Module Catalogue 2021/22

SOC2044 : Social Control: Regulation, Neoliberalism and the State

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Nicola Ralph
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aim of this module is to introduce students to theoretical ideas that will further their understanding of the relationship between formal and informal means of social control. The module will explore the concept of governmentality and how it is enacted in Neoliberal states, with particular focus on the role of the individual and the governance of the self and risk-management, as well as the tools of the State, especially the New Penology. In order to fully understand these processes, students will first be grounded in the Sociological, Philosophical and Criminological literatures that have informed and produced both the tools of neoliberalism themselves, and critical accounts of those tools. It is expected that this module will provide students with a deeper understanding of control processes, which will inform their second and third year modules, including their dissertations.

Outline Of Syllabus

Review of Social Constructivist ideas (from SOC1034)
Introduction to Realism
Left, Right and New Realist Approaches
Governmentality and the Self
The New Penology
The Cultures of Control

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Provide students with an introduction to a range of conceptual tools within the social sciences (Realist approaches, Social Constructionist approaches, etc.), and the means to critique them.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The skills outcomes of the module are as follows:
•       To identify different sources of evidence and to rank them by their relevant scholarly authority
•       To have developed improved reading, writing, note-taking and critical thinking skills
•       To identify the benefit of essay plans and to be able to prepare a range of styles of essay plans, identifying, which format is best for them
•       To improve their presentation skills, including verbal, written or poster skills
•       To develop their evaluation skills
•       To develop their listening skills and the ability to constructively critique the work of others

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture52:0010:00PIP Timetabled Lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials52:0010:00Pre-recorded non-timetabled lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities31:003:00Online supported learning material (not timetabled)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00PIP Timetabled Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Timetabled structured workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1137:00137:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship


Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M401,500 words
Essay1M602,500 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MOngoing throughout module based on seminar performance
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first assessment will be focused on students understanding the background theories, concepts and approaches that have produced the New Penology and Cultures of Control. Students will choose one of four questions based on the approaches they have covered. The second assignment will task them with exploring in depth Garland’s argument and critiquing it in relation to one aspect of governmentality.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.