Sociology of Violence - SOCI8240

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


This module will examine the ways in which violence is understood in social science research, and will provide advanced discussion of the major theoretical and research themes involved in the analysis of violence. It will critically 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 both 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.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200


Sociology MA
Criminology MA
Methods of Social Research MA
Political Sociology MA
Two year masters versions of the appropriate programmes listed above

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework (5,000 word essay) – 100%

Reassessment methods

100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Arendt, H (1970) On Violence, London: Allen Lane (see extract in Steger and Lind (1999) Violence and its Alternatives pp3-11)
Coleman, C. and Moynihan J. (2000) Understanding crime data: haunted by the dark figure, Buckingham: Open University Press
Elias, N (1994) The Civilizing Process, Oxford: Blackwell
Fletcher, J. (1997) Violence and civilization: an introduction to the work of Norbert Elias, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Jones, S. (2000) Understanding Violent Crime, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Keane, J. (1996) Reflections on violence, London:
Lee R. M. and Stanko B. eds, (2003) Researching Violence, London: Routledge
Scheff, T.J. (1994) Bloody Revenge: Emotions, Nationalism and War, Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Stanko, E. A. ed., (2003) The Meanings of Violence, London: Routledge
Steger, M. B. and Lind, N. S. eds (1999) Violence and its Alternatives – an Interdisciplinary Reader , London: Macmillan

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Use empirical data to explore and explain patterns of violence in contemporary society
8.2 Critically evaluate major theoretical approaches to violence
8.3 Describe and evaluate debates surrounding differential rates of violence in different societies
8.4 Evaluate explanations of genocide and ethnic conflict
8.5 Formulate research questions and methods for understanding violence.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Gather appropriate library and web-based recourses, make judgements about their merits and use the available evidence to construct an
argument to be presented orally or in writing.
9.2 Demonstrate skills in interpreting and analysing research data and official statistics
9.3 Understand empirical research, assessing its merits and using it to construct an argument
9.4 Understand the relationship between theoretical analysis and empirical research and able to comment on the uses and limitations of the


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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