SOCY 507: Sociology of Social Control

Professor Mathieu Deflem, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina
Department of Sociology
Office: Sloan 217
Spring 2015: Class will meet MW in Sloan 104 at 2:20pm


This upper-level undergraduate course engages students in the sociological study of the societal construction and response to deviance and crime. The perspective of this course is not centered on deviance and crime, but on the manner in which a society attempts to control deviant and/or criminal behavior.

The themes of this course involve a selection of topics in the sociology of social control. First, the course provides an overview of theories in the sociology of social control and traces the history of the concept of social control in American sociology. Second, we discuss aspects in the history of social control and punishment from the 18th century onwards, including a brief analysis of the contemporary culture of incarceration. Third, we focus on the history and contemporary conditions of international police work. And, fourth, we analyze sociological aspects of the policing of terrorism, both at home and abroad.

The course syllabus will be emailed to all registered students before the first class.

I. Sociological Theories of Social Control
II. Social Control, Discipline, and Surveillance
III. International Policing
IV. The Policing of Terrorism 


The required readings for this course consist of two books and several research articles.

Articles (provisional list):


Graduate students in MA and PhD programs need to fulfill all of the readings and assignments that are specified for undergraduate students. Additionally, they also have to read some additional writings (delivered by the instructor via email) and they need to complete two papers, including a mid-term paper and a final research paper instead of the final exam scheduled for undergraduates. Details of the graduate assignments are to be obtained from the instructor. Please contact by email or after the first class. 

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