Sociology and Criminology

Carceral Technologies

Module code: L4111A
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

You’ll develop your understanding of control societies, as articulated by Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Mark Fisher and Ruha Benjamin. You’ll examine their present-day, empirical applications in criminal justice practice.

You will develop a critical understanding of the contexts, critical arguments and theories behind subjecting people to a variety of carceral technologies.

Topics covered will be drawn from contemporary research, and could include:

  • probation
  • sex offender treatments
  • boot camps
  • the fabled ‘good’ prison
  • neurointerventions
  • electronic monitoring
  • smart cities.

Such technologies can incorporate logics of class and racial subjugation, deepen such hierarchies and engender new systems of social control. Criminologists ask “is a more humane future possible?” Throughout this module we will attempt to answer this ever-more-pressing question.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the relevance of a variety of theories of ‘Control Societies’, as defined in the module, and their place in contemporary criminological debates
  • Critically evaluate evidence from empirical studies on a variety of ‘Carceral Technologies’
  • Apply theories covered in this module to empirical examples gathered from your own independent research
  • Further develop skills of academic writing and research by producing a 6000 word essay.