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Case Study Week 10

Case Study: Life Course Theory

A case study is an open-ended learning activity (i.e., a problem is presented that precipitates discussion) in which the participant must enter into the character of someone in a real-life situation and then reflect on what he/she would do in that situation. Read the case study associated with this discussion and then compose a thread expressing how you would respond to the situation described, noting especially the degree to which you agree/disagree with the central issue at stake in the case study. You must interact with all assigned materials, including textbooks and presentations. You must document all sources used (including textbooks and presentations) in current APA format.

The “Sunday Crime Musings” group meets each Sunday at the Quantico Coffee
Shop for Crime Musings. The participants fluctuate from week to week, but
John, Sammy, Mike, Danielle, Lynne, Karen, and you comprise the main group. Each week one of the group takes the lead in studying a murder case. This week the question was:

“A person gets a 1600 on the SAT. Without knowing this person, what personal, family, and social characteristics would you assume he or she has? Another person becomes a serial killer. Without knowing this person, what personal, family, and social characteristics would you assume he or she has? If “bad behavior” is explained by multiple problems, is “good behavior” explained by multiple strengths?”

Siegel, Larry J.. Criminology: The Core (p. 311). Cengage Learning. Kindle Edition.

This week, Mike is leading the discussion. Mike began making his pitch, “Obviously a person that earns a 1600 on the SAT would have had a fully advantaged life, with an intact family. Criminals learned through family and friends to commit crime and come from poor neighborhoods. You aren’t ever going to find an incarcerated person with a 1600 SAT! 

Karen interrupts: With all due respect Mike, Ed Kemper had an extremely high IQ and he is incarcerated for murder.

Mike interrupts: “Karen, Ed Kemper had a bad childhood. Consider life course theory, this guy never had a chance, like most other individuals from ill settings.

Lynne: “Yes, but what about Liz Murray (Links to an external site.) or Rehan Stanton? (Links to an external site.)

The conversation moves around the table with each one in turn expressing their point of
view on the perspectives of Mike and Lynne. Finally, they come to you, “So, what do
you think?”

Don’t forget to include the tenets of life course theory, propensity theory and trajectory theory to your discussion.

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