Cultural Criminology - SO881

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
(version 2)
Spring 7 20 (10) DR E Van Hellemont checkmark-circle


This module is concerned with developing a sophisticated understanding of the contested meanings underpinning crime and its control and the manner in which such meanings are intertwined with various different cultural phenomena. The module explores the complex patterns and sites of contest, control and resistance that bisect everyday life. This is achieved through engaging in a detailed consideration of cutting edge theory and research in the fields of cultural and visual criminology. The module will place criminality, policing, crime prevention, music, photography, emotionality, extreme sports, advertising, protest, war, physicality and the film in new and exciting contexts. The module equips students with the necessary theoretical tools and modes of social inquiry to make sense of a late-modern world permeated by crime and its control.


Contact hours

Teaching will be carried out through 11x1hr lectures and 11x1hr seminars.

Method of assessment

1. 4,500 word essay (worth 85% of the final mark)

2. Seminar participation (worth 15% of the final mark).

Indicative reading

Key Resources
Pay particular attention to the readings attached to the individual topic reading lists. These key resources are useful as starting points for your wider reading.

Core Text: purchase recommended

Ferrell, J., Hayward, K. & Young, J. (2008), Cultural Criminology: An Invitation, London: Sage.

Other Important Books:

Ferrell, J., Hayward, K., Morrison, W., & Presdee, M. (eds.) (2004), Cultural Criminology Unleashed, London: Glasshouse Books.

Ferrell, J. & Hayward, K. (eds.) (2011): Cultural Criminology: Theories of
Crime, Farnham: Ashgate.

Presdee,M. (2000) Cultural Criminology and the Carnival of Crime, London:

Hayward, K. (2004), City Limits: Crime, Consumer Culture and the Urban Experience, London: Glasshouse.

Young, J. (2007), The Vertigo of Late Modernity. London: Sage

Ferrell, J. & Sanders, C. (1995), Cultural Criminology, Boston: Northeastern Press.

Katz, J. (1988) Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in Doing Evil. New York: Basic Books.


Crime, Media & Culture (Sage, UK) is a journal dedicated specifically to the kinds of
issues covered in this module. This and other journals can be accessed on-line
through the library website.

The Aug 2004 (vol. 8) edition of Theoretical Criminology is specifically dedicated to
Cultural Criminology.

Web Resources:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to programme learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1 Critically evaluate and reflexively deploy theoretical approaches to understanding crime in terms of cultural meanings, representations and contestations.
2 Identify and critically appraise the complex relationships between crime, control and cultural dynamics.
3 Demonstrate, at a level commensurate with post-graduate studies, the ability to critically analyse and engage with research that examines the ways in which criminality and its control are intertwined with cultural meanings and representations.
4. Identify and critically analyse the presence of crime and its control across a range of cultural phenomena.

The intended generic learning outcomes and, as appropriate, their relationship to programme learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate highly developed skills in presentation and debate, both verbal and written, and in the utilization of research and cultural analysis.
2 Acquire advanced research skills through library investigation, critical debate and essay writing.

3 Demonstrate a heightened ability to critically engage with and participate in debates within criminological and sociological theory.
4 Be able to synthesise and evaluate items of knowledge from different schools and disciplines of enquiry.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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