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SOCIOL 4509: Sociology of Law


Autumn 2022

OSU Policies

Please see the Ohio State University Office of Undergraduate Education Syllabus Statements and Polices page for policies on:

These statements are adopted in full in this syllabus.

Instructor Policies

COVID Statement

I care about the physical, mental, and emotional health of this class. Therefore, I hope that you will follow University guidelines regarding vaccinations and masks. Currently, masks are optional indoors on campus. Anyone who wishes to wear a mask in class is welcome to do so. Classrooms can get stuffy and are ideal environments for the spread of airborn viruses.

There are no penalties associated with missing class due to an illness. In other words, do not come to class sick. There is nothing we will be doing in class that is more important than not spreading a potentially deadly virus. Just touch base with me via e-mail to let me know you're still alive, not because I want to police you, but because I want to know whether you're OK. You may want to connect with another student in class with whom you can share notes.

Late Work Policy

Please see the course calendar for information on due dates. Most assignments will be due on Friday of the week in which they are assigned. There is a two day grace period for late assignments. After that, there is a 20% late penalty per day

Exams must be taken in person in class on the scheduled day. If you miss an exam, you will need a documented excuse to take a make-up. Make-up exams are all essay and are significantly more difficult.

I realize that sometimes life happens and deadlines go by without being met. Everyone will have one free pass in which I will accept late work with no penalty no questions asked as long as the work is turned in within 7 days from the missed deadline (after that, you will not be able to earn credit for the work). Please inform me that you wish to take advantage of your free pass as soon as you know you will need to miss a deadline, preferably before, but at least within 24 hours of a missed deadline.

Outside of the free pass, a deadline extension will generally require some form of documentation. I am flexible with regard to documentation and you do not need to disclose any private information to me. Any extended absences (more than 2 weeks) will require you to go thorugh SLDS for accommodations.

In order to maintain a healthy work/life balance, I am not asking you to work weekends. Your assignments are due on Friday nights at midnight, but you may do your work on the weekends if you wish by taking advantage of the two day grace period. Please note, though, that I will not be answering e-mails or Canvas messages during the weekends. So, if you plan to complete your homework during the weekend, please be sure to ask any questions before the Friday night due date.

Attendance Policy

Class attendance is one of the course requirements, and federal financial aid reporting requires that I take attendance daily. Please be sure to sign the attendance sheet each day in class. If you miss the attendance sheet, please see me after class to sign it. Attending class will, I hope, significantly add to your understanding the material. I will talk about things in class that are not in the books. What I've found over the years (and I've analyzed the data) is that poor attendance is significantly (p < .05>) related to poor performance. If you miss a class, be sure to ask a classmate for a copy of their notes. If you miss two weeks in a row, I have to report it to the University and you risk being administratively withdrawn from the class. If an illness prevents you from coming to class for more than a couple sessions, please speak to your advisor as soon as you can.

Tips for Success & Other Policies

DEI Statement

I am committed to being an anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-LGBTIQphobic educator. In working towards that goal, I am constantly revising course materials. This is a process and this course this semester is not the end of my journey. I will, at the end of this term, ask you for feedback as part of this iterative process.

As a middle class, white women, I recognize the privileges that were afforded to me and how those privileges have influenced what I have been exposed to within the discipline and throughout my own life experiences. As a student, I was taught primarily from the perspective of those with power in society during an era in which minority voices were often silenced. I do not want to perpetuate and replicate that here.

I approach the discipline of criminology from a perspective of empathy and compassion for those who have been the victims of get tough policies, mass incarceration, the criminalization of marginalized groups, increasing inequality and economic violence, and the targets of state sponsored brutality. I believe that our war on crime is a failure and that the criminal legal system should be dismantled and reconstructed to create a system that fixes the underlying problems that cause crime, especially poverty, inequality, disadvantage, racism, sexism, and exploitation.

I oppose all hierarchy, including those based in race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexuality, gender identity or expression, disability, age, social class, and educational attainment. In this class, you are my colleagues with whom I can share some knowledge and experience, but I expect that I will learn just as much from you as you do from me. I believe that kindness and compassion should permeate all interactions and relationships, and if, at any point I do not live up to the statements above, I welcome questions and feedback.

Land Acknowledgement

I would like to acknowledgement the land that The Ohio State University occupies is the ancestral and contemporary territory of the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Delaware, Miami, Peoria, Seneca, Wyandotte, Ojibwe and Cherokee peoples. Specifically, the university resides on land ceded in the 1795 Treaty of Greenville and the forced removal of tribes through the Indian Removal Act of 1830. I want to honor the resiliency of these tribal nations and recognize the historical contexts that has and continues to affect the Indigenous peoples of this land.

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