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Using film analysis to apply and evaluate criminological theory
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Crime theory; film analysis; crime paper

How to Cite

Kurdyla, Victoria. 2021. “Using Film Analysis to Apply and Evaluate Criminological Theory”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, July. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


While research papers have been an invaluable assignment in sociology and criminology courses, this assignment combines sociological research with film and television analysis to apply criminological theories and concepts. Pelton (2013) argued for using film analysis assignments in upper-level sociological theory courses to alleviate the anxiety students...


Subject Area(s):
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
College 300
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

This assignment can work best as a final paper at the end of the semester or after a module on criminological theories. The assignment instructions attached include a list of theories covered in the course this assignment originates from, as well as a pre-selected list of movies; however, both of these can and should be adjusted to better fit the course...

Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Demonstrate the ability to conduct a review of sociological research on a particular criminological theory.
  2. Apply criminological theory and concepts to observed patterns within a film or television show.
  3. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of chosen criminological theory.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. The assignment requires students utilize library resources to collect additional criminological data about the chosen theory.
  2. The assignment requires students to apply theoretical explanations learned during the semester.
  3. The assignment asks students to compare and evaluate theoretical explanations and their practical applications.

When using resources from TRAILS, please include a clear and legible citation.

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