Assignment #5/6

Are Criminals Born or Created?

Welcome to your next unit! In class for the next few weeks, our unit will be based not so much on crime, but instead on criminality. There is a distinctive difference here, as crime exists almost as its own entity. A crime could be anything from stealing a candy bar from a store, or driving on the wrong side of the road, rioting illegally or even taking the life of another. Quite a broad range! However criminality suggests that people are, of course, innately involved in the anatomy of a crime. It also hints that criminality is a characteristic which can be based on our learned behaviors within a society, or maybe it could be something else… Perhaps a genetic trait or a predisposition established without our knowledge or influence? So after our unit about technology and society, we are using what we have learned about each other and the world to segue into something a bit more serious. This unit we will based partially on our discussions from last week to address questions like:

Are criminals born or created? What makes a criminal? Does society make criminals, or is it an innate trait? Why do people commit crimes?

Like most of our other discussions, we will begin this with first trying to pin down or, define, exactly what criminality is…many of these discussions are based in the tenets of disciplines like sociology and psychology, and we will be bringing many of these texts and disciplines into our discussions.

For next week, we will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting in class. So I want you to read and print the attached article. Come to class prepared to discuss certain sections of the article, with at least 4-5 bullet points which I will check for in class to make sure you have. I would also like you to write a brief 1-2 paragraph reaction to the article. I will be putting more responsibility on you to created and defend your own opinions and positions, and to start doing this your reaction to the article and the information presented within it is, of course, the most important starting point.

As far as in class goes, you are in charge of making this class discussion work, so make sure your discussion points truly reflect an understanding of the reading and that you are comfortable bringing them up with your classmates either as a whole class, or in small groups.

Here is a link to the article. Please print it and read it carefully, annotate for words and phrase you are not familiar with, and we will clarify them in class as well as do a close reading of certain sections before you are in charge of discussing this in your groups.

Other Housekeeping Stuff:

I still have many of your papers from “What is Writing” either you were absent, or we didn’t get to the distribution in class. Either come to my office hours, or remind me in class and I will try to give them back to any groups which did not yet pick them up.

Consider this your first formal request for your journals. They will be due NEXT WEEK. The week of November 24th I will expect you to drop them off after class and I will check for your entries or readings. If they are done on the computer, I’m going to ask that you print them and give them to me, this is easier for me to make comments on.

Last Week: Last week we had a brief discussion on the events of 11/11 and what exactly was happening. Since we stalled our a bit, I would like you to come to class prepared to explain the significance of these events in your own opinion. This is not a written assignment, it will simply be us circulating the room in our discussion, and you presenting our opinions on what exactly happened, why it happened, and what you think about it. 


About melissamott

i can't believe i'm creating a blog, and i hope it's one i actually use. i probably won't though.
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