SOCY 507: Sociology of Social Control (Summer)

Professor Mathieu Deflem, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina
Department of Sociology
Office: Sloan 217


The objectives of this upper-level undergraduate course are to engage students in the sociological study of social control, i.e., the definition of and response to crime and/or deviance. The course primarily deals with the official treatment of crime through a system of criminal justice, especially from a historical viewpoint as well as with respect to a variety of comparative and international developments.

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to understand the manner in which sociologists study various structures and processes of social control and empirically analyze relevant aspects of social control in a variety of social settings.

The themes of this course involve a selection of topics in the sociology of social control. First, the course provides an overview of relevant sociological theories and traces the history of the concept of social control in American sociology. Second, we discuss the concept of discipline and its relevance for the study of punishment. Third, attention goes to contemporary forms of surveillance and the role of police. Fourth, we analyze aspects of the policing of terrorism, both at home and abroad.

The syllabus will be made available to all registered students via Blackboard.

1. Sociological Theories of Social Control
2. Discipline and Punishment
3. Surveillance and Policing
4. The Policing of Terrorism


The required readings for this course are available in pdf format on Blackboard.

Back to the Student Pages