Punishment and Social Control

Subject 166-276 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures, a 1-hour tutorial for 10 weeks of the semester and a 1-hour lecture for the first and last week of semester
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Recommended: 12.5 points of Level 1 Criminology.

Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Dr Mark Brown


Dr. Mark Brown


Subject Overview:

This subject is designed to introduce students to the major forms and structures of punishment in our society. The subject examines why we punish individuals, how we do so, and how the punishment process can be viewed in a wider social context. The first part of this subject considers the justifications for punishment and then specifically at prisons and the rapidly expanding area of community-based corrections. We then look at some 'hidden' groups in the punishment process - victims and women - before moving on to examine the work of major writers who have provided a theoretical critique of punishment and the role it plays in our society. By the end of the subject students should have a good understanding of the correctional system and be familiar with the work of important theorists like Foucault, Cohen and Hannah-Moffat.

  • understand the nature and purposes of legal punishment as administered by the state, and how this has developed over the years;
  • be familiar with and understand the range of correctional issues presented in lectures;
  • be able to discuss the given range of correctional issues in class, present the results of library research, and contribute to class discussions in an informed and confident way;
  • be able to conduct library research into a chosen correctional issue and produce a logically structured, coherent and concise evaluative report setting out prior work on the area or areas in question and suggesting ways in which problems could be addressed in the future;
  • be able to write the essay referred to above in accordance with stated publication style guidelines.

An essay of 2000 words 50% (due during the semester), a 1-hour class test of 1000 words 25% (due mid-semester) and a 1000 word take-home test 25% (due on the first day of the examination period).

Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the University Bookshop
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have considerable capacity for independent critical thought and self-directed learning;

  • have significant cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills;

  • understand complex concepts and express them lucidly in writing and orally;

  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively;

  • have advanced awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications.


Formerly available as 191-208, 191-308, 191-007 and 191-312. Students who have completed 191-208, 191-308, 191-007 or 191-312 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Available as a Breadth subject.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Criminology
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Criminology Major
Socio-legal Studies Major

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