Subject details

After successfully completing this subject you should be able to:

1  Demonstrate familiarity with and knowledge of the basic theories of sociological criminology, including key theorists of crime and the ideas associated with these theorists

2  Explain the sociological classification of criminal activity as these relate to functionalist, social conflict and interactionist perspectives

3  Explain the historical contexts from which the basic sociological theories of crime emerged (including social disorganization theory, strain theory, learning theory, labeling theory, critical theories, and realist perspectives)

4  Apply criminological theories to social research on crime

5  Critically analyse "common sense" notions of crime in our society

    • What is Crime? What is Criminology?
    • What do we know about crime, and how?
    • Classical Criminology Social Logics of Punishment
    • Biological and Psychological Positivism
    • Social Disorganization and Social Ecology
    • Anomie and Strain Theories
    • Social Learning Theories
    • Labelling Theory
    • Marxist and Critical Theories
    • Feminist Criminology
    • New Right Criminology and Social Control Theories
    • New Left Realism and Cultural Criminology
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials
      • Audio-Video streaming


This is not an introductory subject, it is a second year subject. You must have a basic understanding of the first year criminology subjects. Students who have completed more than 2 OUA units (GPA 4.0+) and are planning on completing the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice are strongly encouraged to enrol in the course. Part of this process will involve registering your study plan with Griffith University, which will help to ensure that you are studying the required units.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject introduces the major 19th and 20th century theories of crime, their historical antecedents and ideological dimensions. Attention is given to street crime, white collar crime, and violence between intimates.

  • Research Essay (40%)
  • Weekly Review of Readings 1 (20%)
  • Online Test (20%)
  • Weekly Review of Readings 2 (20%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Textbook information is pending.

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