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CRI3030 - Drugs, crime and society

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Suzanne Fraser


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


This unit focuses on drugs, crime and the legal, social and cultural forces shaping licit and illicit drug use in our society. Drawing on scholarship in criminology, sociology and gender studies, this unit engages students in current critical debates on: local and international drug markets; law enforcement, prohibition and harm minimisation; drugs in prisons; alcohol regulation and drug courts and therapeutic jurisprudence. In the process it examines concepts of addiction, treatment and drug using subjectivity and agency. A range of analytic approaches to contemporary social and law enforcement issues around drugs will be introduced, and students will undertake problem-based learning focused on key unit objectives.


By the successful completion of this unit, students will have acquired the following skills:

  1. An understanding of drug markets, drug law enforcement, and the social relationships forged through drugs.
  2. An informed theoretical critique of dominant perspectives on drug taking.
  3. An interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of addiction and treatment.
  4. Library based research skills and a working knowledge of the major sources of critical scholarship on drug use.
  5. The ability to think critical and analytically, and to be able to articulate those thought processes in a high standard of written and oral expression.
  6. A focus on the production of scholarly research as the end point of a process of reading, discussion, drafting and debate.
  7. The ability to work both independently as scholars, give and receive critical feedback and to participate actively in group discussion and analytical activities.


Written assessment: 20%
Class participation: 10%
Essay: 70%

Contact hours

One x 1 Hour seminar per week + One x 1 Hour tutorial
per week


First year Sequence in Arts.



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