Subject Area: Sociology and Anthropology
This course can also be studied in the following specialisations: Criminology
This course explores the similarities between sociology and crime scene investigation by examining how isolated and seemingly random pieces of data are actually embedded in larger frames of social and informational significance. We will consider the question of human agency and individual culpability, eyewitness testimony and memory, the relationship between individual behaviours and social norms, and how this material complicates our understanding of personhood, the nature of evidence, truth and social justice. We will also investigate “the two cultures problem” which divides scientific practices - with their attention to factual and objective evidence - from approaches in the humanities that underline the subjective and unreliable nature of truth claims. Several CSI tools, among them - forensic facial reconstruction, profiling, DNA, plant and insect evidence - will be introduced to illustrate the empirical and philosophical implications of these debates.