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Unit information: Leisure, Pleasure and Harm in 2020/21

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Unit name Leisure, Pleasure and Harm
Unit code SPOL30063
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Joanna Large
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit will explore new developments in criminology which explore the relationship between leisure and consumption and harm. Drawing upon new theoretical frameworks such as 'deviant leisure' and critical criminological approaches which focus on harm, this unit will explore new fields of research. Through exploring a range of leisure activities, which are generally non-criminal, value-normative and culturally acceptable - even socially desirable - this unit will encourage students to critically analyse leisure, pleasure and consumption choices with reference to criminological and sociological analyses of harm, crime, culture and identity.

This unit aims to encourage students to critically analyse leisure and consumption choices in relation to understandings of harm. This will include students looking at issues such as how crime is constructed and how harm is embedded in legitimate and culturally acceptable activities within the context of global consumer capitalism.

Specifically the unit will examine:

  • theoretical frameworks including 'deviant leisure', cultural criminology, ultra-realism, green criminology and zemiology
  • research topics including fashion, beauty, tourism, alcohol, charity and gambling in relation to consumer capitalism, crime and harm

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Synthesise and critically appraise relevant topics and areas of research in relation to key theoretical ideas.
  • Apply appropriate key concepts and theories to a specific topic.
  • Engage critically in scholarly discussion in relation to a specific topic and present appropriate academically rigorous arguments in a professional manner.
  • Produce and critically discuss an academic poster.

Teaching details

This unit will draw on a blended learning approach. Students will engage with asynchronous taught content (including, for example, narrated slides and other teaching and research materials) and will be tasked to complete activities in preparation for synchronous sessions to present and discuss ideas and clarify learning.

Assessment Details

Part 1: Critical review (1000 words) (25%)

Part 2: Recorded presentation (8-10 mins) with annotated bibliography (1250 words) (75%)

Reading and References


Raymen, T. and Smith, O. (Eds) (2019) Deviant Leisure: Criminological Perspectives on Leisure and Harm. Palgrave.

Smith, O & Raymen, T (2016) Deviant Leisure: A Criminological Perspective. Theoretical Criminology. ONLINE FIRST First Published August 11, 2016

Atkinson, R (2014) Shades of Deviance: A Primer on Crime, Deviance and Social Harm. London: Routledge

Brisman, A and South, N (2014) Green Cultural Criminology. Constructions of Environmental Harm, Consumerism and Resistance to Ecocide. London: Routledge

Hall, S & Winlow, S (2015) Revitalizing Criminological Theory. Towards a New Ultra Realism. London: Routledge

Hayward, K & Smith, O (2017) Crime and Consumer Culture. IN A. Liebling; S. Maruna; L. McAra (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. 6th ed. Oxford: OUP

Winlow, S & Atkinson, R (2013) (eds) New Directions in Crime and Deviancy. London: Routledge