“Sing Me Back Home:” Using Country Music to Clarify Criminological Theory in Undergraduate Courses

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Abstract The inclusion of music is central to early education pedagogy as an efficient means of conveying information and a mechanism for knowledge retention, yet these tools are generally omitted from higher educational approaches. Drawing on prior studies highlighting how musical assignments successfully supplemented traditional criminal justice coursework, a criminological theory course was redesigned with music as a core component. Musical selections were included and discussed in each class meeting as well as being tied to class assignments within a pilot course. Teaching techniques were refined over several semesters with the revised course framework including more student involvement, somewhat approaching a flipped classroom model whereby the instructor and students equally shared musical selections relevant to course curriculum. The instructor perceived students were more invested in the course. The professor-student dynamic also appeared to become more intimate due to both sharing music about which they were personally passionate. Further, the instructor’s inclusion of crime-specific songs from older musical genres appeared to disrupt students’ stereotypes associating crime with other genres and demographics. We offer a summary of the techniques for teaching a criminological theory course framed by instructor presentations of “outlaw” country music; guidance is also provided for utilizing other genres. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Criminal Justice Education is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
Country music, Criminology, Music—Instruction and study, Education—Study and teaching
Stogner, J., Slate, R., Blankenship, C., & McKee, J. (2022). “Sing Me Back Home:” Using Country Music to Clarify Criminological Theory in Undergraduate Courses. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1080/10511253.2022.2058574