CRIM 2002 - Culture, Communication and the Carnival of Crime

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

This course is concerned with developing a sophisticated understanding of the contested meanings underpinning crime and its control and the manner in which such meanings are intertwined with various different cultural phenomena. The module explores the complex patterns and sites of contest, control and resistance that bisect everyday life. This is achieved through engaging in a detailed consideration of cutting edge theory and research in the fields of cultural criminology. Central to this course are the notions of crime as culture, culture as crime and the media dynamics of crime and control. The course will place criminality, policing, crime prevention, music, advertising, media representations, risk and emotionality in new and exciting contexts. Not only does it consider the social construction of crime, but it also privileges the emotive, exciting and risk-taking nature of certain crimes. The course equips students with the necessary theoretical tools and modes of social inquiry to make sense of a late-modern world permeated by crime and its control.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CRIM 2002
    Course Culture, Communication and the Carnival of Crime
    Coordinating Unit Sociology, Criminology and Gender Studies
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites CRIM 1001
    Assumed Knowledge Knowledge of criminological theory
    Restrictions Available to BCrim, BCrim&BLaws students only
    Assessment Contribution to online discussion 20%, Review of key text (1500 words) 40%, Critical essay (2500 words) 40%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Ruthie O'Reilly

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    Evaluate and reflexively utilise theoretical approaches to understanding crime in terms of cultural meanings, representations and contestations.

    Critically analyse research that examines the ways in which criminality and its control are intertwined with cultural meanings and representations.

    Critically appraise the complex relationships between crime, control and the media.

    Identify and analyse the presence of crime and its control across a range of popular cultural phenomena.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
      Presdee, M. (2000) Cultural Criminology and the Carnival of Crime. London: Routledge.
    Recommended Resources
    Ferrell, J., Hayward, K., Morrison, W., & Presdee, M. (eds.) (2004), Cultural Criminology Unleashed. London: Glasshouse Books.
    Ferrell, J., Hayward, K. & Young, J. (2008) Cultural Criminology: An Invitation. London: Sage
    Ferrell, J. & Sanders, C. (1995) Cultural Criminology. Boston: Northeastern Press.
    Hayward, K. (2004) City Limits: Crime, Consumer Culture and the Urban Experience. London: Glasshouse.
    Katz, J. (1988) Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in Doing Evil. New York: Basic Books.
    Young, J. (2007) The Vertigo of Late Modernity. London: Sage

    Crime, Media & Culture (Sage, UK) is a journal dedicated specifically to the kinds of issues covered in this module. This and other journals can be accessed on-line through the library website.
    The Aug 2004 (vol. 8) edition of Theoretical Criminology is specifically dedicated to Cultural Criminology.

    Referencing, avoiding plagiarism, essay writing and report writing guides from the Writing Centre will be included in the course material. Students with further needs will be directed to the Writing Centre and the ‘Writing and Speaking at Uni’ MyUni course.

    Library Pages - The course will have a library page for resources maintained by the GSSA librarian.

    Turnitin - Students will be required to upload assignments to Turnitin for plagiarism checking. This can be done before the due date so that they can fix any problems and upload again, encouraging students to take responsibility for their own practice.

    Web resources - MyUni will be used to provide students with useful web links to appropriate Human Rights organisations and campaigns for use in researching assignments. MyMedia recording facilities will be required in lecture theatres to enable recording of lectures for external students.

    All of the above are standard resources already offered by the University and no extra resource or workload impact on the area is anticipated.  
    Online Learning
    Students will have access to recorded lectures and online discussion boards.

    All students will receive announcements and assessment tasks via MyUni it will contain links to the course library page and a list of useful web resources related to the course.  
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures will provide students with an overview of each week’s material, providing background, clarifying concepts, locating set readings within a larger context, and providing links to further resources. The aim is to provide a map that will enable students to find their bearings within each topic before they commence more independent and collaborative learning.

    Seminars will provide the opportunity for more participatory learning. Each week’s seminar will discuss the set readings for the topic and explore their responses to course materials together.

    The course will be structured throughout to give students maximum opportunity to share information with their peers, receive feedback, and develop their knowledge through collaboration.  

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.



    1 x 1-hour lecture per week

    12 hours per semester

    2 x 1-hour seminars per week

    24 hours per semester

    6 hours reading per week

    72 hours per semester

    2 hours research per week

    24 hours per semester

    2 hours assignment preparation per week

    24 hours per semester


    Total = 156 hours per semester




    Learning Activities Summary




    The rise of cultural criminology


    From carnival to carnival of crime


    Cultural representations and crime


    Crime and the media


    Crime, entertainment and creativity


    The seductions of crime


    Risk-taking, pleasure and crime


    (Per)versions of hate


    Hurt, humiliation and crime


    (Per)versions of hate

    11 States of Impunity
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    SGDE will be a feature of the weekly seminars. In reflecting on the concepts and theories introduced in the lectures, students will work in small groups to find answers to key questions, before collaborating with the experienced academic to develop more complex, varied and nuanced responses.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary





    Formative and Summative


    1, 2

    Formative and Summative


    1, 2

    Formative and Summative


    1, 3, 4

    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1 Online posting of discussion related to lectures and seminars. 20% of marks
    A total of 10% of the marks for this course will be awarded for online participation. Students must post comments and engage in discussions on the Culture, Communication and the Carnival of Crime webpage on the subjects covered in the lectures and seminars.

    Assessment 2 Review of a seminal cultural criminology text. 40% of marks
    Students will be given a choice of texts from which they must choose one to critically review.

    Assessment 3 Critical essay. 40% of marks
    Students will be given a choice of elements of popular culture one of which they must critically explore through the prism of cultural criminology.

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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