thursdays


Please click on each link...You will find answers to most of your questions here...look here first...before asking in class...Thanks.

Catalog Course Description

Class Policies and Comments

What you'll need for SOC 231

Schedule of Topics and Readings

Required Reading Materials

Assignments and Instructions

Due Dates

Summary of Points in Course

Grading Scale

Grading Standards

**NEW** Non-required 231 Discussion Board

Web Basics
A Tutorial for beginners and veterans, too

ISU Homepage

TSS Directory

Catalog Course Description

Theories of delinquency, criminal behavior, and law enforcement in relation to the modern social institutions in American culture

Grading Scale

A......95-100 (Excellent)
A-.....90-94 (Good/Excellent)

B+....87-89 (Very Good)
B......84-86 (Good)
B-.....80-83 (Good/Fair)

C+....77-79 (Fair)
C......74-76 (Fair/Basic)
C-.....70-73 (Basic)

D+....67-69 (Poor/Basic)
D......64-66 (Poor)
D-....60-63 (Very Poor)

F......??-59 (Needs alot more)

Required Reading Materials

Juvenile Delinquency: The Core, Second Larry Siegel and Brandon C. Welsh

Juvenile Delinquency and Justice 06/07 Reader...Annual Editions

Selected material from The Sociology Shop

Schedule of Topics and Readings

(SW = Siegel/Welsh text)
(AE = Annual Editions Reader)
(TSS = The Sociology Shop)

1/11...Introduction/Course Details/The Sociology Shop (TSS)

1/11 & 18....Selected Sociological Concepts (TSS)

----------Definition of Sociology


----------Social Act/Relation/Situation
----------Levels of Reality
----------Definition of the Situation/Thomas Theorum
----------Paradigms and Paradigm Article and Purple

1/25...Childhood and Delinquency (SW 1)(AE 4)

2/1....The Nature and Extent of Delinquency (SW 2) (AE 5 & 28)

2/8....Individual Views of Delinquency: Choice and Trait (SW 3) (Criminological Paradigms

2/15...Sociological Views of Delinquency (SW 4)

2/22...Developmental Views of Delinquency (SW 5)

3/1....Gender and Delinquency (SW 6) (AE 16)

3/8....The Family and Delinquency (SW 7) (AE 20)


3/22...Peers and Delinquency: Juvenile Gangs and Groups (SW 8) (AE 27)

3/29...Schools and Delinquency (SW 9) (AE 9)

4/5....Drug Use and Delinquency (SW 10) (AE 15)

4/12...The History and Development of Juvenile Justice (SW 11) (AE 43)

4/19...Police Work with Juveniles (SW 12) (AE 29)

4/26...Juvenile Court Process: Pretrial, Trial, and Sentencing (SW 13) (AE 33)

5/3....Juvenile Corrections: Probation, Community Treatment, and Institutionalization (SW 14) (AE 37)

A Call to Ivan Illich

The Future is David H. Kessel

Assignments and Instructions


There will be five (5) analysis papers to write...worth 20 pts. each = 100 points total. Desired length is 2-3 pages (handwritten or typed). Topics can be found HERE.


You will be required to review one (1) article (from 5 selected by me) from Annual Editions Reader. The Review will be worth 100 points. INSTRUCTIONS can be found HERE. The five articles to choose from can be found below.


There will be an take-home mid-term exam...worth 100 points. Material coverage will be SW 1-5, AE required readings for SW 1-5, Links, & Lectures. The Exam can be found HERE


This assignment gives you the opportunity to choose the type of assignment you'd like to do...i.e. at your discretion. It is worth 100 points. INSTRUCTIONS can be found HERE.


There will be a comprehensive Take-Home Final exam...worth 100 points. The Exam can be found HERE


#3----The Crackdown on Kids: The New Mood of Meanness Towards Children--To Be Young is to be Suspect

#14---The Culture of Youth

#36---Quick Fix: Pushing a Medical Cure for Youth Violence

#38---Juvenile Boot Camps: Lessons Learned

#48---Saving the Nation's Most Precious Resource: Our Children

Due Dates

1/25----------Analysis Paper #1 Due
2/08----------Analysis Paper #2 Due
2/22----------First half of Discretionary Assignment Due
3/08----------MID-TERM EXAM (and class)
3/22----------Article Review Due
3/29----------Analysis Paper #3 Due
4/12----------Analysis Paper #4 Due
4/26----------Second Half of Discretionary Assignment Due
5/03----------Analysis Paper #5 Due
5/10----------FINAL DUE (Between 5:30-7:30 PM)

Summary of Points in the Course

100 Points........Analysis Papers
100 Points........Article Review
100 Points........Mid-Term Exam
100 Points........Discretionary Assignment
100 Points........Final Exam

500 Points........Total

Analysis Paper Topics

Analysis Paper #1

As we begin our study of juvenile delinquency, I'm wondering where each of you "are" on this broad subject. I suppose one major question on our minds is...just what causes juvenile delinquency, huh? As a jumping-off point, I'd like you to take a look at a short piece produced by the Houston Police Department a few years ago called Twelve Rules for Raising Delinquent Children. What do you think of their "rules"? Is this a serious piece (in their and your minds) or is it more tongue-in-cheek? Do you think these, individually or collectively, produce delinquents? Is there a kernel of truth in them or does it just reflect a certain point of view? Go any direction with these you choose, but you may also, of course, provide answers of your own.

Analysis Paper #2

It is often heard these days that having been a victim, as a child, of some type of abuse or delinquent/criminal behavior is strongly correlated with victimizing others. Yet, at the same time, it is also heard that this is no "excuse" for perpetuating the activity...that we have a chice to do so or not. Words such as "letting them off" or "making excuses for them" are often heard...meaning we've removed them from being responsible or accountable. We seem to understand the "reasons"...but only to a certain point, after which the existence of the behavior is called an excuse.

Is this a viable sociological analysis? Is there a difference been "exuses" and "reasons"? Free-will choice is usually the reason that reasons turn into excuses. Those once considered victims are now conceived as rational choosers of their own behaviors. Although we know that we tend to repeat what we considered "normal," especially as we have grown up, when it comes to "choice" we assume that everyone has and understands the range of alternatives "out there" we can choose from.

I'd like you to consider these ideas (and any others that might come up in your thinking)...with a healthy dose of "bracketing." This topic not only deals with rates of delinquency and victimization (who is doing what to whom and why), but also sets the stage for our consideration of the various paradigms and theoretical perspectives we'll be covering the next few weeks.

So, let the critical thinking flow...argue with yourself if you have to...speculate and see what you can come up with.

Analysis Paper #3 (You have a one of these two possibilities)

This is, on the one hand, a very general topic...but on the other hand, it will probably turn out to be very specific. It's fairly open-ended.
So, I'm going to ask you to summarize and analyze the content in Chapter 6 of our text. What do you make of the issue of "gender and delinquency?" There are many theories about the issue...all resting on the reality that the nature and extent of male and female delinquency is converging. So, utlizing the variety of information in this chapter, what's happening here?


At the end of Chapter 6, on pages 153-154, the author presents a "Applying What You Have Learned" section. Read the little scenario given and respond as if you were the principal confronted with this situation. You can go any direction with this that you want, but there are some good questions posed that you should pay attention to. It puts you into a real life reality...what would you do and why?

Analysis Paper #4

Since the "Applying what you have learned" used for AP3 seemed to go over very well, I've decided to do another one...going back to previous chapters and forward to a couple. So.....from the following nine (9) possibilities. select the one (1) you'd like to analyze and write about. These are, of course, from our textbook:

Chapter 1-----p.21
Chapter 2-----p.46
Chapter 3-----p.80
Chapter 4-----p.106
Chapter 5-----p.130
Chapter 7-----p.180
Chapter 8-----p.207
Chapter 9-----p.230
Chapter 10---p.256

Some ask you to role-play...others ask you to analyze a situation with the help of leading questions.

Analysis Paper #5

The topic for this last Analysis Paper (#5) is....YOU. I'd like you to evaluate yourself in the course. However, this isn't about's about learning and effort. Likewise, this isn't about me or the course, per se. I often get mentioned in this kind of paper, but I'm NOT the point...YOU are. So, how did you do...what was the process like for you? How well or not well did you "apply" yourself? Did the structure of the assignments suit you...and in retrospect, what might you have done differently with these assignments? How did you handle an overtly critical perspective about juvenile delinquency? Were you able to successfully "bracket" your values and perspectives...and if not, in what area(s) were you resistant to the bracketing and the material presented in the text and in class? In other words, talk about any aspect you desire...there's certainly no right or wrong about your response.

So, step back from yourself and take a look. Do you feel differently about the variety of issues in "juvenile delinquency?" And I mentioned in class..."...that only when the necessity to please others is removed, can the main job of SELF-evaluation begin."

What You'll Need for SOC 231

& SOC 231

You are going to need access to a Computer for this course with access to The Internet. Whether its your own computer or one in a Lab or a friend's computer or one at a Library, they're not that difficult to find these days.

That also means you'll need to learn a basic minimum of skills in navigating The Internet. It's a tool that's quickly become necessity in today's world especially as it relates to academics. If you have no experience in doing this, there's plenty of help available especially at ISU and on the Web itself. I've put a link in the Menu to a "beginners" tutorial. Then there's me. I'll help as much as I can. So don't panic if you're in this category, it will be okay.

You will need an EMAIL Address for this course...if you don't have one, please get one ASAP...I can help if you need it...then email ME with your name so I have it accurately.

Finally, The Sociology Shop, my own website, is essential for this course. We have our own "room" in TSS, the SOC 231 Room (the Room you're in NOW) where you'll find links to the stuff I mentioned above. There's also other rooms which you may find helpful. I will help you become familiar with TSS and how to access information, especially in our classroom.


Copy and Paste exam into another document before printing out

Sociology 231
Juvenile Delinquency
Spring 2007
Idaho State University---Idaho Falls Campus
David H. Kessel
Take-Home Mid-Term

TRUE OR FALSE (2 pts each = 30 Points)

Write a short paragraph (2-4 sentences) explaining WHY each question is T or F (as indicated in parentheses following the question)

1. There is never a time when we’re NOT in a “social relation” with others. (T)

2. The primary characteristic of “paradigms“…which makes them questionable as accurate portrayals of reality…is that they are limited and partial views of that reality. (T)

3. As a tool of critically understanding social reality, “presupposing” refers to asking about the various conditions which make something possible and understandable. (T)

4. The three “levels of analysis/reality” (micro-meso-macro) are completely separate and unconnected to each other…and should be studied that way. (F)

5. The primary purpose of benefit of “bracketing” one’s values in an educational setting (or anywhere else for that matter) is that it keeps them safe and sound and free from critique and any change. (F)

6. Empathy involves first making judgments about something or someone and then trying to understand it/them through the filter of those judgments. (F)

7. "If we act as if...or believe...something is true, it become true for us"...refers to the Thomas Theorum (definition of the situation). (T)

8. To say that "meaning" presupposes a "meaning-maker" which presupposes particular values of the "maker" which presupposes particular "interests" which presupposes particular a radical analysis. (T)

9. "Purple cows" it relates to paradigms...represent everything that falls inside the frames or boundaries of a paradigm. (F)

10. The meaning of "obvious" used in this sociology that most things need no further analysis. (F)

11. If two or more variables are correlated, this automatically means that there is a casual link between them. (F)

12. Defining "crime" and "criminals" from strictly a "legal point of view" is consistent with the "Criminal Behavior as Freely Chosen" Paradigm. (T)

13. Maintaining that actions typical of poor people are more likely to be legally defined as crimes...and more strictly enforced is a major component of the "Behavior of the Criminal Law" Paradigm. (T)

14. The "dualistic fallacy" refers to the failure of people to polarize issues before analyzing them...thus causing confusion in picking a "side" to believe in. (F)

15. The "Criminal Behavior as Caused" Paradigm maintains that deterrence has little effect on behavior. (T)

KEY TERMS (15 at 4 pts. each = 60 points)

At the end of each Chapter of our textbook there is a list of "Key Terms" (with page numbers). From each chapter (1-5) select three (3) of these terms (for a total of 15 in all) you think are the most interesting, or questionable, or accurate, or important, or useful for understanding juvenile delinquency. For each of these terms explain:

1. what the term refers to (a description/definition of it);

2. why you selected it (in terms of its substance)

ESSAY (10 points)

So, just what have you learned thus far in our course on Juvenile Delinquency? Utilizing the text, lecture and discussion materials...summarize your thoughts and ex perieces into a brief "whole." Since each of us learns different things and in different ways, your essay should reflect your reality, not that of classmates or even the teacher. Do a serious job on this and it will be recognized.


SOC 231 Final Exam

Sociology 231
Idaho State University
Spring 2007
David H. Kessel
Final Exam

I would like for you to pick...from the text (whether or not covered in class), lectures, movies, completed assignments, and other readings...five (5) big, major, or important issues in Juvenile Delinquency. I'm not just talking about "key terms" (although a selection may involve one or more of them). Rather, think bigger than that. We've covered and discussed a wide range of issues this semester...some consistently appearing regardless of the chapter/lecture topics.

So, what issues, to you, are the most important or pervasive? You can do each of the five can integrate them into one larger essay. Either way...explain what the issue is about (give me some "facts" about it)...and then why you selected the issue. What makes it a transcending "biggy"...and what connection(s) does it have with other ideas in the course?

This type of exam gives you the opportunity to tell me "what you know" from our class. It will also require some review and some serious thinkig...and selection. I expect a concerted and serious effort...if for no other reason than the exam is worth a full 100 points!