Course syllabus



SOCIOL 337: Doing Time:

SEMESTER 1, 2018

15 points


Teacher: Grace Gordon -


Course delivery format:

Lecture: Friday 9am - 11am: Engineering  Block 1, Room 439

1 hour tutorial starting in Week 2: Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online


 Summary of Course Description:              

Examines punishment and incarceration as a complex social institution informed by a range of social relations and cultural meanings. Explores the way politics shape notions of law and order and also looks at technologies of incarceration. Topics include: history of punishment, theories of incarceration, punishment regimes directed at the body, punishment regimes directed at the mind, punishment regimes directed at the individual, punishment regimes directed at the collective, inmate and staff perspectives on incarceration, penalty regimes and alternatives to incarceration. 


 Course outcomes:

At the end of this course you should:

  • Have an understanding of the way conceptions of punishment and incarceration change over time, place and culture
  • Be familiar with both theorists and theoretical explanations of punishment and incarceration
  • Understand the diverse nature of incarceration experience
  • Be able to critically analyse different responses to punishment and incarceration
  • Understand the consequences of incarceration as a societal response
  • Be aware of punishment regimes and future directions in punishment and incarceration
  • Be able to research and area pertaining to this course and critically analyse these findings

To achieve the course objectives listed above you will need to:

  • Attend, concentrate and take notes in the lectures
  • Attend and actively participate in tutorials
  • Read take notes and reflect on each required reading
  • Do additional reading
  • Monitor the media for current issues relevant to debates discussed in the course
  • Complete and submit assignments on time
  • Sit the final examination


 Assessment Summary:

25% test: in week 6 (20th April - 90 minutes)

35% essay: due week 11 (25th May -2500 words)

40% exam: TBC


Weekly Topics:

Week 1: Course introduction: Internment and punishment

Week 2: Explaining punishment regimes: Theoretical engagement

Week 3: Explaining punishment regimes: Theoretical engagement

Week 4: Total institutions

Week 5: No lecture (Easter Friday)

- Mid semester break - 

Week 6: Test (90 minutes)

Week 7: Prison experiences from the outside

Week 8: Prison experiences from the inside

Week 9: Race and prisons

Week 10: Gender and prisons

Week 11: New directions in incarceration

Week 12: The end of prison and other solutions


Prescribed Texts:

Please refer to the reading list for each week


 Workload and deadlines for submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material. You should submit your work on time. In extreme circumstances, such as illness, you may seek an extension but you may be required to provide supporting information before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension may be penalised by loss of marks – check course information for details.

Course summary:

Date Details