Course Title: Deviance, Control and Conflict

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Deviance, Control and Conflict

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Dr Peta Malins

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2110

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37. Level 4. Room 19

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course focuses on making and breaking of formal and informal ‘rules’ in society. You will learn how sociologists have thought about moral rules, and the roles played in creating, administering and contesting these rules by professionals such as doctors, psychologists, teachers, policy makers, journalists, youth workers and social workers. To what extent do these professionals help people overcome ‘deviant tendencies and how far are they making a living by creating deviance? You will study sociological concepts such as deviance, biopolitics and social control and sociological theories such as normative or labelling theory.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
a) Determine and analyse key sociological concepts and theories on deviance
b) Critically assess how deviance is socially constructed;
c) Critique theories of social control;
d) Describe and appraise the different value positions professionals hold around rules
e) Critically reflect on your own value positions in relation to formal and informal societal rules

Program Learning Outcomes
In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:
• Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on advanced theories, principles, philosophies in the justice sector, both locally and globally, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice
• Use appropriate ethical ideas and reflective practice skills in addressing situations and problems in justice settings demonstrating cultural, social and environmental sensitivity

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is generally delivered in a face-to-face mode with a blend of learning activities, which include interactive workshop activities, role plays, problem solving, guest speakers, presentations, videos, online media and activities and student lead discussions.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. There may be a prescribed text for this course.

Overview of Assessment

  • You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment may include examinations, tests and quizzes, presentations, team work, problem solving tasks, role playing, and essay writing. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.
  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: