Explaining Crime (LAWS6048)


This unit examines the relevance of theory to the process of explaining crime as a social phenomenon. It will selectively analyse the history of criminological thought. Special attention will be given to the cross-disciplinary nature of efforts to understand crime, criminality and their causes. A significant section of the unit will deal with contemporary approaches to criminological explanation including the influence of feminism and postmodernism. Contemporary theorists such as Foucault, Garland and Braithwaite will also be considered. The unit will endeavour to make explicit the links between criminological theory and the development of public policy.

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Further unit of study information


1x2-hr lecture/week


take-home exam (40%) and 3500-4000wd essay (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.