71880 - Crime, Punishment and Society

Academic Year 2023/2024

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 theories of crime and punishment. The specific object 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".


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.

(Both books are available in e-book form)

Other readings shall be assigned during the course, according to the topic discussed. Almost all readings are available in “Virtuale”.

Teaching methods

Lectures, class discussions, movies, guest speakers.
During each week, there will be the presentation of the criminological topic and related theory, after which you will be watching the film linked to the topic and, then, there will be the class discussion of the topic and the film.

Assessment methods

Oral exam

Teaching tools

Power point; audio-visual materials (movies)

Office hours

See the website of Stefania Crocitti


No poverty Gender equality

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