Children and Young People: Criminological Approaches - Current Debates

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 17 January 2022
Friday 25 March 2022
07 October 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L520 Childhood Studies,
BA L521 Childhood Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA L522 Childhood Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

Children and young people have been socially constructed as both victims and villains. Using the criminological and sociological research, this module will introduce and critique some of the key social issues and concerns about young people. Topics will include children's rights, child protection, cybercrime, drug use and misuse as well as youth deviance and crime.

Module aims

The aims of this module include:

• To chart shifting constructions of childhood and youth over time across history, sociology and allied disciplines.
• To consider how children and young people experience systems of youth justice, education, child protection, family intervention and politics.
• To compare the intersectional experiences of children and young people in the UK and parts of the wider world.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to apply key theoretical positions to a range of empirically-grounded studies of children and young people. They will be able to explain how and why children and young people are variously positioned as offenders, victims, subjects and citizens.

Module information

Please click on the link below to view the Introduction video to SC311 Children and Young People: Criminological Approaches - Current Debates

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching approach Most modules in Sociology are divided into lectures of around 50 minutes and a class of around 50 minutes. Some are taught as a 2hr seminar, and others via a 50-minute lecture and 2-hr lab. This module, SC311-SP, will include a range of activities to help you and your teachers to check your understanding and progress. The lectures provide an overview of the substantive debates around the topic of the week, while the classes will give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning and actively engage with your peers to develop your understanding further. The weekly classes will take place face-to-face (unless there is a change in the current COVID safety measures). You are strongly encouraged to attend the classes as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of classes is at the discretion of the teacher. Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules).


  • Steedman, Carolyn. (1995) Strange Dislocations: Childhood and the Idea of Human Interiority, 1780-1930, London, UK: Virago Press.
  • Jacobs, Margaret D. (c2009) White mother to a dark race: settler colonialism, maternalism, and the removal of indigenous children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Bannister, J.; Kearns, A. (2013-09-01) 'Overcoming intolerance to young people's conduct: Implications from the unintended consequences of policy in the UK', in Criminology and Criminal Justice. vol. 13 (4) , pp.380-397
  • Rosen, David M. (2015) Child soldiers in the Western imagination: from patriots to victims, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
  • Albisetti, James C.; et al. (2019) 'National Education Systems', in The Oxford handbook of the history of education, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Goldson, Barry; Cunneen, Chris; Russell, Sophie; Brown, David; Baldry, Eileen; Schwartz, Melanie; Briggs, Damon. (2020-10-29) Youth Justice and Penality in Comparative Context, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Thapar, Ciaran. (2021-06-24) Cut Short, London: Penguin Books Ltd.
  • Margaret D. Jacobs. (no date) 'Maternal Colonialism: White Women and Indigenous Child Removal in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940', in Western Historical Quarterly.
  • Qvortrup, Jens; Corsaro, William A; Honig, Michael-Sebastian. (2009) The Palgrave handbook of childhood studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Archer, Louise; Hollingworth, Sumi; Mendick, Heather. (2010) Urban youth and schooling: the experiences and identities of educationally 'at risk' young people, Berkshire, England: Open University Press.
  • Furlong, Andy; Cartmel, Fred. (2007) Young people and social change: new perspectives, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Best, Amy L. (2000) Prom night: youth, schools, and popular culture, New York: Routledge.
  • Silva, Jennifer M. (2013) Coming up short: working-class adulthood in an age of uncertainty, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dekker, Jeroen J.H.; Groenendijk, Leendert F. (2012-04) 'Philippe Ariès's discovery of childhood after fifty years: the impact of a classic study on educational research', in Oxford Review of Education. vol. 38 (2) , pp.133-147
  • Smith, Roger. (2009-07) 'Childhood, Agency and Youth Justice', in Children & Society. vol. 23 (4) , pp.252-264
  • (1995-06-01) History of Childhood: Jason Aronson, Inc.
  • Guide to the UNCRC | Children's Commissioner for England,
  • (2020) Toward a sociology of education, London: Routledge.
  • boyd, danah. (2014) It's complicated: the social lives of networked teens, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.
  • White, Joy. (2020-05-11) Terraformed: Watkins Media.
  • Harries, Bethan. (2017) Talking race in young adulthood: race and everyday life in contemporary Britain, London: Routledge.
  • Jenkins, Henry. (1998) The children's culture reader, New York: New York University Press.
  • Brockliss, L. W. B; Sheldon, Nicola. (2012) Mass education and the limits of state building, c. 1870-1930, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hillel, Margot; Swain, Shurlee. (2017-02-28) Child, Nation, Race and Empire, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Lee, Nick. (2001) Childhood and society: growing up in an age of uncertainty, Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • (2021-07-19) Palgrave International Handbook of Youth Imprisonment, Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Purposeful Reading Assignment   18/02/2022  30% 
Coursework   Book Review   11/03/2022  20% 
Coursework   Essay  25/03/2022  50% 
Exam  1440 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Alexandra Cox, email:
Dr Alexandra Cox
Jane Harper, Student Administrator, Telephone: 01206 873052 E-mail:



External examiner

Dr Jennifer Fleetwood
Goldsmiths, University of London
Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 36 hours, 36 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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