||My favorite class: Criminology
An interview with seniors Heather Byrd and Lindsay Cline
RELEASED: Mar. 4, 2004
Class: Criminology (Sociology 350), a course that looks at crime statistics and explores sociological theories of crime
Day/time: Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
Professor: Sarah Goodrum, assistant professor of sociology
What makes this class interesting?
"How relevant all the class material is to everyday life. Now when I see a story in a newspaper or on the news I go into a different mental process as to thinking about how a reporter chooses to report on the story. I think it's important to understand how much a criminal's social influences have made an impact on them," says Cline, an anthropology/sociology major.
What did you think about what Steve Lannen, central Kentucky bureau reporter from the Lexington Herald-Leader, had to say? (Lannen, who covers crime, has been one of several class guests)
"I thought it was interesting how the editors decide what makes the front page, what has to wait and what gets thrown out completely," Byrd says. "They can't put five murders on the front page. They have to go by what's most pressing, interesting, what will sell the paper and what affects the most people."
What's the most interesting thing you've gathered from class discussions?
"There are a lot of different sociologists' theories of who commits crimes and why. I just like trying to understand how a criminal's mind might work," says Byrd, a psychology major.
What do you feel you'll take away from this class?
"A better understanding of where crime rates come from and the different theories that have been developed to explain criminal behavior," Cline says.
Would you recommend this class to fellow students? Why?
"Yes, definitely. It opened my eyes to the ways of life of people unlike myself and how difficult it must be in some situations to do the right thing," Cline says.
Professor Goodrum says:
"What I hope this course does is to teach students to question the media's portrayal of crime; to consider the social, cultural and economic conditions that create opportunities for illegal activity for some and limit them for others; and to be aware that empirical research finds that biases exist in the system's management of offenders."
Do you have a favorite class that you would like to nominate for the "My favorite class" feature? If so, e-mail Kacie Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brant Welch at email@example.com.
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