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This subject explores the motivations underpinning particular types of criminal behaviour. It begins with an overview of various definitions and ways of measuring crime and then looks at the causes of specific offences ranging through graffiti, to animal cruelty, to armed robbery, to illicit drug use, to terrorism. Wherever possible, the words and rationales of offenders are used to give a more grounded insight into the reasons for criminal behaviour. Overall, the course has been designed to facilitate: discussion of criminal events which feature prominently in the public mind and/or the popular media; discussion of the relationship between the perceived causes of crime and responses to criminal offending by police, courts and corrections; and discussion of the implicit models of personhood, choice, gender, economic position, geographic location, peer group dynamics and other variables underpinning particular theories of criminal behaviour and formal and informal mechanisms for controlling such behaviour.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Be able to identify the major theoretical perspectives of crime causation;
- Be able to use and understand key concepts and terms within criminology;
- Understand criminological debates about institutional techniques used to measure, classify and define crime;
- Appreciate the impact of social, cultural, historical and legal responses to criminalisation and crime control;
- Have an awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications in crime causation and social control;
- Communicate effectively in oral and written formats.
Last updated: 4 August 2020