71880 - Crime, Punishment and Society

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Dario Melossi
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: SPS/12
  • Language: English

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course unit, students: - know the most important concepts of sociology as applied nowadays with reference to criminal phenomena and their punishment, with an emphasis on the evolutionary dimension of relevant theories and the comparison between European and North American approaches; - are capable to apply those concepts independently, especially in fields covering deviance and social control.

Course contents

This is a course in the sociological theory of crime and punishment. The specific object of the course is the relationship between such theories and the broader framework of migration in the European Union. What is the connection between processes of European unification (legal, political, economic and social) and migrants' criminalization -- in the two aspects of criminalization, i.e. migrants' participation in criminal behavior, and the construction of migrants as criminal subjects? Some of the theories discussed will be the ecological theory of the Chicago School, differential association theory, the theory of anomie, labelling theory, and the theories of "everyday life".


The main texts will be:

Dario Melossi, Crime, Punishment and Migration. London: SAGE, 2015.

Dario Melossi, Controlling Crime, Controlling Society: Thinking About Crime in Europe and America. Cambridge (UK): Polity Press, paperback, ISBN: 9780745634296, distribution: Wiley, 250 pages.

Both books are available also in e-form.

Other readings shall be assigned during the course, according to the topic discussed (see syllabus distributed at the beginning of the course).

Teaching methods

Course attendance is required. Participation in collective discussion and presentations will be actively encouraged. 

Assessment methods

Examinations are oral examinations. The final assessment will take into consideration also the regular attendance of the course and the student's participation in class discussion.
(Please note that certificates of attendance will be handed out only to those students who have attended the course and obtained at least a "pass" grade at the exam).

Teaching tools

We shall use fictional and documentary visualmaterials in order to illustrate and discuss the main sociological and criminological theories and the centralresearch topics. Also for this reason, course attendance is requiredand will be regularly checked, and so is students'participation in collective discussion.

Office hours

See the website of Dario Melossi


Decent work and economic growth Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.