Controversies in Crime Control provides students with an introduction to the crime control field from a sociological vista.
This course examines the social functions of deviance and explores the various strategies of securitization - e.g. private security growth, criminalization of mundane behaviours and social groups, hardening crime control legislation, mass surveillance and incarceration, etc. - emerging in response to what commonly is perceived as the 'crime crisis’. We consider the key issues associated with the identification and management of social problems and contemplate how behavioural disobedience, as a moral resource, is purposefully exploited for political and commercial ends. Using a set of case studies (or crime control 'controversies') as evidence, students will address the following key questions:
- How are social problems defined and policed?
- To what degree is public understanding of crime culturally mediated and influenced by specific rhetorics?
- Which groups and interests effectively dictate crime control policies and criminal justice system agendas?
- What are the social consequences of intensifications in criminalization processes and securitization projects?
Overall, this course equips students with the appropriate knowledge, acuity and research skills to understand and engage the contemporary crime control landscape from a critically informed perspective.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Discern the political and economic interests influencing the crime control landscape.
- Critically evaluate the social impacts and resonances of contemporary crime control interventions.
- Analyse struggles between governing authorities and governed populations.
- Apply theoretical perspectives used by sociologists to explain in original ways crime control processes, specifically theories of risk, power, capitalization, spectacle and struggle.
- Undertake and assess research in the field of crime control, including the use of census data, attitudinal surveys, content analysis, participant observation and interviews.
- Evaluate complex ideas lucidly and critically, orally and in writing.
- Research Essay, 1500 words (35) [LO 1,4,5,6]
- Tutorial Presentation (20) [LO 2,3,6]
- Synthesis Examination, 2000 words (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of workshops, and 12 hours of tutorials; and,
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsReadings will be listed on the course Wattle site.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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