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    Explores the changing relationships between technology, social media, crime and law enforcement practices.

    SOCI312 explores the changing relationships between technology, social media, crime and law enforcement practices.

    This paper begins by exploring how cyberspace has changed how people commit traditional crimes; while also exploring how the digital arena has opened up avenues for entirely new types of criminal activity. The paper will then explore how law enforcement has adopted the use of new technologies, with particular attention paid to debates around surveillance and privacy in the online realm. This paper finishes by exploring theoretical understandings of representations of crime in traditional media, before we explore the shift to social media and how we make sense of crime and justice in the contemporary digital era.

    About this paper

    Paper title Crime, Technology and Social Change
    Subject Sociology
    EFTS 0.1500
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level SOCI points or 108 points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    May not be credited with SOCI 304 taken in 2019 and 2021

    18 200-level SOCI points or 108 points


    Teaching staff

    Course Co-ordinator: Dr Fairleigh Gilmour

    Paper Structure

    This paper has three modules which will examine, respectively, the impacts of technological development on:

    • Criminal actions
    • Law enforcement
    • Representations of crime.
    Teaching Arrangements

    Two 50-minute lectures per week, plus a weekly tutorial.


    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Communication, Critical Thinking, Scholarship

    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the paper, students will:

    • Develop a broad knowledge of key perspectives and debates around crime, technology and social control.
    • Understand how technology has shaped criminality.
    • Understand how technology has shaped crime control practices and perspectives.
    • Understand the impacts of social media on understandings of crime and crime control.
    • Through this use of theory and method, be able to demonstrate the ability to undertake critical thinking and reflection.


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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