Syllabus for 295

HURS 295 Ofc. 222J

Cross-Cultural Criminology

Instructor: Virgil Adams, III MA


Phone: (714) 484-7000 ext. 48220

3 units transfer credit

Prerequisite: None


Tarver Marsha, Walker Steve, Wallace Harvey, Multi-cultural Issues in Criminal Justice

Massachusetts Allyn and Bacon 2002

Course Description

This course will provide students with the opportunity to explore cross-cultural customs and traditions from a criminal justice perspective. Specific cultures represented in significant numbers within the United States will be explored. In this course students will gather knowledge and gain an appreciation for the cross-cultural aspects within the field of criminal justice.

Instructional Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in depth understanding of cultures explored from criminal perspective.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cross-cultural scholarship and its implications toward the future of criminal justice.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with other cultural perspectives that dictate behaviors that stem from custom and traditions that are different from their own.

Course Content and Scope

  • Cultural stereotypes that impede effective communication and correct perceptions involving various races and ethnicities.
    • African American
    • Latino/Hispanic
    • Asian
    • Native American
  • Culture clashes and the criminal justice system
    • Warrior culture: Samoa, Tonga, Figi
      • Retribution a common practice (justice outside of the courts.)
      • Tributes given for wrongs done (justice outside the courts)
      • Folk-justice; elements of vigilantism
    • Collectivism cultures that are highly exclusionary
      • Often mistrusting of outsiders, including law enforcement.
  • Child care practices:
    • Corporal punishment as a custom.
    • Teens (non adults) caring for siblings.
  • Holistic/Homeopathic healing interventions
    • In direct contrast to western medical practices
      • Possibly viewed as not only unorthodox, but also unlawful.
  • Understanding non-verbal communication across cultures:
    • To assist in facilitating dialogue when managing hostile situation (domestic conflicts, hostage situations, crowd control)
    • Understanding variations in kinesics
      • nonverbal, non-vocalic communication involving mannerisms, gestured and expressions.
      • The gregarious vs. The stoic display
    • Understanding variations in proxemics
      • The passage of time perceived in differently across cultures.
    • Understanding variations in hap tics:
      • Belief systems such as religion that influences behavior.
      • Fatalism vs. Determinism
  • The importance of attaining and maintaining cross-cultural knowledge from a police community relations standpoint.
    • Evidence suggests that much civil unrest in the last thirty-five years stemmed from across cross cultural ignorance.
    • Understanding the collectivistic perspective within cultures will enhance law enforcement effectiveness when dealing with large families or crowds.
  • Future prospects for law enforcement when engaged in proactive Cross cultural practices.
    • Less civil unrest
    • As nurturing environment for citizens
    • Peace and harmony within the global village.

Instructional Methodologies

  • Lecture (including guest speakers)
  • Group discussion and presentations (small and large).
  • Video with class discussion and critiques.
  • Discuss and review unit examinations.

Methods of Evaluation

  • Class participation (discussion and written exercises).
  • Written Mid-terms and Final Exam (The Final Essay is comprehensive).
  • Written assignments displaying methods of critique critical thinking that focus on demonstrating historical and philosophical knowledge and issues related to the problems in the field of Criminal Justice.

Class Expectations and Procedures

1. Attendance:

Attendance for all scheduled classes is paramount. After a student accumulates two absences you can be dropped from the class. You must attend class regularly. Please be on time! If you have personal business to conduct, be courteous enough to attend to it before or after class. All class members are relying on your cooperation.

2. Academic Honesty Policy:

The college standards of academic honesty will be applied in this class. Academic dishonesty may result in an “F” on all or part of an assignment and referral to the dean. The complete policy may be found in the College Catalog, the official publication addressing and guiding academic and student services policies. An electronic copy of the College Catalog is on the college website.

The instructor reserves the right to submit student assignments to to check for textural similarities between those assignments, Internet sources and the assignment database. Students will be required to electronically submit their written work for plagiarism checking. Assignments submitted to will become part of their database and will be used only for plagiarism prevention and detection.

3. Student Services: Disability Support Services

A student who feels he or she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact Disability Support Services at (714) 484-7104 or visit DSS on the first floor of the Cypress College Complex, Room 100. For students who have already been determined eligible for DSS services please provide the instructor with the proper form from DSS in a timely manner, at the beginning of the semester and at least one week prior to the verified and identified need.

4. Sexual Harassment/Discrimination Policy

The North Orange County Community College District Non-Discrimination Statement is found in the college catalog.

5. Emergency Procedures

In the event of a emergency and classroom or building evacuation is required, please take personal belongings with you to a clear and safe area.

6. Food and Beverages

Refreshments are not permitted in the classroom. (water is allowed)

7. Cell Phones:

Please turn off all devices while class is in session. (NO EXCEPTIONS)