Skip to main content Skip to navigation

SO256-15 Gender, Race and Sexualities in the Criminal Justice System: Policy and Practice

Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
Zoha Waseem
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module examines the intersections of gender, race and sexualities and the criminal justice system. Several core themes will inform the exploration of: crime, sentencing, offending patterns, victimisation and (in)justice, including 'race', class, age, sexuality, place, migration and the role of colonisation.

Module web page

Module aims

The module offers students the opportunity to engage with a broad range of internationally classical and influential bodies of sociological literature, critical race theories, feminist and critical criminology, masculinities theories, victimology and queer theory. Underpinning these analyses is the relationship between global, national and local questions of crime and punishment as well as the intersections of gender, race and sexualities. The role of power, legacy, inequality, crime control will prove central to considerations of the extent to which globalisation informs patterns of offending, victimisation and access to justice.

This module will enable students to think broadly and innovatively about questions of crime, punishment and the criminal justice system in relation to gender, race, sexualities and justice.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Part 1: Context (weeks 1 to 3)
Part 2: Patterns and Representations of Offenders and Offending (weeks 4 to 7, with reading week in week 6)
Part 3: The Criminal Justice Profession

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • - Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between gender, race, sexualities and the criminal justice system in contemporary society
  • To develop an understanding of the links between sociological theorizing of gender, race, sexualities, crime, justice and the socio-historical context in which these theories emerged;
  • To build on existing ability to apply research evidence to understandings of deviance, social control and related social problems.
  • To demonstrate a critical awareness of the treatment of different profiles of offenders and victims within the criminal justice system;
  • To demonstrate a critical understanding of how issues of race and ethnicity, social class, sexuality, age and gender affect processes of criminalisation;
  • To develop skills in accessing and evaluating relevant literature for independent study, research and essay writing.
  • - to describe and assess a range of theoretical accounts of gender, race, sexualities, crime and justice;
  • To develop the understanding of the social, economic and cultural dimensions of gender, race, sexuality, crime and criminal justice.
Indicative reading list

Background Reading
Agozino, B., ((1997) Black Women and the Criminal Justice System. Ashgate Publishing
Carlen, P. (1983) Women’s Imprisonment, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Carlen, P. (1998). Sledgehammer. London: Macmillan.
Carlen, P. (ed) (2002) Women and Punishment: the Struggle for Justice. Cullumpton, Willan Publishing.
Chapter 4)
Carlen, P. & Worrall, A. (2004) Analysing Women’s Imprisonment, Cullompton: Willan.
Corston, Baroness (2007) The Corston Report: A review of women with particular vulnerabilities in the
criminal justice system, London: Home Office

Davies, P. (2011) Gender, Crime and Victimisation, London: Sage.

Gelsthorpe, L. & Morris, A. (eds) (1990) Feminist Perspectives in Criminology, Milton Keynes: OUP.
Heidensohn, F. and Silvestri, M. (2012) ‘Gender and Crime’, in M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (eds.)
The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (5th edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Moore, L., Scraton, P. and Wahidin, A. (2018), Women’s Imprisonment, Decarceration and Case for
Abolition: Critical Reflections on Corston. Routledge.

Silvestri, M and Dowey-Crowther, C. (2016), Gender and Crime (Key Approaches to Criminology), Sage.

Wahidin, A. (2013), Gender and Crime in C. Hale, K. Hayward, A. Wahidin & E. Wincup (eds) Criminology,
Oxford: Oxford University Press (3rd ed).

Walklate, S. (2nd Ed.) (2004) Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice, Cullompton: Willan.
Westmarland, L. (2002) Gender and Policing: sex, power and police culture, Cullompton: Willan.
Worrall, A. (1990) Offending Women, London: Routledge.
Wykes, M. and Welsh, K. (2009) Violence, Gender and Justice, London: Sage.

Subject specific skills

To demonstrate knowledge and understanding with the development, nature and theories of gender, race, sexualities and crime;

To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of feminist social theories relating to gender, race and sexualities and crime;

To understand the socio, cultural and historical constructions of victims and offenders

To be able to apply case studies and give examples incorporating theories of gender, race and sexualities, and

To understand the relationship between crime and justice and the intersections of gender, race, sexualities, age and other inequalities.

Transferable skills

To effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms
to specialist and non-specialist audiences and deploy key techniques of the discipline effectively

To develop existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume significant responsibility within organisations.

The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment require the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Private study 72 hours (48%)
Assessment 60 hours (40%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Reading for seminars.
Preparation for seminars.
Preparation of presentations.
Preparation and writing of formative work.
Preparation of summative work.
Other work related to assessment.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
Essay (3000 words) 100% 60 hours


Feedback on assessment

Students will receive written feedback.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 2 of USOA-L314 Undergraduate Sociology and Criminology

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 3 of ULAA-ML33 Undergraduate Law and Sociology

This module is Optional for:

  • USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
    • Year 2 of L301 Sociology
    • Year 2 of L301 Sociology
    • Year 2 of L301 Sociology

This module is Option list A for:

  • ULAA-ML34 BA in Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
    • Year 3 of ML34 Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
    • Year 4 of ML34 Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
  • Year 4 of ULAA-ML33 Undergraduate Law and Sociology

This module is Option list D for:

  • Year 2 of UHIA-VL13 Undergraduate History and Sociology

This module is Option list G for:

  • UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics
    • Year 2 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)
    • Year 2 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)
    • Year 2 of V7ML Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Tripartite)