New Course: Summer 2015

Is Orange Really the New Black? Find out in:

Soc. 195, Women & Crime
Jul 13-Aug 07, 2015
9:00-12:45 TWR
Eleanor M. Miller

The critically acclaimed Netflix series, "Orange Is the New Black" has focused attention on the criminality of women and raised questions about how accurate the series is in portraying the typical female offender in the United States. This course will use episodes from the series to complicate that question and, combined with a rich array of academic readings, will introduce students to the realities of the lives of female offenders both historically and currently. The course will use FBI Uniform Crime Reports data, victimization data, and other official data to explore just who the typical female offender in this country is and how her profile has changed over time. An exploration of these data will reveal the most critical fact about gender and crime, that women are, in general, incredibly law-abiding, and explore current thinking about why they are rarely found either among the membership of the U.S. Congress or among the ranks of mass murderers or serial killers. At the same time, there are crimes in which women are well-represented. What are those crimes? Why are they more likely to be committed by women than other crimes? How do theories about the factors that produce criminal behavior in general predict or fail to predict the pattern of crime by gender that the data reveal. What is the relationship between

the patterns of female criminality, poverty and drug use? Finally, what are the realities of criminal justice responses to the criminality of women and what should they be like in the future? Sociologist, Dr. Eleanor Miller, specialist in deviance/criminology and gender and author of the award-winning study of women and crime, Street Woman, will teach this thought-provoking course for the first time at the University of Vermont this summer.