Fall 2018 - CRIM 345 D900

Theoretical Perspectives on Punishment (3)

Class Number: 9763

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM
    SUR 5060, Surrey

  • Prerequisites:

    CRIM 101



Examines theories of punishment in Western societies, with a particular emphasis on the 'revisionist' literature i.e. that which explains punishment techniques in terms of social-structural relationships rather than the rhetoric of reformers. The course also examines competing explanations of the demise of corporal punishment and the ascendence of incarceration at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century, the advent of various kinds of 'community corrections' through the twentieth century, and changes in punishment and social control with the advent of 'risk society'.


This course is designed to introduce students to the study of the main theories of punishment. The major goal of the course is a critical exposition of the most important theoretical perspectives in the field of legal punishment and a development of arguments, which they have to offer. The lecturer will analyze the Durkheimian perspective with its stress on social solidarity and on punishment’s moral and social-psychological roots; Marxist perspective which analyzes punishment’s role in the class based process of social, ideological and economic regulation; Michael Foucault’s perspective which argues that disciplinary punishments operate on power-knowledge mechanisms; Norbert Elias’ perspective which situates punishment within an analysis of changing sensibilities and cultural mentalities. The lecturer will try to separate exposition of those theories from critique in order to allow them “to speak for themselves” before they will be exposed to criticism. Students are encouraged to consider the strengths and limitations of all of the perspectives covered in the course.


  • First in-class test 15%
  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Assignment 35%
  • Final In-Class Test 20%
  • Participation in discussion 10%



Garland, David. (1990). Punishment and Modern Society: a Study in Social Theory. Chicago: the Chicago University Press

Department Undergraduate Notes:

ATTENTION: STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY: Please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, (MBC 1250 or Phone 778-782-3112) if you need or require assistance, not your individual instructors.  

  • N.B.: Students are reminded that attendance in the first week of classes is important. However, there are no tutorials in the first week.
  • ON CAMPUS COURSES ONLY: Assignments not submitted to the Professor/T.A. during class/office hours must be placed in the security box behind the General Office (ASSC 10125), or submitted as per Professor’s instructions for courses taking place at Surrey Campus. The assignment drop-off box is emptied Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only and the contents are date stamped accordingly. No other department’s date stamp will apply (e.g. Library/Campus Security) and the School of Criminology is not responsible for assignments submitted any other way (e.g. slid under office doors). The University does NOT accept assignments by fax. 
  • A student must complete ALL aspects of a course (including assignments, exams, class participation, presentations, chat room components of Distance Education courses and other), otherwise he/she will receive a grade of N. 
  • E-mail policy for on campus courses only: The School of Criminology STRONGLY DISCOURAGES the use of e-mail in lieu of office hour visits. Criminology advises its instructional staff that they are NOT required to respond to student e-mails and that students wishing to confer with them should do so in person during scheduled meeting times.
  • The University has formal policies regarding intellectual dishonesty and grade appeals which may be obtained from the General Office of the School of Criminology.
  • Under GP18, the University has policies and procedures which respond to our obligations under the BC Human Rights Code to provide a harassment and discrimination free environment for the students, staff and faculty of this institution.  Members of this community have an affirmative obligation to safeguard the human rights of others.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html