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Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology
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Why Have Differing Research Methods In Criminology

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  • 1. Why have differing research methods in criminology?
  • 2.
    • These slides explain the philosophy behind the different research methods used by sociologists.
    • It doesn’t explain the practical reasons as you studied this at AS and will be familiar with all the reasoning, though we will touch on it again during your lessons
  • 3. Why have differing research methods in criminology?
    • Durkheim’s tradition and its concern with the social bases of crime became tied up with the use of official statistics to measure the extent of crime and other deviant acts
    • Durkheim’s classic work on suicide is based on the assumption that official statistics provide the best measure of crime levels
    • The justification in using statistical data arises from the idea that most social problems are best understood through the ‘positive application of science’ – known as positivism
  • 4.
    • Merton’s work on anomie and crime starts from the assumption that official statistics provide the best form of measurement
    • However since Durkheim and Merton’s ideas dominated there has been theoretical and methodological disputes as to whether official statistics were the best tool in measuring crime
    • Yet the quantitative tradition remains strong for example it’s used in all criminological research
  • 5.
    • Quantitative research is associated with research which seeks to explain crime in causal terms – for example in seeking to relate changes in the crime rate to changes in other features such as levels of unemployment
    • Quantitative methods include questionnaire surveys, secondary analysis of official statistics
  • 6.
    • In contrast the qualitative tradition is typically associates with ethnography, in other words the description (graphy) of cultures (ethno)
    • Its methodological approach seeks to capture the ways in which individuals and categories of individuals make sense of the world and how subsequent actions arise from such interpretations
    • So it’s based on a commitment to explanation-by-understanding rather than explanation in causal terms and so the world is seen as socially constructed
  • 7.
    • This concept of ‘understanding’ comes from the theories of first Weber which were further developed by Mead and his concept of the ‘self’
    • Blumer extended Meads concept of the ‘self’ by coming up with the phrase ‘symbolic interactionism’ – the ‘meanings’ people give as to their conduct and interpretation of that conduct or reasons
  • 8.
    • Labelling and interactionist approaches which emerged in the 1960s placed a lot of emphasis to social meanings, stereotyping and their role in the labelling process (Becker)
    • Qualitative researchers methodologies include interviews, observations and the interpretation of documents such as personal diaries
  • 9.
    • Both quantitative and qualitative research methods rely on collecting empirical data
    • Empirical data is the physical of evidence by any research method
    • Feminist research methods tend be known as ‘critical methodologies’ because they tend to use methods that examine power and discourses within the criminal justice system – think of Heidensohn and how she researched female oppression by examining discourses constructing ‘social roles’ of femininity

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