CRIMINOLOGY OF PLEASURE - 2023/4
Module code: SOC3068
This module looks at the historical and social contexts of pleasure regulation. It considers a range of pleasurable activities which have been perceived as subversive or deviant and sets out key rationales behind attempts to impose social control over them. Case studies of pleasure regulation including sex, drugs, music, spectacle, carnival and violence are considered and the role of the criminal justice system in imposing control is analysed
MCGUIRE Michael (Sociology)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 6
JACs code: L311
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Independent Learning Hours: 106
Lecture Hours: 11
Seminar Hours: 11
Guided Learning: 11
Captured Content: 11
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
Ideas of deviance and the impulse to regulate human behaviour accordingly have not always focused exclusively on more obvious and familiar ‘crimes’. A striking feature in the development of all societies has been the apparent need to police and control the bodies and associated pleasures of their members. While this has always centred around predictably ‘deviant’ activities like sexual behaviour, dance, carnival and so on, it is arguable that the will to proscribe ranges of ostensibly harmless enjoyments as deviant has expanded significantly in the aftermath of the ‘permissive’ revolutions of the 1960s and the development of 1990s managerialist ideologies. Contemporary drug-culture, the multi-faceted sexual behaviours of the modern world, the explosion of pornography facilitated by the internet, the dance and club scene, extreme sports and bloodsports, ‘cruelty’ TV and so on all represent arenas where societal tensions between the experience of pleasure and the urge to criminalise it continue to develop.
However, given that the majority of pleasure seeking behaviours are personal and non-harmful, and given further that (as Schlosser (2003) has recently argued) the drugs and sex industries now constitute bigger industries than traditional ones in advanced economies like the US, it is an obvious question to ask why the regulation of pleasure is still an issue at all.
This module seeks critically to examine why the impulse to regulate bodies and their behaviour has developed in the way that it has and how this has manifested itself within modernity.
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||ESSAY 1 (2000 WORDS)||50|
|Coursework||ESSAY 2 (2000 WORDS)||50|
Essay (2000 words) can replace Exam
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate
Identify the scope of pleasures which societies have historically sought to regulate (C,K)
Essay and Exam
Outline some of the strategies and moralities behind the policing and control of pleasure (C, K)
Essay and Exam
Show in writing that they are able critically to evaluate key arguments and assumptions around pleasure and its regulation (C,K,T)
Essay and Exam
Find ways of transferring understanding of abstract concepts and data relating to the regulation of pleasure into other fields (K,T)
Essay and Exam
Develop competence and professional understanding of the way the criminal justice system manages the policing of pleasure (T,P)
Essay and Exam
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
A 2000 word essay
A One Hour Exam
(An alternative assessment of a further 2000 word essay can be used to replace the One Hour Exam)
Formative assessment and feedback
is conducted throughout the module during seminars where students have the opportunity to engage in exercises and readings and to receive feedback on how they are progressing.
- Consider the variety of regulative mechanisms societies have developed to police pleasure
- Develop a reflexive awareness of the construction of many familiar pleasurable activities as ‘deviant'
- Creatively develop appropriate methodologies for distinguishing between normatively acceptable and non-acceptable forms of enjoyment
- Develop appropriate learning, analytical and discursive skills around the study of pleasure regulation
- Provide a supportive environment for the development of competence and creativity in discussion and writing in considering the ethical dimensions of our conceptions of pleasure.
|1||Identify the scope of pleasures which societies have historically sought to regulate||KC|
|2||Outline some of the strategies and moralities behind the policing and control of pleasure||KC|
|3||Show in writing that they are able critically to evaluate key arguments and assumptions around pleasure and its regulation||KCT|
|4||Find ways of transferring understanding of abstract concepts and data relating to the regulation of pleasure into other fields||KT|
|5||Develop competence and professional understanding of the way the criminal justice system manages the policing of pleasure||PT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to reflect the programme’s key learning and teaching aims by:
- Developing students’ in-depth understanding of key criminological theories of pleasure regulation:
- Indicating how such theories can explain criminal and control approaches to pleasure
- Developing understandings of the relationship between theory and crime;
- Developing key study skills that relate to employability.
The learning and teaching methods include:
11 x Lecture/Seminar 2 hours per week
1 x 2 hour Review/Revision Session
Class exercises, Class discussions, Independent study
Each session focuses on particular pleasures, their normative perception and the way these have been managed in criminal justice contexts. Sessions are split between lectures which aim to provide a broad introduction to a topic and seminars which aim to allow more in-depth discussion of key issues and to engage in practical exercises which enhance knowledge in more practical ways. Each session has one piece of primary reading which all students are expected to read. This reading provides the basis for class discussions. Additional reading is strongly encouraged too.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC3068
Programmes this module appears in
|Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Sociology BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Criminology BSc (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.