CRIM 200

Cultural Criminology

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for CRIM 200.


Cultural criminology is a specific subfield within the broader discipline of criminology. It embodies an alternative, often critical, approach to conventional criminological thought.

The distinctive nature of cultural criminology is embedded in its methodological approaches and thematic content. Methodologically, it tends to rely on ethnography, fieldwork and qualitative methods rather than “positivistic” and abstract quantitative techniques.

Thematically speaking, cultural criminology often refuses to take crime, deviance and punishment for granted. Instead, the focus shifts to the broader social and cultural contexts of crime/deviance, the meaning that crime has for participants, how power shapes the nature of rules and their enforcement, how media shapes criminal justice policies and, amongst other things, the complicated relationship between popular discourse, crime, deviance and social control.

In this course students will become familiar with these issues and themes, thereby developing a general understanding of cultural criminology as a field of inquiry. We will read from a relatively wide selection of important books and monographs written by major cultural criminologists.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, a student should:

  • Have a general understanding of the methodologies associated with cultural criminology
  • Be familiar with some of the central themes and debates within the literature on cultural criminology
  • Understand some of the policy implications that may flow from research in these subjects
  • Develop familiarity with conducting independent research in light of broader criminological theories
  • Be confident with writing a 2000-word manuscript on a relevant criminological topic that combines academic research, independently gathered data and critical analysis
  • Have some of the foundation necessary to think about and develop research questions and practices in future academic pursuits  

To achieve the course objectives listed above you will need to:

  • Attend each weekly class
  • Read and understand each assigned reading
  • Participate in class discussions
  • Write a 1000 word manuscript
  • Write a 2000 word manuscript
  • Sit one final exam

View the course syllabus

Availability 2020

Semester 2


Lecturer(s) Dr Ronald Kramer


All readings are included in the course reader.


CRIM 200: 15 points


60 points passed from BA courses