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This module introduces students to key questions of gender in the study of crime, punishment and the criminal justice system. Adopting a critical criminological perspective, the role of gender in offending behaviour, crime victimisation and criminal justice responses are examined. These topics are also explored using the concept of intersectionality, which looks at how other factors such as race and class are felt alongside gender.
The module examines women as victims and women as offenders. The gendered nature of victimisation is investigated. The module also outlines the literature on women as offenders, looking to the historical constructions of offending women and the influence this history continues to exert on public and criminal justice thinking. The responses to offending women are investigated, particularly the idea of gendered punishment regimes and differences in the way men and women are punished.
The module also examines contemporary issues related to men’s offending. The gender differential in criminal offending has been one of the most persistent findings in criminology and recent work has tackled the question of why men commit disproportionately more crime than women. The module presents the findings from these studies, outlining the role of masculinity identities in men’s offending.
Finally, the cultural and media representations of gender and crime are outlined, and the module overviews particularly the representations of women as victims and offenders. Throughout, the module uses Irish and international case studies to illustrate the implications of a gendered criminal justice system, drawing on statistics, policy documents and academic literature.
• Women as victims: domestic and sexual violence as a gendered phenomenon, new directions in responding to gendered violence, transnational issues in a globalising world;
• Women as offenders: historical understandings of women who commit crime, gender-specific policy responses to women’s offending behaviour, gendered punishment regimes; paternalism in the criminal justice system;
• Men, masculinity and offending: new research on masculinities and crime including research into the interactions between class, masculinity and crime, and prison cultures;
• Gender stereotypes: media representations of women as victims and offenders, the role of media stereotypes in shaping responses to crime.