Crime , Media and Culture - SO605

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring 6 15 (7.5) DR M Mills checkmark-circle


The module provides students with an understanding of the contested cultural meanings underpinning crime. Too often criminology is satisfied taking definitions of criminality at face value, when really it means very different things to different people and in different contexts. The module examines how media representations propagate particular perceptions of crime, criminality and justice. It goes on to consider the manner in which those who 'offend' experience and interpret their own behaviour, which may be focused on the attainment of excitement or indeed on attaining their own conception of justice. The module explores these contradictions in a world where crime, control and the media saturate everyday life. In doing so it considers a diverse range of concepts; youth culture, hedonism, hate crime, risk taking, moral panics, the image, emotionality and consumerism. We examine the nature of a late-modern society where criminality inspires great fear and resentment, whilst at the same time it provides imagery which is harnessed to produce entertainment and sell a range of consumer goods. Students will become familiar with cutting edge research and theory in the fields of Cultural Criminology, Visual Criminology, and Media and Crime, placing issues such as music, photography, street gangs, extreme sports, newspapers and nights on the town in new and exciting contexts.


Contact hours

20 hours - 11 of lectures, 9 hours of seminars

Method of assessment

50% coursework (essay up to 3,000 words) and 50% 2 hour examination

Indicative reading

Ferrell J, Hayward K, Young J (2008) Cultural Criminology, London. Sage
Jewkes Y (2010) Media and Crime, second edition. London. Sage
Presdee M (2000) Cultural Criminology and Carnival of Crime, London. Routledge
Greer C (ed) (2009) Crime and the Media: A Reader. London. Routledge

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:

Evaluate the relationships between crime, justice, the media representations and cultural dynamics.
Display an understanding of the links between crime, justice the media and cultural contexts.
Offer analysis of the degree to which cultural contexts and media representations shape crime control.
Make links between important debates and theoretical developments in media and crime and cultural criminology.
Discuss issues of crime, media and culture within a late-modern global context.


  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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