Critical Perspectives on Criminal Justice and Social Control

Graduate Level (Second Cycle). Autumn Semester.

RÄSN10, Critical Perspectives on Criminal Justice and SocialControl, 7.5 credits

This is a master's level course, based on socio-legal and critical criminological perspectives on approaches to crime, criminal justice and social control. You will discuss theory and empirical knowledge within critical studies of crime, social control and criminal policy, based on a constructivist approach to crime will be presented and discussed.

One module with three core topics

Topic 1: The social construction of crime and control.

You learn about the social constructivist approach to crime, deviance and social control commonly used by critical criminology and critical socio-legal studies. Crime and deviance are here seen as constructions depending on structural factors coupled with the characteristics of those persons, groups and acts being labeled as deviant or criminal, those performing control and the ways and methods of the control used. This approach to crime, deviance and social control are opposing naturalized understandings of these phenomena.

Topic 2: Criminal justice and policy in the 21st century

This topic goes deeper into current trends in criminal justice and criminal policy, which in can are characterized by 1) risk and security thinking, 2) the weakening of the state’s social structures which replaced by strengthened crime control structures, and 3) by singling out of some groups as the dangerous other. We aim to understand the structural trends that have led to this development.

Topic 3: Alternative criminal policy and justice

The final part of this course aims to go beyond the standard approaches to criminal justice, policy and social control in the global North, to look at some alternatives used and offered when understanding and reacting on the unwanted.


Course Literature

Syllabus for Critical Perspectives on Criminal Justice and Social Control