sociology 4141 - juvenile delinquency (3 CR) – fall 2021




5:30-8 pm Thursday

Course Page at

more info at: and


Professor: Chris Uggen (you-gun)       Grading Assist: Naomi Cowan

office: 1014A Soc Sci; 612-624-4016                 

office hours: tues 2:15-3:30 & by appt.              office hours: by appt.

mail:                               email:


Logic of the Course

This course offers an overview of social theory and research on youth crime and punishment. We start by critically examining the social facts surrounding the measurement, extent, and distribution of delinquency. Next, we study the principal sociological explanations of delinquency. These theories provide concepts or tools for analyzing youth law violation and punishment among groups such as gang members. We then trace youth experiences in the juvenile justice system, from policing, to juvenile court, to probation, and institutionalization. Throughout, we analyze the success or failure of key programs implemented in attempts to prevent or reduce delinquency.


Objectives of the Course

        To understand how youth delinquency is currently measured and the extent and distribution of delinquent behavior according to these measures.

        To gain a working knowledge of the key sociological theories of delinquency and crime over the life course.

        To apply the conceptual tools of these theories to selected case studies.

        To critically evaluate concrete policy responses to delinquency.


Required Texts (at bookstore or free link on Canvas page)

        Rios. Rios, Victor M. 2011. Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. New York: NYU Press. This is a fresh critical ethnography of punishment and criminalization, with a focus on African American and Latino boys.


Recommended Resources (good general reference for those feeling lost)

        Robert Agnew and Timothy Brezina. 2017. Juvenile Delinquency: Causes and Control.

        Cullen, Francis T., John Paul Wright, and Kristie R. Blevins (editors). 2008. Taking Stock: The Status of Criminological Theory. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. By now, many of you have a working knowledge of delinquency theories. This edited collection provides a clear assessment of the evidence confirming or disconfirming them. It is difficult reading, but the authors are first-rate experts.


Course Requirements

10%    Active class participation. We are planning a live in-person course, though this could change over the semester. Come to lecture prepared to discuss the day’s readings. [Assessed based on discussion, breakout group participation, comments]

20%    Short exercises. Group discussion write-ups, visits, and short individual assignments, which can be completed live or submitted individually for those unable to attend class.

20%   Midterm examination (take-home). The extent and distribution of delinquency, sociological theories of delinquency, and their application to particular scenarios.

25%    Working paper or service learning option. (1) Uggen’s 8-10-page paper assignment or (2) a 5-page paper based on service learning or internship experiences, or (3) an article-length research paper or grant proposal on a topic negotiated with the professor and teaching assistant.

25%    Final examination (take-home). This exam is cumulative, but focuses on connecting sociological theories with efforts to prevent and control delinquency.


Additional Honors Expectations

1.    Meet with me, preferably as a group, 3 times outside of regular course time (time TBD).

2.    Submit an honors paper (expanded version of one of the working paper options and/or individual or group research paper).

3.    Help Uggen and TA on other small leadership tasks (class discussion, paper exchange, discussion questions, tour).

4.    Optional: engage in research opportunity with Uggen on (a) data collection (b) data analysis (c) writing brief (1-page) TSP clippings on crime news, or (d) other project.

5.    Optional: Sign up, prepare, and visit one presentation (e.g., ASC oral history or presidential or Sutherland address), workshop, or seminar on a course-related topic.


Policies around Recordings and Academic Integrity

      This course may include video and audio recordings of class lectures and classroom activities. These recordings will be used for educational purposes and will be available to students currently enrolled in this course. Always seek instructor permission to share any course recordings or course content/materials more broadly.

      Please do not share lectures, exams, slides, or notes with any other people or sites without permission from the instructor.


Course Policies and Friendly Reminders

        Late assignments/missed exams. Assignments, exams, and readings should be completed by the beginning of class on their due date. Late work is penalized 10% per day. Please document any family or medical emergencies and notify the professor and TA before class via email.

        Class notes. If you must miss class, copy the notes from another student. Then see the TA or professor to clarify anything you do not understand. We will also make PowerPoint outlines available online on Canvas

        Grading. At the end of the semester, I compute a total score for each student (for example, 83.5 out of 100 possible points). I then make cut-points for the grades based on the class distribution of scores. I try to ensure that students who do all the reading, attend the lectures, and participate actively can generally earn grades of B or better in my classes. Blowing off readings or lectures is almost certain to hurt your grade.

        Attendance. We will not be taking attendance in class, but missing multiple lectures may compromise your participation grade.

        Reading. This is a reading-intensive upper-division course. You should read and understand about 100 tough pages weekly (and they should be at least skimmed before the appropriate lecture). The readings are not typically repeated in lecture and the lectures are not duplicated in the readings.

        Triggers, trauma, and offensive material. Youth crime and punishment involves behaviors ranging from minor deviance to severe crime. In this course, students may encounter language, depictions, or attitudes that they find disturbing or offensive. In such cases, it is fine to leave the room or take a break – and to contact the teaching assistant or professor to discuss any concerns you might have.

        Plagiarism/academic misconduct. You do not need to cheat. You do not want to cheat. Very bad things will happen if you cheat. Do not cheat.

        Workload. For this 3-credit course, you will spend approximately 7 hours per week on class activities. I will spend at least 2.5 hours per week engaging you with lectures, videos, discussions, quizzes, and exams, and through weekly office hours (online and in person as requested). In addition to these interactions with me, you’ll also commit to about 6-7 hours per week reading, studying, researching, and completing the other course activities and exams. This time commitment should be adequate to earn at least a course grade of C (Achievement that meets course requirements in every respect) (although the median course grade has typically been a B in previous semesters).

        Technology statement: You will be expected to have access to a computer, webcam, and internet connection for any Zoom lectures and to view recordings. You are encouraged to turn on your camera to help us connect with one another, but not required to do so.

        Teaching philosophy and department policies (attached).


Statement on COVID-19

We find ourselves in a challenging and unpredictable moment. Many of you will be trying to learn in less-than-ideal circumstances, but I will be right there with you throughout the semester. We will stay in close contact about particular challenges you may be facing, and I will do my best to adjust the course as needed to meet your needs. Please let me know the difficulties you encounter and what we might do to support your learning.





Week 1 – 9/9

A.   Welcome and Data Collection

          Self-Report Survey and “Note cards”; Optional service learning; Course norms and expectations

        Rios, Preface, pp. vii-xvi.

        National Council of State Legislators. 2020. “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System.”

        Sawyer, Liz. 2020. “St. Paul police arrest 14-year-old in shooting death of teenager.Minneapolis Star-Tribune. September 2, 2020.

        Prather, Shannon. 2019. “Ramsey County's century-old Boys Totem Town closes for good.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune. August 14, 2019.


B.   Defining and Measuring Delinquency: The Policy Moment

        Schiraldi, Vincent, Bruce Western, and Kendra Bradner. 2015. “Community-Based Responses to Justice-Involved Young Adults.” NIJ New Thinking in Community Corrections Series. Pp. 1-17.

        Laub, John H. 2014. “Understanding Inequality and the Justice System Response: Charting a New Way Forward.” WT Grant Foundation.


Week 2 – 9/16

A.   Extent and Nature of Delinquency: Official Statistics & Critique

        Sherman, Lawrence L., Denise C. Gottfredson, Doris L. MacKenzie, John Eck, Peter Reuter, and Shawn D. Bushway. 1998. "Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Promising.” NIJ Research in Brief. Washington, DC: USGPO. Pp 1-13.

        Local: Christopher Uggen and Suzy McElrath. 2014. “Six Social Sources of the U.S. Crime Drop.” Pages 3-20 in Crime and the Punished, edited by Douglas Hartmann and Christopher Uggen. New York: WW Norton.

        Recommended: FBI UCR data and data tool


B.   Extent and Nature: Self-Reports and Victimization [Service Learning]

        Rios, Chapter 1. “Dreams Deferred: The Patterns of Punishment in Oakland.” Pp. 3-23.

        [Start] Moffitt, Terrie E. 1993. “Adolescent-Limited and Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior: A Developmental Taxonomy.” Psychological Review 100: 674-701.

        Recommended: National Crime Victimization Survey data tool.





Week 3 – 09/23 Transition: From Correlates to Causal Models


A.   Age, Careers, and the Life Course

        [Finish] Moffitt, Terrie E. 1993. “Adolescent-Limited and Life-Course-Persistent Antisocial Behavior: A Developmental Taxonomy.” Psychological Review 100: 674-701.

        [Local] Nyseth Brehm, Hollie, Christopher Uggen, and Jean-Damascéne Gasanabo. 2016. “Age, Gender, and the Crime of Crimes: Toward a Life-Course Theory of Genocide Participation.” Criminology 54: 713-43.



B.   Rational Choice and Deterrence

        Petrosino, Anthony, Carolyn Turpin-Petrosino, and John Buehler. 2003. “Scared Straight and Other Juvenile Awareness Programs for Preventing Juvenile Delinquency: A Systematic Review of the Randomized Experimental Evidence.” The ANNALS of the AAPSS 589:41-62.

        (required for Honors), Ogle, Meghan R., & Turanovic, Jillian J. 2019. Is Getting Tough With Low-Risk Kids a Good Idea? The Effect of Failure to Appear Detention Stays on Juvenile Recidivism. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 30(4), 507–537.


Week 4 – 09/30: Delinquent Association and Learning


A.  Social Psychological Theories: Differential Association

        Sutherland, Edwin H. and Donald R. Cressey. “A Sociological Theory of Criminal Behavior.” Pp. 77-83 in Criminology 10th Edition.

        (required for Honors), Jones, Nikki. 2004. “It’s not Where you Live, it’s How you Live”: How Young Women Negotiate Conflict and Violence in the Inner City.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 595: 49-62


B.  Moving to Opportunity

        Clampet-Lundquist, Susan, Kathryn Edin, Jeffrey R. Kling, and Greg J. Duncan. 2011. “Moving At-Risk Youth Out of High-Risk Neighborhoods: Why Girls Fare Better Than Boys.” American Journal of Sociology 116:1154-1189. [a big treatment]


Week 5 – 10/7: Learning and Control Theories


A.  Cognitive Behavioral Approaches, Learning, and Control

       Heller, Sara B., Anuj K. Shah, Jonathan Guryan, Jens Ludwig, Sendhil Mullainathan, Harold A. Pollack. 2017. “Thinking, Fast and Slow? Some Field Experiments to Reduce Crime and Dropout in Chicago.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 132: 1–54. 

       Rios, Chapter 2. “The Flatlands of Oakland and the Youth Control Complex.” Pp. 24-42.


B.  Social Psychological Theories: Social Control & Self Control

        Hirschi, Travis. 1969. Causes of Delinquency. Berkeley: University of California Press. Chapter 2. Pp. 16-34.

        (required for Honors), Moffitt, Terrie E., Louise Arseneault, Daniel Belsky, Nigel Dickson, Robert J. Hancox, Honalee Harrington, Renate Houts, Richie Poulton, Brent W. Roberts, Stephen Ross, Malcolm R. Sears, W. Murray Thomson, and Avshalom Caspi. 2011. “A Gradient of Childhood Self-control Predicts Health, Wealth, and Public Safety.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:2693-98.


Week 6 – 10/14: Labeling and Symbolic Interaction

A.   Labeling Theories and the Life Course

       Rios, Chapter 3. “Labeling Hype: Coming of Age in Era of Mass Incarceration.” Pp. 43-73.

       Mears, D. P., Kuch, J. J., Lindsey, A. M., Siennick, S. E., Pesta, G. B., Greenwald, M. A. and Blomberg, T. G. 2016.” Juvenile Court and Contemporary Diversion: Helpful, Harmful, or Both?” Criminology & Public Policy, 15: 953–981.


B. Summary and Review of Social-Psychological Theories & Data

        Local. Michael Massoglia and Christopher Uggen. 2010. “Settling Down and Aging Out: Toward an Interactionist Theory of Desistance and the Transition to Adulthood.” American Journal of Sociology 116:543-82.

        (required for Honors), Elliott, Sinikka, and Megan Reid. 2019. “Low-Income Black Mothers Parenting Adolescents in the Mass Incarceration Era: The Long Reach of Criminalization.” American Sociological Review, 84: 197–219.


Week 7 - 10/21: Social Structural Theories Midterms due


A.   Racism, Neighborhoods, and Gangs

        Rios, Chapter 4. “The Coupling of Criminal Justice and Community Institutions.” Pp. 74-96.

        Du Bois, W.E.B. 1899. The Philadelphia Negro (excerpt) “The Negro Criminal.” Pp. 1-15.

        [Local news]. Libor Jany and Liz Sawyer. 2020. “As Twin Cities street gangs evolve, traditional hierarchies vanish.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, February 5, 2020.


B.   Social Structural Theories: Social Disorganization

        Shaw, Clifford, and Henry H. McKay. 1931. Juvenile Delinquency in Urban Areas. Chapter X. Pp. 283-293.

        Sampson, Robert J. 2008. “Rethinking Crime and Immigration.” Contexts 28-33.

        (required for Honors), Sharkey, Patrick., Gerrard Torrats-Espinosa, and Delaram Takyar. 2017. “Community and the Crime Decline: The Causal Effect of Local Nonprofits on Violent Crime.” American Sociological Review, 82, 1214–1240.



Week 8 – 10/28: Anomie and Individual-Level Strain Variants


Film: Angels with Dirty Faces

        NOTE: Midterm Evaluations



Week 9 – 11/4: Anomie and Individual-Level Strain Variants


A.   Social Structural Theories: Anomie     

        Merton, Robert K. 1938. “Social Structure and Anomie.” American Sociological Review 3:672-82.

        (required for Honors) Contreras, Randol. 2014. The Stickup Kids: Race, Drugs, Violence, and the American Dream. Chapter 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.


B.   General Strain Theory

        Rios, Chapter 5. “Dummy Smart: Misrecognition, Acting Out, and Going Dumb.” Pp. 97-123.

        Racine, N., Cooke, J. E., Eirich, R., Korczak, D. J., McArthur, B., & Madigan, S. 2020. “Child and adolescent mental illness during COVID-19: A rapid review.” Psychiatry Research, 292, 113307.


Week 10 – 11/11: Critical Theories


A.   Social Structural Theories: Marxian and Conflict Theories

        Wacquant, Loic. 2012. “The Punitive Regulation of Poverty in the Neoliberal Era.”  Criminal Justice Matters 89:38-40.

        (required for Honors), Tracie R. Porter. 2015 “The School-to-Prison Pipeline: The Business Side of Incarcerating, Not Educating, Students in Public Schools.” Arkansas Law Review 68: 55-81.


B.   Gender, Social Structure, and Feminist Criminology

        Rios, Chapter 6. “Proving Manhood: Masculinity as a Rehabilitative Tool.” Pp. 124-41.

        Panfil, Vanessa R. 2018. “Young and Unafraid: Queer Criminology’s Unbounded Potential.” Palgrave Communications 4:110: 1-5.

        (required for Honors), Chapter 8. Jody Miller and Christopher W. Mullins. ”The Status of Feminist Theories in Criminology.” Pp. 217-50.





Week 11 – 11/18: Prevention & Introduction to Juvenile Justice (Zoom class?)


A.   Prevention and Introduction to Juvenile Justice

        Paper Drafts Due: Workshop

        Greenwood, Peter. 2008. “Prevention and Intervention Programs for Juvenile Offenders.” The Future of Children 18:185-210.

        [Local] Schaefer, Shelly, and Christopher Uggen. 2016. “Blended Sentencing Laws and the Punitive Turn in Juvenile Justice.” Law & Social Inquiry 41:435-63.

        (required for Honors) Sullivan, Christopher, Alex R. Piquero, and Francis T. Cullen. 2012. “Like Before, But Better: The Lessons of Developmental, Life-Course Criminology for Contemporary Juvenile Justice.” Victims and Offenders 7:450-71.


B.  The Juvenile Justice System and the “Gender Gap”

      Zahn, Margaret A., Jacob C. Day, Sharon F. Mihalic and Lisa Tichavsky. 2009. “Determining What Works for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: A Summary of Evaluation Evidence.” Crime & Delinquency 55:266-93.

      Fader, Jamie J. and Megan H. Shaud. 2021. “Challenging Heteronormative Practices in the Juvenile Justice System." Temple Public Policy Lab.

      (required for Honors): Angela Irvine-Baker, Nikki Jones, Aisha Canfield. 2019. “Taking the “Girl” Out of Gender-Responsive Programming in the Juvenile Justice System.” Annual Review of Criminology 2019 2:1, 321-336.


11/25 – Thanksgiving Break -- NO CLASS

*Final Papers Due 11/30 at Midnight


Week 13 – 12/2 Race, Gender, Policing, and Probation

A.   Police, Race, and the Juvenile Court

        Ward, Geoff K. 2012. The Black Child-Savers: Racial Democracy and Juvenile Justice. Chapter 6: Institutionalizing Racial Justice: The Black Surrogate Parental State, 1930–65. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

        Rios, Chapter 7. “Guilty by Association: Acting White or Acting Lawful?” Pp. 142-56.


B.   Probation

        Lane, Jodi, Susan Turner, Terry Fain, and Amber Sehgal. 2007. “The Effects of an Experimental Intensive Juvenile Probation Program on Self-reported Delinquency and Drug Use.” Journal of Experimental Criminology 3:201-219.



Week 14 – 12/9: Probation and Institutionalization


A.   Institutionalization

        Sawyer, Wendy. 2019. Youth Confinement: The Whole Pie 2019. Prison Policy Initiative.

        Bowman, S.W. 2018. The Kids are Alright: Making a Case for Abolition of the Juvenile Justice SystemCritical Criminology 26:393–405.


B.   Conclusions and Catch-Up

        Richard Rosenfeld and Steven F. Messner. 2014. “A Social Welfare Critique of Contemporary Crime Control.” In Crime and the Punished, edited by Douglas Hartmann and Christopher Uggen. New York: WW Norton.

        Rios, Conclusion. “Toward a Youth Support Complex.” Pp. 157-167.

·         Michelle Inderbitzin, Trevor Walraven, and Joshua Cain. 2014. “Juvenile Lifers, Learning to Lead.” In Crime and the Punished, edited by Douglas Hartmann and Christopher Uggen. New York: WW Norton.        



Week 15 – 12/16: Finals Due (midnight)


A.        Review TBA




Uggen's Teaching Goals and Philosophy


1. Respect for Students.

The other points are really a subset of this one. Education is a service industry, but you cannot simply purchase a unit of education the way you would buy other commodities. Instead, you must devote time and energy to learning. I respect those students who must make work, family, or other commitments their top priority. Nevertheless, to benefit from the class and to be rewarded with a high grade, you must find time to do the work.


2. Procedural Justice or Fairness.

In my non-statistics classes, I typically grade exams and papers anonymously (by identification numbers rather than names) to avoid favoritism or other biases. Universal standards and strict deadlines are the best way I know to provide equal opportunities for all students.


3. High Standards for Excellence.

I reserve grades of A for outstanding work that engages course materials with original thought and creativity or a mastery of technical skills. You can receive a B by doing all of the work well and a C by meeting all course requirements.


4. Opportunities for Independent Work.

All must meet the basic requirements. For those wishing to engage the material at the highest level, I allow flexibility for more ambitious projects.


5. Responsiveness and Accountability.

You will have the opportunity to evaluate me and to critique the course in time for me to make changes that will benefit you. If you think I have failed to live up to the principles or philosophies here listed, please let me know about it.


6. Accessibility.

I will be available to you during office hours and flexible in scheduling appointments outside these hours (including nights and weekends).


7. Embracing Diverse Perspectives.

Sharing your experiences and understandings (publicly or privately) enriches the course for your fellow students, especially when you disagree with me.


8. Enthusiasm for the Subjects I Teach and for Teaching as a Vocation.

I cannot expect you to really engage the course materials if I am bored with them. Therefore, I will make every effort to make the texts, lectures, and assignments current, relevant, and intellectually engaging.


9. Skills, Knowledge, and Attitudes.

I teach: (1) technical and life skills that will benefit you inside and outside of the classroom; (2) abstract and concrete knowledge about the social world; and, (3) attitudes promoting the free and good-humored exchange of ideas.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Sociology 4141: Juvenile Delinquency (Uggen) Working Paper Assignment:

Design/Refine a Program for the Prevention or Control of Juvenile Delinquency


Your goal is to design a program to prevent or control juvenile delinquency. My goal is to test your ability to merge theory and practice, but I sincerely hope the paper helps you pursue or develop your own career interests. Drafts are due in class on Thursday November 18th. Your final double-spaced typed paper should be uploaded by Tuesday November 30th at midnight.


I.             Introduction [1 paragraph]

        Summarize the problem, target group, theoretical rationale, operations and goals for your program. It is usually easiest to write this part last, rather than first.


II.           Current State of Knowledge [2 pages]

        What do we know about the success of similar programs?

        I want at least 5 academic sources (e.g. texts and journals). You may also cite government publications, program literature, and personal interviews with academics or practitioners.

        Try to make a critical, unbiased evaluation of existing sources (Lundman provides a good example of the appropriate “tone”).  Don’t “oversell” your approach.


III.         Theoretical Rationale of Your Program [2 pages]

        Summarize the delinquency theory your program is based upon in a paragraph or two. In your own words, explain how the theory works. You may draw on theories from social work, psychology, or elsewhere, but connect the ideas to the sociological theories in this class.

        Note the level of analysis (e.g., individual, state) appropriate to the theory and program.

        Explain how the theory specifically applies to the problem, program, and target group you are considering. How will you apply the theory's conceptual tools in this program?

        Flow diagrams or figures are helpful, but always discuss them in the text.


IV.          Program Narrative [1 page]

        Describe the program’s day-to-day operations in concrete terms. Each will vary, but you might discuss referral and outreach (where you find clients), eligibility requirements, site, duration, participating organizations, and other factors.


V.            Goals and Objectives [1 page]

        State measurable program outcomes (e.g. decrease unemployment rate; increase graduation rate, decrease self-reported delinquency, increase self-esteem).

        [Grant applications have “administration” and “organization/management” sections outlining timetable, budget, personnel, etc. You needn’t include this, but are welcome to try!]


VI.          Evaluation and Conclusion [1 page]

        Outline a strategy to measure performance, or program results

        Briefly summarize your proposal and make your final pitch for funding.


VII.        Bibliography [1 page – with 5-10 decent sources referenced]

        Credit all sources (names, dates, titles, page numbers, etc.) so I can easily find them.


NOTE: The polish is less important than your ability to integrate abstract concepts with concrete reality, but you must communicate clearly to make an effective proposal. You will be graded on clarity and the specificity and appropriateness of the literature and program design, as well as overall logic and internal consistency.

Sociology 4141: Juvenile Delinquency (Uggen) Service Learning Option:

Reflect on Your Experiences (5 pages)


For those taking the service learning option, you need only write a short summary of your activities and bring course materials to bear on these experiences in some way. Fifty percent of your paper grade will thus be achieved by completion of the service learning. The other fifty percent is determined by a short, double-spaced typed paper due at the start of class on Thursday November 18 (draft) and your final double-spaced paper should be uploaded by Tuesday November 30 at midnght. Here is a suggested outline for this paper.


I. Service Learning Description [1 paragraph]

o    Describe what you did, where, when, and how you did it, and with whom.


II. Organization Goals and Challenges [1 page]

o    What is the organization trying to accomplish? Is this formally stated somewhere or something you simply picked up from other workers?

o    What barriers or challenges to success does the organization face? Try to cite specific incidents or examples.


III. Bring Course Materials to Bear on the Experience [2-3 pages]

o    You have some choice here. You may discuss the “working theory” used by the organization (for example, a juvenile probation program may be based on deterrence theory or labeling theory)  or its workers

o    You might also comment on how the agency’s practices may be consistent or inconsistent with social science research on delinquency.

o    You might note typical experiences and unexpected or atypical experiences that reveal something useful about how the organization operates.


IV.  Evaluation and Conclusion [1 paragraph]

o    What did you think of your experience? Would you suggest any changes in how the organization operates?


For those who would like to write about their experiences in some other (non-service learning) program or agency, we ask that you add the following section between “organizational goals and challenges” and “bring course materials to bear on the experiences”:


2.5        Current State of Knowledge [2-3 pages]

        What do we know about the success of similar programs?

        I want at least 5 academic sources (e.g. texts and journals). You may also cite government publications, program literature, and personal interviews with academics or practitioners.

        Try to make a critical, unbiased evaluation of existing sources (Lundman provides a good example of the appropriate “tone”).  Don’t “oversell” your approach.


This addition should bring the paper to about 5-8 pages




GRADES:  University academic achievement is graded under two systems: A-F (with pluses and minuses) and S-N.  Choice of grading system and course level (1xxx/3xxx/4xxx) is indicated on the registration website; changes in grade scale may not be made after the second week of the semester.  Some courses may be taken under only one system; limitations are identified in the course listings.  The Department of Sociology requires A-F registration in courses required for the major/minor.  University regulations prescribe the grades that will be reported on your transcript.


A        Represents achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements (4.00 grade points)

A-          3.67 grade points

B+      3.33 grade points

B        Achievement significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements (3.00 grade points)

B-          2.67 grade points

C+      2.33 grade points

C        Achievement that meets the basic course requirements in every respect (2.00 grade points)

C-          1.67 grade points

D+      1.33 grade points

D        Achievement worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements (1.00 grade point)

F        Performance that fails to meet the basic course requirements (0 grade points)

S        Represents achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better.

N        No credit.  Its use is now restricted to students not earning an S on the S-N grade base

I         Incomplete, a temporary symbol assigned when the instructor has a "reasonable expectation" that you 1) can successfully complete unfinished work on your own no later than one year from the last day of classes and 2) believes that legitimate reasons exist to justify extending the deadline for course completion.  The instructor may set date conditions for make-up work. If a course is not completed as prescribed or not made up as agreed within the year, the I will lapse to an F if registered on the A-F grade base or an N if registered on the S-N grade base.

W       Official withdrawal from a course after the end of the second week of the semester.  You must file a course cancellation request before the end of the sixth week of the semester to ensure that the W, rather than the F, will be formerly entered on your record.


FINAL EXAMINATIONS (see schedule on the Calendar web site at You are required to take final examinations at the scheduled times.  Under certain circumstances, however, you may request final examination schedule adjustment in your college office.  Instructors are obligated to schedule make-up examinations within the final examination period for students who have three final examinations within a 16-hour period.  Instructors also are encouraged to reschedule examinations for students with religious objections to taking an examination on a given day.  You must submit your request for an adjustment in your schedule at least two weeks before the examination period begins.  For assistance in resolving conflicts, call the CLA Student Information Office at 625-2020.  If you miss a final, an F or N is recorded. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make up the examination. Final examinations may be rescheduled by the instructor only through the official procedure for that purpose (as noted on the above web page).  Final examinations may not be scheduled for the last day of class or earlier or for Study Day.  If an examination is rescheduled at the instructor's request, and you have an examination conflict because of it, you are entitled to be given the final examination at an alternative time within the regularly scheduled examination period for that semester.


CLASS ATTENDANCE: As a student, you are responsible for attending class and for ascertaining the particular attendance requirements for each class or department. You should also learn each instructor's policies concerning make-up of work for absences.  Instructors and students may consult the CLA Classroom, Grading, and Examination Procedures Handbook for more information on these policies (


COURSE PERFORMANCE AND GRADING:  Instructors establish ground rules for their courses in conformity with their department policies and are expected to explain them at the first course meeting.  This includes announcement of office hours and location, the kind of help to be expected from the instructor and teaching assistants, and tutorial services, if available.  The instructor also describes the general nature of the course, the work expected, dates for examinations and paper submissions, and expectations for classroom participation and attendance.  Instructors determine the standards for grading in their classes and will describe expectations, methods of evaluation, and factors that enter into grade determination.  The special conditions under which an incomplete (I) might be awarded also should be established.  The college does not permit you to submit extra work to raise your grade unless all students in the class are afforded the same opportunity.


CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR:  You are entitled to a good learning environment in the classroom.  Students whose behavior is disruptive either to the instructor or to other students will be asked to leave (the policies regarding student conduct are outlined on-line at


ELECTRONIC DEVICES: University instructors may restrict or prohibit the use of personal electronic devices in his or her classroom, lab, or any other instructional setting.  For the complete policy, visit:


SCHOLASTIC CONDUCT:  The University Student Conduct Code defines scholastic dishonesty as follows:

Scholastic Dishonesty means plagiarizing; cheating on assignments or examinations; engaging in unauthorized collaboration on academic work; taking, acquiring, or using test materials without faculty permission; submitting false or incomplete records of academic achievement; acting alone or in cooperation with another to falsify records or to obtain dishonestly grades, honors, awards, or professional endorsement; altering, forging, or misusing a University academic record; or fabricating or falsifying data, research procedures, or data analysis. Students cannot evade (intentionally or unintentionally) a grade sanction by withdrawing from a course before or after the misconduct charge is reported. This also applies to late withdrawals, including discretionary late cancellation (also known as the "one-time-only drop"). For the complete policy, visit:


STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AND STRESS MANAGEMENT: As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via




GRADE INFORMATION:  Grades are due in the Office the Registrar within 3 business days after the final examination. No information regarding grades will be released by the department office staff to anyone except designated personnel in Records and college offices.  Students may access their own grades through the MyU Portal.


INCOMPLETES:  It is the instructor's responsibility to specify conditions under which an Incomplete (I) grade is assigned.  Students should refer to the course syllabus and talk with the instructor as early as possible if they anticipate not completing the course work.  Coursework submitted after the final examination will generally be evaluated down unless prior arrangements are made in writing by the instructor.  University policy states that if completion of the work requires the student to attend class in substantial part a second time, assigning an “I” grade is NOT appropriate.  Incompletes are appropriate only if the student can make up the coursework independently with the same professor.  Students need to have completed a substantial portion of the course in order to be even considered for an Incomplete. 


MAKE-UP EXAMINATIONS:  Arrangements for special examinations must be made directly with the instructor who taught the course and who is responsible for approving and supervising the examination or making individual arrangements.  Circumstances for missing an exam include, but are not necessarily limited to: verified illness, participation in athletic events or other group activities sponsored by the University, serious family emergencies, subpoenas, jury duty, military service, and religious observances. It is the responsibility of the student to notify faculty members of such circumstances as far in advance as possible.


GRADE CHANGES:  Grades properly arrived at are not subject to renegotiation unless all students in the class have similar opportunities.  Students have the right to check for possible clerical errors in the assignment of grades by checking with the instructor and/or teaching assistant.


Students with justifiable complaints about grades or classroom procedures have recourse through well-established grievance procedures.  You are expected to confer first with the course instructor.  If no satisfactory solution is reached, the complaint should be presented in writing to the department Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising (909 Soc Sci).  If these informal processes fail to reach a satisfactory resolution, other formal procedures for hearing and appeal can be invoked.  See the departmental advisor in 923 Social Sciences to explore options. 


DISABILITY SERVICES: Students with disabilities that affect their ability to participate fully in class or to meet all course requirements are encouraged to bring this to the attention of the instructor so that appropriate accommodations can be arranged. For more info contact Disability Resource Center in 180 McNamara.


SEXUAL HARASSMENT: "Sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Faculty, Graduate Students, and full time Staff are Mandated Reporters for prohibited conduct. Such behavior is not acceptable in the University setting. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation; or if you have questions about any EOAA-related issue, please contact Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) at (612) 624-9547 or For the complete policy, visit


SOCIOLOGY PROGRAMS INFORMATION:  The Sociology Department offers two options for the Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree.  Students interested in majoring in Sociology should view the online-information session about the major.  Further information can be obtained from the following persons and offices or online at

                General information, Sociology Department, 909 Social Sciences - 624-4300

                Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising, Bobby Bryant, 923 Social Sciences – 624-4300

                Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Joe Gerteis, 1125 Social Sciences - 624-1615

                Soc Honors Faculty Representative, Prof. Joe Gerteis, 1125 Social Sciences - 624-1615

Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Jeylan Mortimer, 1014B Social Sciences – 624-4064 and/or

Graduate Program Associate, Becky Drasin, 927 Social Sciences - 624-2093

Undergraduate jobs, internships, volunteer and research opportunities, scholarships, and much more can be found in the Undergraduate Resources site -