Violence and Society - SO534

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Spring 6 15 (7.5) PROF L Ray checkmark-circle


This module will examine the ways in which violence is receiving increasing attention within the social sciences, and will introduce the major theoretical and research themes involved in the analysis of violence. It will examine data on the prevalence, nature and effects of violent crime, and will consider issues of violence, aggression and masculinity. This will be done with particular reference to examples, such as racist crime, homophobic crime and domestic violence. The module will approach violence from interpersonal and societal perspectives and will include consideration of collective violence and genocide. It will further examine solutions to solutions to violence and conflict resolution, the effects of intervention strategies and non-juridical responses to violence.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

11 weekly lectures and seminars, each of 1 hour

Method of assessment

50% coursework (one essay of circa 4,000) and 50% 2-hour examination (summer term)

Indicative reading

Ray, L. J. (2018) Violence and Society, London: Sage second edition
Collins, R (2008) Violence- a Microsociological Theory, Princeton: Princeton University Press
Kilby, J and Ray L.J. eds (2015) Violence and Society-Towards a New Sociology Sociological Review
Monograph, Sociological Review 16 (3)
Scheper-Hughes, N and Bourgeois, P eds (2004) Violence in war and Peace Oxford: Blackwell

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to judge and evaluate evidence using theoretical and empirically based arguments and data.
Students will appreciate the complexity and diversity of violent behaviour
Students will be able to work independently on essays and discussion papers for presentation.
Students will be able to make reasoned arguments based on texts and evidence.
Students will achieve competence in using major theoretical perspectives on violence and comment on their strengths and weaknesses.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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