SO473      Half Unit
Crime, Control and the City

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Janet Foster STC S218a


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available on the MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Sociology and MSc in Sociology (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This half unit course examines crime and disorder in city landscapes, the relationship between crime, space and place, and the complex mix of informal and formal social controls that influence different types and levels of crime. Drawing on a range of comparative literature from different cities, and using a mixture of classic and contemporary texts, we examine the importance of informal social control in maintaining social order in cities, the role of policing, and what happens when formal and informal social controls fail using the recent riots, gangs and homicide as examples. We also explore the principles of crime prevention - both physical and social - and use public housing as a case study to critically examine the relationship between crime and design.


20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Reading week: week 6.

Indicative reading

Body-Gendrot (2012) Globalization, Fear and Insecurity (Palgrave Macmillan);  Bottoms, A (2012) ‘Developing socio-spatial criminology’ in Maguire M et al (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (5th edn.); Cochrane, A and Talbot, D (eds.) (2008) Security: Welfare, Crime and Society (Open University Press); Evans, K (2011) Crime Prevention: a critical introduction (Sage); Felson, M and Boba, R. (2010) Crime and Everyday Life (Sage); Graham, P. & Clarke, J. (2001) 'Dangerous Places: Crime and the City' in Muncie, J. & McLaughlin, E. (eds.) The Problem of Crime 2nd ed. (Sage); Le Gates R & Stout F (2011) The City Reader (Routledge); Mooney, G and Neal, S (eds.) (2009) Community: Welfare, Crime and Society (Open University Press); Pile, S. et al. (eds.) (1999) Unruly Cities (Routledge); Pitts, J (2008) Reluctant Gangsters: the changing face of youth crime (Willan); Wacquant, L (2008) Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality (Polity Press); Zukin, S (2010) Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places (Oxford University Press)


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the ST.

Two hard copies of the assessed essay with submission sheets on each, to be handed in to the Administration Office, S116, no later than 16:30 on the second Friday of Summer Term. An additional copy to be uploaded to Moodle no later than 18:00 on the same day.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 8.7
Merit 60.9
Pass 26.1
Fail 4.3

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information