Penal Phenomenon and Formal Social Control


COURSE TITLE Penal Phenomenon and Formal Social Control
If the ECTS Credits are distributed in distinct parts of the course e.g. lectures, labs etc. If the ECTS Credits are awarded to the whole course, then please indicate the teaching hours per week and the corresponding ECTS Credits.
3 6
Please, add lines if necessary.Teaching methods and organization of the course are described in section 4.

Background, General Knowledge, Scientific Area, Skill Development

Scientific Area


Learning Outcomes
Please describe the learning outcomes of the course: Knowledge, skills and abilities acquired after the successful completion of the course.
By the end of the educational process, students will be able to: a. describe the concepts of devianceand social control, b. determine the criminalization procedures, c. distinguish between the different approaches (main theorists, historical and socio-political context, basic theoretical assumptions) to deviance, d. describe the evolution of crime control in Greece and understand the function of the criminal procedure, e. combine current  social issues with the basic approaches in sociology and criminology, f. associateobservable, directly or indirectly,  deviant behaviorswith factors that facilitate the characterization of a behavior as deviant, g. examine social phenomena (and especially crime) globally and with critical thought. In addition, they will be able to: a. implement penal and alternative to imprisonment policy programs and interventions, b. evaluate programs and interventions, in terms of their theoretical framework and the appropriateness of intervention and/or research methods, c. contribute to the planning of crime prevention policies.
General Skills
Name the desirable general skills upon successful completion of the module
Search, analysis and synthesis of data and information,


Adaptation to new situations

Decision making

Autonomous work


Working in an international environment

Working in an interdisciplinary environment

Production of new research ideas

Project design and management

Equity and Inclusion

Respect for the natural environment


Demonstration of social, professional and moral responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues

Critical thinking

Promoting free, creative and inductive reasoning


Working in an international environment

Working in an interdisciplinary environment

Production of new research ideas

Critical thinking

Equity and Inclusion

Demonstration of social, professional and moral responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues

Promoting free, creative and inductive reasoning

The subject of the course is the criminal phenomenon, i.e. the examination of conditions and procedures associated with criminalization. In this context, approaches to deviant behavior, formal social control and the conditions under which the former constitutes or becomes the object of the latter will be examined. The course will focus on the historical and social dimension of the emergence of “irregularity” as an object of the Criminal Justice System. In addition, the basic principles of crime control in Greece will be analyzed, as they were shaped historically and in the context of particular socio-political phases.

The course will be developed in the following sections:

1. Acquaintance  with students. Informing students about the learning objectives and relevant feedback regarding their expectations. Presentation of the main axes of the lectures and the way the course and exams will be conducted. Definition of the concept of “criminal phenomenon”. Criminal phenomenon and social reaction. Introductory remarks on the concepts of “deviant behavior”, “irregularity” and “illegality”. Summary and conclusions.

2. Definition of the concept of “deviant behavior”. The sociological elaboration of the concept over time: absolute and relative approaches and the exploitation of subculture. The influence of power relations in determining deviant behaviors (crime as a political phenomenon). The example of homosexuality as a category of deviance and related considerations. Case studies: Philip of Orleans versus Demetra of Lesbos, text from M. Foucault’s “The History of Sexuality”. Summary and conclusions.

3. Continue with the concept of deviant behavior. The different approaches to the conceptualization of deviance, starting points and focal points. Case study: traphouses and trap music. Summary and conclusions. Discussion about the students’ assignements.

4. Explanations and interpretations of deviant behavior. Deviance as a social event and the distinction between transgression and the process of labellingsomeone as deviant. The birth of deviance as a concept. Historical review of sociological approaches to deviance (positivist, symbolic interactionist, structural approaches). Summary and conclusions. Discussion about the students’ assignements.

5. The social construction of reality and the relativity of deviance, deviance as a socially determined behavior. Relativity as a way of approaching the object of study. Examples: Parade of the Nudes in New Orleans and incest (reading texts from Shelley’s “Chenchi” and “100 Years of Solitude” by G.G. Marques). Summary and conclusions.

6. Deviant behavior and crime. The deviant, stigma and factors influencing the labelling process. Crime in different societies. The functional role of deviant behavior. Examples: Marijuana smoking, gambling and homicide. Summary and conclusions.

7. The concept of “social control”. Social control, development of the state and the role of capitalist economy before World War II. The concept of social control between Europe and the U.S.A and explanation of the differences. Patterns of social control in Europe and the U.S.A. and factors influencing different developments. Social control and economic system. From modernity to the globalized economy. Text from M. Foucault’s”Surveillance and Punishment”. Summary and key conclusions.

8. The social issue, informal social control and formal social control: The criminalization of social problems. Standard social control: therapeutic model and the penal system. Summary and conclusions. 9. Typical post WWII social control. Juvenile delinquency, the Vietnam War, and social movements. Case Study: Mods and Rockers. Discussion of the following films: a. “A clockwork orange” by S. Kubrick and b. “Law 4000” by G. Dalianidis. Summary and conclusions.

10. The new social issue: neoconservative views and poverty management. Formal social control and the control of specific segments of the population: factors and phenomena. Summary and conclusions. 11. The process of criminalization: conflict approach, label theory and critical criminology. Mass media and moral panics. The crime square. Case study: drug policy in Greece.

12. The criminal phenomenon in Greece: from the Penal Law to the Penal Code. Basic principles of Greek penal law. The penal procedure. Summary and conclusions.

13. Brief description of the content of all lectures and discussion regarding the meeting of the learning goals and expectations of the students.


Face to face, Distance learning, etc.
Use of ICT in Teaching, in Laboratory Education, in Communication with students
Use of ICT in teaching to download documentaries, interviews and use of PPT in classes, use of e-class for teaching material, announcements, exercises and other posting educational activities  and for communicating with students.

The ways and methods of teaching are described in detail.

Lectures, Seminars, Laboratory Exercise, Field Exercise, Bibliographicresearch& analysis, Tutoring, Internship (Placement), Clinical Exercise, Art Workshop, Interactive learning, Study visits, Study / creation, project, creation, project. Etc.


The supervised and unsupervised workload per activity is indicated here, so that total workload per semester complies to ECTS standards.

Activity Workload/semester
Lectures 39
Interactive teaching 14
Drafting a paper or participation in educational activities 38
Independent study-Research an

d preparation for the exams

Presentation of a Study-Research


Final Written Examination


Student Evaluation

Description of the evaluation process


Assessment Language, Assessment Methods, Formative or Concluding, Multiple Choice Test, Short Answer Questions, Essay Development Questions, Problem Solving, Written Assignment, Essay / Report, Oral Exam, Presentation in audience, Laboratory Report,Clinical examination of a patient,Artistic interpretation, Other/Others


Please indicate all relevant information about the course assessment and how students are informed 

Final evaluation takes into account:

1) the participation in educational activities (preparation of parts of the teaching material, processing and presentation of topics, commenting on issues of current affairs using the course material, communication and cooperation with institutions, services and professionals in the field).

2) the written examination.


Participation in educational activities: The criteria of writing academic texts, essays and the presentation of academic papers apply, such as the accuracy and clarity of the use of terminology, the structure and organization of the content and the use of bibliography and other sources to develop the topic. For the evaluation of the educational activities, participation, initiative, understanding of the educational material, etc. are taken into account.



Vidali, S. & Koulouris, N., 2012. Deviant behaviour and penal phenomenon. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in Greek)

Course file posted on the e-class.




Archimandritou, M. (1996),The development of the labeling approach. Thessaloniki: Sakkoula

Charalambakis, A. (2012),A Synopsis of thePenal Law, General Part, I. Athens: Law and Economy Sakkoulas

Chaidou, A. (1996), Positivist Criminology, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Courakis, N. (2005),Criminological Horizons, vol. A and B. Athens – Komotini: A.N. Sakkoulas

Gasparinatou, M. (2020), Dangerousness: The development of a “dangerous” construction. Criminological approach, Athens: TOPOS Publications

Gasparinatou, M. (2020), Juvenile delinquency and Crime policy, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Daskalakis, H. (1985), The criminology of social reaction, Athens-Komotini: Ant. N. Sakkoulas

Karydis, B.(2010),Visions of Social Control in Greece. Moral panics, criminal justice. Athens – Komotini: A.N. Sakkoulas

Koukoutsaki, A. (2002),Drug use, homosexuality. Behaviours of non-compliance between penal and medical control. Athens: Kritiki

Κostaras, A. (2020), Criminal Law. Concepts and institutions of the General Part. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Lazos G. (2007), Critical Criminology, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Lambropoulou, E. (2012),Sociology of Criminal Law and Institutions of Criminal Justice, Athens: Ellinika Grammata

Lampropoulou, E. (1994), Social control of crime, Athens: Papazisis

Lampropoulou, E. (1997), The construction of social reality and the mass media. The Case of Violence and Criminality, Athens: Ellinika Grammata

Magganas, A. (2007), Special issues of criminal law and criminal procedure, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Panoussis, J., 2008, Exaggerating. Uses and Abuses, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Spinellis, C.D. (2014), Criminology. Older and Contemporary Directions, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Tatsis, N., Thanopoulou, M. (2009), The sociology of the Chicago School, Athens: Papazissis

Tzannetaki, T. (2006), Neoconservatism and the politics of zero tolerance, Athens: Ant.N. Sakkoulas.

Fitrakis E. (2007), From the dangerous to the average prudent man- Mythology and empiricism in (criminal) law. Honorary volume for John Manoledakis II. Thessaloniki: Sakkoula, pp. 685-708

Vidali, S. (2013), Introduction to Criminology, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki

Viidali, S. (2017), Beyond Boundaries. Crime Policy Today, Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki


Becker, H. (2000),Outsiders,transl.Koutzoglou, A. and Bourliaskos, B., Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in Greek)

Cavadino, M. and Dignan, J. (2007), The penal system: an introduction, (4th ed.), London: Sage Publications Ltd

Cloward, R., Ohlin, J. (1960), Delinquency and Opportunity, N.Y.: The Free Press

Cohen, Α.Κ. (1955), Delinquent Boys. The Culture of the Gang, Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press

Cohen, S. (2002), Folk Devils and Moral Panics, London, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis

Downes, D., Rock, P. & McLaughlin, E. (2016), Understanding Deviance, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Findlay, M. (2008), Governing through globalised crime, Devon: Willan Publishing

Foucault, M. (2011), Surveillance and Punishment, The Birth of the Prison, edited by Betzelos, T., Athens: Plethron (in Greek)

Foucault, M. (2013), History of Sexuality, trans. Patsogiannis, B., Athens: Plethron (in Greek)

Garland, D. (1990/1999), Punishment and modern society: A study in social theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Garland, D. (2001), The culture of control: Crime and social order in contemporary society, Oxford: Oxford University Press

Goffman, E. (1963/ 2001), Stigma, transl. Makrynioti, D., Athens: Alexandria (in Greek)

Hebdidge D. (1981), Sub-culture. The meaning of style, edited by Kallifatidou, E., Athens: Gnosis (in Greek)

Koukoutsaki, A. (2004), “Images of criminals. Deconstructing the law-breaker, constructing the criminal”, στο Albercht, H.J, T. Serassis, H. Kania (ed.) Images of Crime II, Freiburg im Br: Iuscrim

Melossi, D. (1999), ‘Social theory and the changing representations of the criminal’, in A. Koukoutsaki (ed.), Images of Crime, Athens: Plethron (in Greek)

Presdee, M. (2000), Cultural criminology and the carnival of crime, London: Routledge

Sellin, Th. (2003), Cultural conflict and crime, transl. Sagounidou-Daskalaki, H., Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in Greek)

Sumner, C. (1994), Sociology of Deviance. An Obituary, Buckingham: Open University Press







Alternative ways of examining a course in emergency situations


Teachers (full name): Sofia Spyrea, Dr
Contact details:
Supervisors: (1) No
Evaluation methods: (2) Drafting two small papers in the form of answers to questions from a list of topics (100% of the total grade, 50% of 5 units each).
Implementation Instructions: (3) The examination of the course will take place according to the examinations programme, announced by the Secretariat of the Department of Social Policy. Before the exams, students must have registered in e-class with their academic account, otherwise they are excluded. On the day of the exam, the topics of the exam are posted in the field ASSIGNMENTS-EXERCISES, and the students are asked to answer and submit their answers in a file format (word), within the predetermined time of the exam. The answers are submitted in the field “ASSIGNMENTS-EXERCISES” of e-class. During the examination, students can use bibliographic sources, as the topics require critical thinking and deep understanding of the topics.

The papers and presentations students prepare during the semester are taken into account as supporting the grade of the written exams (an up to 3 points bonus). For the bonus grade to be added, students are required to obtain a passable grade in the written examinations (at least 5 out of 10).

Throughout the examination students can communicate with the teachers through the electronic platform of the course. On the same platform, students who are eligible to be examined orally and have declared it to the secretariat, are examined on the same topics of the written examinations.

Late submission of answers is not accepted unless it is due to a technical problem and the instructor is informed before the end of the submission time.


  • Please write YES or NO
  • Notedowntheevaluationmethodsusedbytheteacher, e.g.
  • written assignmentor/andexercises
  • writtenororalexaminationwithdistancelearningmethods, provided that the integrity and reliability of the examination are ensured.
  • In the Implementation Instructions section, the teacher notes down clear instructions to the students:


  1. a) in case of written assignment and / or exercises: the deadline (e.g. the last week of the semester),the means of submission, the grading system, the grade percentage of the assignment in the final grade and any other necessary information.
  2. b) incaseoforal examination with distance learning methods: the instructions for conducting the examination (e.g. in groups of X people), the way of administration of the questions to be answered, the distance learning platforms to be used, the technical means for the implementation of the examination (microphone, camera, word processor, internet connection, communication platform), the hyperlinksfor the examination, the duration of the exam, the gradingsystem, the percentage of the oral exam in the final grade, the ways in which the inviolability and reliability of the exam are ensuredand any other necessary information.
  3. c) incaseofwritten examination with distance learning methods:the way of administration of the questions to be answered, the way of submitting the answers, the duration of the exam, the grading system, the percentage of the written exam of the exam in the final grade, the ways in which the integrity and reliability of the exam are ensured and any other necessary information.

There should be anattached list with the Student Registration Numbersonly of students eligible to participate in the examination.