2015-2016 Justice Studies Courses

JUST 101 Introduction to Justice Studies, LE (4)
Overview of the purposes of the justice system. Introduction to the principal institutions and the law. The relationship of justice studies to society and introduction to the issues facing the justice system today.
JUST 221 Community Justice (3)
This course is designed to provide understanding to students regarding the meaning of social justice and community building to advocate for social equity. In regard to Justice Studies social equity is vital to the liberation of marginalized communities. This course is aimed at teaching students the history, theory and practice realities of community building locally and globally through discussion and exploration.  This course will have a service learning component with a nonprofit organization focused on providing junior high school students with the information, skills and understanding for college preparation through the mentoring of college students. Students will learn to critically analyze current social and economic conditions that are embedded in US societal structures. They will gain knowledge and insight of issues underlying oppression while learning approaches to social equity and advocacy. Students will study policy and politics that influence social injustices based on race, ethnicity, socio-cultural and gender characteristics.
JUST 300 Special Topics in Justice Studies (1–4)
The exploration of issues, problems, and innovations in Justice Studies. Prerequisites will vary with course content. Prerequisite: JUST 101 or permission of instructor.
JUST 303 Critical Theory (4)
Critical refers to various bodies of theory: psychoanalysis, the Frankfurt School, deconstruction, critical race studies, queer theory, feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and intersectionality that interrogate the essentialist assumptions that underlie social identities. “Justice” refers to an extra juridical concept of fairness that is focused on exposing and ending social inequalities. The aim of the Critical Theory course is to promote understanding of how categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and class help people recognize and combat injustices. The Critical pedagogy in this course aims to develop collective critical consciousness for the purpose of transforming oppressive socio-political conditions. Students will analyze and critique theories of the Frankfurt School and the emancipatory works of Paulo Freire, and bell hooks.
JUST 310 Law and Society (4)
This course explores the relationship between the legal system, law, and current controversial issues in society as they relate to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Students will learn to analyze contemporary American legal issues using the theories of Durkheim, Marx, and Weber in addition to critical legal studies and critical race theory.
JUST 320 Judicial Process (4)
This course examines the judicial process as a mechanism for dispute resolution in both civil and criminal contexts. Students will explore how judges interpret, make, and enforce the law in the face of external social and political pressure.
JUST 324 Women, Work, and Justice (4)
This course focuses on women’s experiences with work experiences and justice in America. The course is centered on the social construction of gender in our society and its impact upon the creation of law. This is an advanced undergraduate course in feminist economic social justice.
JUST 344 Environmental Justice (4)
This course provides an upper-division intensive reading and critique of environmental justice materials. An emerging national environmental justice movement has created frameworks for combating the inequitably distributed health risks of advanced industrial society. This course links disparate impact, unequal protection, and environmental discrimination in relation to issues of class, gender and race. Topics relate societal practices as they affect environmental racism, future generations, nonhuman life, and global/non-Western societies.
JUST 350 Criminal Law (4)
Critical examination that focuses on the structure and elements of criminal law. In-depth examination of evidence and jurisdiction. Close examination of the Constitution and its impact on federal and state criminal statues is accomplished through the analysis of case law.
JUST 365 Economic Justice (4)
The importance of economic justice stems from the scarcity of resources: how should society allocate resources to achieve the social good? Invariably, questions of justice involve tradeoffs between fairness and efficiency. Such questions are inextricably related to religion, class, gender, poverty, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so on. The course examines the concept of justice from the points of view of pre-market economies, classical liberalism, neo-classical economics, heterodox economics, Kenneth Arrow, John Rawls, Amartya Sen, among others. Prerequisites: ECON 105 or 253 or 263, or consent of instructor. Same as ECON/PHIL 365.
JUST 374 Legislation of Morality (4)
This course addresses historical and contemporary issues related to social justice movements, law, and morality in a pluralistic society. This course examines issues relative to the construction of deviance at it relates to homosexuality and prostitution. Students will explore also how racial discrimination is legislated and perpetrated as a societal practice.
JUST 375 Justice and Mass Media (4)
This course analyzes the images of justice that are presented through the major mass media within America to develop a critical understanding of the production, use, and consequences of propaganda for social life. In particular, justice in movies, television dramas, plus television news and newspaper crime coverage will be the major sources of data for uncovering how the media portray society’s struggle with the problem of justice. Students will develop research, writing, and analytical skills for media investigation. Throughout the course students will discuss whether the media portrayals of justice that are accepted by the public make it difficult for a more honest account of the justice problem to be heard.
JUST 376 Immigration and Justice (4)
This course will focus on the diversity of contemporary issues of U.S. immigration. Although we will start with a historical overview, the emphasis will be on contemporary issues, such as the origins and destination of (past and present) immigrants, conditions under which immigration takes place, politics of admission and immigration law, undocumented immigration, the labor force participation of immigrants, gender, family, and the children of immigrants. This course will be dealing with the topic of justice set against intensified global mobility and greater economic, political, cultural and technological interaction. Students will examine different perspectives on global migration and justice, contemplate our ethical and political responsibilities to migrants, as well as engage ongoing debates regarding the permanency and importance of political borders in an era of intense globalization.
JUST 384 Restorative Justice (4)
This course examines the philosophies and practices of restorative justice from both domestic and international perspectives. The course introduces major values and goals espoused by restorative approaches to crime and conflict and consider them in light of past and current social problems. The contemporary social movement called restorative justice has its roots in early philosophies of the New Zealand Maori, North American Indians, and various religious traditions. The course will consider these philosophical roots of restorative traditions and be introduced to what these approaches look like in their current form of sentencing circles, family group conferencing, and victim-offender dialogue.
JUST 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in Justice Studies. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
JUST 420 Punishment (4)
This course analyzes forms of punishment; how and why they have changed. This course is interdisciplinary in nature, incorporating discussions of the philosophical, historical, and social aspects of punishment.
JUST 430 Undergraduate Research in Justice Studies (1-4)
Students develop a research proposal describing a study in the community making use of qualitative research methods of investigation. Students prepare a literature review and provide notes of their participant observation and interviews. A final paper that summarizes the literature, the methodology, and the findings will be the major project in this course. These results must be presented at the spring Undergraduate Research Fair or some other venue approved by the instructor.
JUST 440 Internship (1–2)
Student placement in agencies or professional practices. Relevant research project required. Weekly seminar meetings with instructor to review agency progress. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of program director and Career Resource Center internship coordinator. Prerequisites: JUST 101 and 221.
JUST 444 Theories of Nature (4)
This is an undergraduate level course designed to introduce students to the field of Nature and Society. This course covers the fundamental integrative theories that explore nature and society interactions, including key contributions from economics, literature, sociology, political science as well as political, social, and cultural ecology. The course will survey key issues in the philosophy of this field of study, specifically the various schools of thought that use the ecological paradigm.
JUST 490 Senior Capstone (4)
Students select, research, analyze, and discuss a topic or problem. The results of each student’s project will be written as a senior thesis and presented for a discussion in a seminar setting. Required for all majors in their senior year (cross-listed as PLSC 490).
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