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Arkistoitu opetusohjelma 2018–2019
Selaat vanhentunutta opetusohjelmaa. Voimassa olevan opetusohjelman löydät täältä.
SOS6.3.3 Theories of Crime and Deviance 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period II Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Intermediate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Yhteiskuntatutkimuksen tutkinto-ohjelma
Faculty of Social Sciences

Learning outcomes

During this course students are expected to:
1. Understand the criteria used to evaluate criminological theory.
2. Thoroughly understand the concepts of mainstream criminological theories.
3. Understand the basic concepts of a variety of other criminological theories.
4. Understand how concepts related to theories are conceptualized and measured.
5. Understand the process by which theoretical hypotheses are tested.
6. Be familiar with empirical support related to major criminological theories.
7. Understand the policy/program implications of each theory.
8. Learn how the study of criminal behavior is related to criminal justice practice.

General description

Deviant behavior is an important area of study for criminologists and criminal justice practitioners and is, therefore, one of the most important courses for graduate students in the field. Criminologists and criminal justice practitioners need to have a strong comprehension of both historic and modern theories of behavior in order to understand the rational for the policies and programs that are currently utilized by the organizations that employ them. A strong understanding of the concepts covered in this course will help students not only excel within the systems in which they work, but give them a basis for improving those systems.  

To put it simply, the focus of this criminal behavior course is centered on the question: Why are some people delinquent or criminal and why do others follow the law? This question is simple to pose, but challenging to answer. The course will first explore the standards by which a theoretical answer to the question should be judged and will then explore the theories proposed to explain deviance by criminologists, sociologists, psychologists, and geneticists over the last two centuries.    

The course is much more than a recitation of the most popular and empirically researched criminological theories. Students will need to critically evaluate theoretical propositions. They will learn to see theories as dynamic and understand how they evolve over time. They will learn how their hypotheses are empirically evaluated and in which settings each is most supported. They will explore how theories are related to policy and programmatic changes.

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Bryan Lee Miller, Teacher responsible
Atte Oksanen, Teacher responsible


6-Feb-2019 – 24-Apr-2019
Wed 6-Feb-2019 - 24-Apr-2019 weekly at 9-12, Linna 5026-5027


Numeric 1-5.

Evaluation criteria

Grade Calculation:

Theory Summaries 20%

Discussion Questions 10%

Discussion Presentations 20%

Paper 40%

  • paper 30%, presentation 10%

 Participation  10%

Study materials

Required Reading:

Akers, Ronald L. and Christine S. Sellers. 2012. Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application, Sixth Edition. Oxford University Press, New York.

*Additional readings will be provided online