Module SXY-3015:
Crime & Power

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Martina Feilzer

Overall aims and purpose

Power relations play a critical role in crime, crime control and criminalisation, three areas that form the core concerns of criminological enquiry. The aim of this module is to enable students to gain a deeper understanding of this critical role. This will be achieved by focusing on discrete areas of inquiry that illustrate the power relations that underpin the certain crimes such as domestic violence and state crime and how crime is managed and punished. This module aims to explore key theoretical ideas and texts on power as it affects individual relationships, organisations and organisational structures, and the State. It analyses a range of phenomena from State uses and abuses of power including extreme violence – genocide – to institutional and individual uses and abuses of power.

While the scale at which these various crimes take place ranges from the transnational to the interpersonal, we will consider the extent to which the dynamics of power may have similar elements. For example, processes of demonisation of the ‘other’ may apply both to racist and sexist crimes at an individual level and to crimes of ethnic or gender hatred on a larger scale – in wars and in genocide. We will examine discourses of power: the ways in which crime and justice, victims and offenders are represented, and the ways in which our understanding of these phenomena are socially constructed.

Course content

Part One: State crimes From ghettos to genocide: how does criminology and criminal justice respond when it is the State who offends? How do we define crime, justice and victimisation in this context?

Part Two: Institutional power Prisons represent institutional power at both physical and symbolic levels. Power may take many forms and examples include: prisons and the construction of masculinities and femininities; political power in prisons, using the example of Northern Ireland during the ‘Troubles’.

Part Three: Interpersonal crimes Many crimes of power take place at an interpersonal level: examples may include ‘honour’- based violence and coercion; homophobic hate crimes; and gender violence in intimate relationships. How do social and criminal justice systems respond to these forms of crime?

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Threshold students should be able to:- Explain what is meant by power relations within the context of crime, deviance and criminal justice; identify and explain some of the models of justice; appreciate some of the ways in which the application of power is legitimised or criminalised; locate crime and power within a broader explanatory framework.

good

Good students should be able to:- Examine and critically reflect on what is meant by power relations within the context of crime, devaince and criminal justice; explain with accuracy the various models of justice; evaluate and diverse ways in which the application of power is legitimised or criminalised; apply an understanding of crime and power within a broader conceptual framework.

excellent

Excellent students should be able to:- Examine and critically analyse power relations within the context of crime, devaince and criminal justice; critically analyse the various models of justice; demonstrate an insight into the diverse ways in which the application of power is legitimised or criminalised; locate critiques or crime and power within a broader conceptual framework.

Learning outcomes

  1. Apply an understanding of crime and power to broader frameworks, e.g. political and economic.

  2. Understand what is meant by power relations between and amongst individuals, organisations and the State in the context of crime, deviance and criminal justice

  3. Understand the different ways in which power can be used and abused.

  4. Acquire a knowledge of the mechanisms that help to protect individuals and organisations from these abuses.

  5. Appreciate the diverse ways in which the application of power is legitimised or criminalised.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Powerpoint presentation 30
3,000 word essay s2 70

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Workshop

There will be 12 x 2 hour workshops on a weekly basis. This will incorporate both lecture format and will also provide opportunites for collaborative learning and incorporate group work.

24
Private study 176

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Capacity to identify and describe the causes and consequences of social order and change in specific contexts.
  • Ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions.
  • Appreciate a range of research designs and strategies and how they may be applied to sociological investigations.
  • Competence to carry out a piece of sociological research using either primary or secondary data, or both.
  • Undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations of social questions, issues and problems, using statistical and other data derived from research publications.
  • The ability to identify criminological problems, formulate questions and investigate them
  • Competence in using criminological theory and concepts to understand crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance; and representations of crime, victimisation, and responses to these, as presented in the traditional and new media and official reports
  • The capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical information about crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of crime

Resources

Resource implications for students

Students are not required to purchase any resources.

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxy-3015.html

Reading list

Key texts are available via Talis reading list. This has been created and approved. Other resources such as websites are available online.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: