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Criminology and Criminal Justice (SO9C7)

It is probably fair to say that in contemporary life, crime is one of our main and most constant concerns. From petty theft to terrorism, or domestic violence to transnational-corporate crime, the idea of crime keeps influencing how we orient our lives and how we approach one another. We all hear about crime and watch it on our TV screens; sometimes we are entertained by it in a TV series or at the cinema, and others frightened by its consequences and seek to respond to it and control it. Our reactions to crime are often as problematic as crime itself.

This module will critically analyse the relationship between crime, its social context and the ways we have, so far, responded to it. The module will provide an introduction to the discipline of criminology, discussing critical, theoretical and empirical perspectives on the problems of crime, justice and punishment.

We will explore criminological theories that seek to explain criminal conduct and look at how the concept of crime relates to individual behaviour, economic factors, values, language and culture. Then, we’ll turn to examine key issues in criminal justice, covering contemporary cases of discrimination, injustice and ineffectiveness and will link responses to crime to broader socio-political issues. For example, we’ll problematize features of policing, the function and practice of imprisonment, the consequences of mass incarceration, rhetorics of criminalisation, and the proliferation of notions of risk and dangerousness in popular discourse. Finally, we’ll consider solutions to the problems raised throughout the course and critically question the notion of justice in an unjust world.

Criminology and criminal justice

Module Director:

Ana Chamberlen


This module is worth 20 CATS