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Criminology and Social Justice (MA)

Overview

In keeping with Ryerson’s tradition of being deeply connected to one of the world’s most culturally and linguistically diverse urban centres, this 3-semester MA emphasizes social justice and critical analyses of existing criminal justice, legal and social structures. It provides students with the theoretical, methodological and professional foundations required for understanding various forms of inequality as they intersect with the criminal justice system, and improving access to justice.

Degree awarded: MA

Administered by: Faculty of Arts

Criminology and Social Justice program website

PDF fileCriminology and Social Justice program calendar 2021-22

Curriculum

Course Code Degree Requirements: Major Research Paper (MRP) Option Credits

 

Major Research Paper (MRP) Option

 

 

Major Research Paper (MRP)

(Milestone)

CR8001

Criminology and Social Justice Seminar

1

CR8002

Critical Engagement and Criminological Theories

1

CR8003

Quantitative Research Methods

1

 

OR

 

CR8004

Qualitative Research Methods

1

 

AND

 

 

3 Electives

3

 

Coursework and Field Placement Option

 

CR8001

Criminology and Social Justice Seminar

1

CR8002

Critical Engagement and Criminological Theories

1

CR8003

Quantitative Research Methods

1

 

OR

 

CR8004

Qualitative Research Methods

1

 

AND

 

CR8100

Field Placement

1

 

4 Electives

4

 

Coursework Only Option

 

CR8001

Criminology and Social Justice Seminar

1

CR8002

Critical Engagement and Criminological Theories

1

CR8003

Quantitative Research Methods

1

 

OR

 

CR8004

Qualitative Research Methods

1

 

AND

 

 

5 Electives

5

Electives

Course code Course name Credits

CR8101

Justice Policy

1

CR8102

Inequality, Social Justice, and Criminal Justice

1

CR8103

Graduate Special Topics Seminar

1

CR8104

Practitioners Seminar

1

CR8105

Directed Studies

1

CR8201

Historical Criminology

1

CR8202

Crime and Technology

1

CR8203

Immigration and Crime

1

CR8204

Security Threats

1

CR8205

Colonial Abolition

1

CR8206

Criminalization of Black Women’s Dissent

1

Major Research Paper
This is a “Milestone”

CR8001 Criminology and Social Justice Seminar
This seminar will cover a wide variety of topics related to crime, law, and social justice. An examination of the social, political, historical, and legal construction will be analyzed through a series of topics with specific consideration given to the governance of crime and law in local, national, and international settings. 1 Credit

CR8002 Critical Engagement
In addition to broadening students’ understandings of criminological theories generally, this course will take an explicitly social justice approach to criminological theory development and application. Students will be expected to expand their critical thinking skills in relation to the theoretical foundations of the field of Criminology. They will draw on competing theories to analyze historical
and contemporary issues with a special focus on social justice, critically evaluating how they shape both individual and institutional responses to the criminal justice system and understandings of crime and criminality. 1 Credit

CR8003 Quantitative Research Methods
This course will prepare students to understand, design, and carry out quantitative research that has direct implications for work in criminological and social justice fields. Students will learn quantitative research skills through hands-on experience designing a survey and/or utilizing an existing dataset, analyzing the data with quantitative software, and applying critical, social justice perspectives to the results. 1 Credit

CR8004 Qualitative Research Methods
This course will focus on developing qualitative methodological skills in order to prepare students to collect ethical and social justice data related to criminology and the criminal justice system. Students will gain an understanding of some of ways in which research questions are answered in qualitative studies, as well as the possibilities and limitations of any one approach. Over the duration of the course, students will engage with central debates about criminalization, ethics, and power in research settings and processes. 1 Credit

CR8100 Field Placement
This community- and experiential-oriented placement will provide students with the option of a placement with an organization, for instance, a non-governmental organization (NGO), an international intergovernmental organization, or government agency, and so on, that works directly or indirectly in the field relevant to their research interests.
Field placement will enable students to discover how research operates in practice. Minimum of 120 hours of field work. Pass/Fail 1 Credit

CR8101 Justice Policy
Criminal justice policy changes constantly, from laws and state responses to crime as set out in the Criminal Code to the daily practicalities associated with judicial decision-making, policing, and prison administration. This course will provide students with an understanding of several major issues relating to criminal justice policy in Canada. It will consider the social and economic issues associated with individual or group involvement in the criminal justice system and the process by which criminal justice policies are established, revised, and administered. 1 Credit

CR8102 Social and Criminal Justice
This course will examine various forms of social inequality as they intersect with the criminal justice system in Canada and internationally. It will adopt a social, criminal, and community-based focus to critically analyze the operational and policy decisions on race, class, gender, legal status and other forms of social inequality, as well as their impact on criminal and social justice. 1 Credit

CR8103 Graduate Special Topics Seminar
An in-depth examination of a specific area of Criminology and social justice, as determined by the instructor on an annual basis. The special topics discussed will vary from year to year and will be based on the instructor’s area of expertise. Potential special topics seminars include: International Law and Policy; Terrorism/Violent Extremism; Urban Violence; Crime Policy; Indigenous Rights; Human Rights; Youth Justice; Gender and the Criminal Justice System; and more. 1 Credit

CR8104 Practitioners Seminar
This course will feature practitioners from a variety of criminology and social justice oriented fields to discuss working in their field, and the application of substantive knowledge in the field to the actual work experience. This seminar will also be available to students who opt for a field placement. 1 Credit

CR8105 Directed Studies
This course is designed for individual students who may need a course related to their area of concentration that is not satisfied through course offerings. It will normally be a reading course under the direct supervision of an assigned faculty member with expertise in the chosen subject field. The course requirements will be negotiated on an individual basis with the supervising faculty
member, in consultation with the Graduate Program Director. 1 Credit

CR8201 - Historical Criminology
This course will examine the development of modern criminal justice institutions and the logic that underpins them. It reflects on historical processes of criminalization and their social impact in producing and perpetuating inequalities. It will also provide an introduction to the methodological approaches that historians employ to learn about the past, with the aim to deepen student's
understanding of crime, the criminal justice system, and the campaigns for social justice they inspire. 1 Credit

CR8202 – Crime and Technology
This course builds on criminological studies of crime in the “cyber society” where daily life cannot be understood independent of technologies like the internet and the smartphone. This course asks how the development of technologies like social media and the surveillance camera have affected crime and crime control. Each week, students will discuss a specific technology’s role in crime and crime control. 1 Credit

CR8203 – Immigration and Crime
This course will explore whether the public perception, that increasing immigration and higher levels of crime are inextricably linked, is supported by evidence. After providing an introduction to the various theories examining the relationship between immigration and crime, this course will survey the empirical research both at the individual- level and at the aggregate-level on the relationship between immigration and crime. There will be an ongoing focus on debates about key issues. 1 Credit

CR8204 – Security Threats
This graduate seminar examines the ways radicalization to violence/violent extremism (RTV/VE) is constituted and managed in Canada. Drawing on critical and interdisciplinary research and theory, we examine the etiology, manifestations and consequences of this violence, and conclude with an examination of tactics used to respond to RTV/VE, with an emphasis on the disconnect between heavy reliance on ‘hard security strategies’ and what the evidence base has to say about their efficacy. 1 Credit

CR8205 – Colonial Abolition
This course will examine theoretical frames and political approaches to justice that build upon Indigenous legal orders and political movements. It will draw on the Black Radical and abolitionist traditions, examining intersections – both convergent and divergent – between Black and Indigenous refusals of state solutions to state-induced violence, while analyzing respective histories and impacts of racial, gender, class and colonial oppression and containment. 1 Credit

CR8206 – Criminalization of Black Women’s Dissent
In this seminar, we focus on the historical and present day perspectives of Black women who have experienced processes of criminalization for their acts of civil disobedience, activism and defiance to violent systems in their life, by a close read of three autobiographical and biographical texts and one podcast. In-depth topics include: processes of criminalization, perceptions of crime,respectability politics, violence, acts of resistance, and interactions with the criminal justice system. 1 Credit