This assignment is designed to allow you to apply one criminological theory/perspective to various scenarios presented in crime-based shows. You must choose one episode from one of the following shows: 1) Orange is the New Black 2) Breaking Bad 3) Dexter 4) Sons of Anarchy 5) American Crime 6) Making a Murderer. Choose a show/episode that best aligns with the theory you have chosen.
Please be sure to choose a specific theory (ex: Instrumental Marxism, Robert Merton’s Strain Theory) and not a broad theoretical perspective (ex: Classical Criminology, Neo-Classical Theory). The following theories/perspectives can be used to analyze your episode
Classical and Neo-Classical Theories
Cesare Beccaria’s classical theory of crime and punishment
Routine Activities Theory
Cesare Lombroso’s Theory of the ‘Criminal Man’
Durkheim and Strain
Emilie Durkheim’s perspectives on the causes and preventions of crime
Robert Merton’s Strain Theory
Social Control Theories
Shaw and McKay’s Ecological Analysis
Travis Hirchi’s Social Bond Theory
Self Control Theory (General Theory of Crime)
Differential Association Theory
Moral Panic Theory
Thorsten Sellin’s Cultural Conflict Theory
George Vold’s Group Conflict Theory
Risk, risk society, actuarialism
Women’s liberation thesis
Analyze the episode using the chosen criminological theory. Outline how the theory explains the events/behaviours in the episode, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen theory. Your paper must have a clear thesis statement.
Paper Requirements: Your paper should include the following sections.
Introduction: The introduction should outline the subject of the topic, briefly introduce the episode, identify the theory used, state the thesis and provide an outline of the paper (1/2 page to 3/4 of page)
Section 1: You must provide a brief (no more than 1 paragraph) summary of the episode at the start of your paper.
Section 2: Choose one theory to analyze the episode. Provide a brief explanation of the theory or theories. Your explanation of theory should be no more than one (1) page in length. The summary does not have to address all aspects of the theory. Your explanation should focus on the details needed to analyze the episode. When you do introduce new concepts, however, please define these terms and provide a citation for each.
Section 3: This is the longest, most substantive portion of your paper. You must analyze the episode through your chosen theory, selecting aspects of the show to examine how we can understand the show using your chosen theory. Ex: how can Walter White’s actions from Breaking Bad be explained using Routine Activities Theory, or how is Differential Association Theory useful in understanding the dynamics in Sons of Anarchy? (4-6pgs)
Conclusion: Your conclusion should include a summary of the main arguments, limits and strengths of the theory. You must also suggest at least one other theory that would be of interest for this particular episode (1/2 page to 1 page maximum)
Structure & Organization (6 marks):
· Paper includes all required sections
· A clear, concise thesis statement is included
· Introduction identifies episode and theory, clearly states thesis and provides outline of paper
· Body paragraphs are well organized. Ideas flow from one paragraph to the next
· Conclusion concisely summarizes main arguments
· Conclusion includes a suggestion of at least one other theory that could be used to explain the episode
Summary, Theory, and Analysis (18 marks):
· Episode is from one of specified shows
· Episode is clearly identified and explained
· Theory is correctly identified, defined, and explained
· Analytical claims are supported by examples from the episode
· Analysis is supported by minimum of 2 academic sources from the required readings and 3 outside sources.
· Thesis is supported and substantiated
Writing Mechanics & Format (4 marks):
· Writing is clear and concise
· No spelling or grammar errors
· Paper is between 7 – 9 pages
· Paper is typed, 12pt font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, 1” margins.
ASA (2 marks):
· All content is adequately paraphrased and cited with ASA in-text citations
· A reference list is provided in proper ASA formatting
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