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Seminar Materials

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago

Seminar Materials



Seminar One (6th October)


This seminar is an opportunity for you to explore some of the myths and realities of criminology generally, and youth in particular. No special reading or preparation needed: just be prepared to talk!


Seminar Two (13th October)


The summary of the original Hough & Roberts survey can be found HERE


Seminar Three (20th October)


Click on the title for full seminar task.


Seminar Four  (27th October)


Click on the title for full seminar task.


Reading Week Articles (3rd November)


Two articles to read during reading week:


David Farrington - Crim Careers research in the UK.pdf 


age and the explanation of crime - Hirschi and Gottredson.pdf


Seminar Five (10th November)


The file below cover some questions relating mainly to the Farrington article (above). You might also want to look at David Farrington's chapter on Developmental Criminology in the Oxford Handbook of Criminology to begin to get your heads around a complex area of the unit.


Seminar Qs Crim Career v Crim Propensity.doc


Seminar Six (17th November)


This week, we will be continuing to address the issues associated with Developmental Criminology, the Age-crime curve and how we approach the issues of criminal careers through adolescence and into adulthood.


Gottfredson and Hirschi (see above) are very much on the side of 'trajectories' / persistent heterogeneity  and focus on criminal propensity - in other words, they believe that some people are more likely to commit crime than others; this 'propensity' is established early on in life, and that this increased likelihood is persistent throughout the life course (though this does vary within individuals as they age). The age-crime curve is in effect reproduced within every individual, but underlying the macro- / aggregated- pattern, these individual lines are basically parrallel.


Others, though (e.g. Laub and Sampson, see the article below) include a different perspective on 'career pathways' / life-course / state dependency - in other words, people's likelihood of commiting crime changes as a result of events (often associated with the aging process). The age-crime curve might exist as an aggregate pattern across the population, but within that, there are many differences between and within individuals' experiences: individuals likelihood of commiting crime exhibits great changes at different stages of people's lives. Any individual's likelhood of commiting crime reflects the circumstances at that particular stage in their life (this is a definition of 'state dependency'). (Note: Laub and Sampson don't entirely reject the prospect that persistent heterogeneity exists, but argue that this is only a partial explanation for the patterns of criminal careers.)


So, the article below presents the 'criminal career' / state dependency argument, focusing on their excellent book "Shared Beginnings, divergent lives: Delinquent Boys to age 70". This is an edited chapter, which has taken out some of the complex statistical techniques they use, and focusses mainly on the implications of their findings, but some complex methodological terminology may still have to be overcome.


Sampson Laub edited.doc


Questions for Seminar can be found: HERE


Seminar Seven: Childhood, Parenting, Fear and Risk


Dispatches - Cotton Wool Kids - A documentary examining the changing face of childhood as anxious parents, fearing that Britain has never been more dangerous, become increasingly protective of their offspring. The film focuses on three families in particular with the parents all admitting that their fears are changing the lives of their children to the extent that they rarely have the freedom to play outside. As the parents' anxieties grow, so the children find that their leisure time is primarily spent indoors interacting with computer games and the internet. First broadcast on Channel 4, 10th April 2008.


You will need to watch this film befoer the seminar, on a university networked PC. You could use headphones on a standard PC cluster (e.g. on the first floor of the Manton building), or in the Library.


Apparently, it is also available on You Tube - in sections, but this can be accessed from any PC here:




(Thanks to David Williams for this)


Additional Reading:


Astroth "Are Youth At Risk?"



Seminar Seven and Eight - Mantonville


The material above will serve to introduce some of the important themes of risk awareness, risk-oriented interentions and risk-aversion that will inform the "Mantonville" simulation exercise, being run this week and next week in the seminars. You will be allocated to small groups within each seminar, but play the game across all seminars. This won't make much sense at the moment, but should become celar in the seminars.


The instructions are available here, but each group will be provided with this in class as well - treat this as a 'back-up' if you need another copy.


Mantonville - Instructions.doc


Seminar Nine - Gangs and Youth subculture


Morash - Gangs.doc



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