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Resourcd File

  1. 1. L1------------------L2---------------------L3 1-------------6---------------11------------15 Violent crime is often quick and unexpected and therefore the easiest way to study it is to study subcultures that may participate in violent crime and contact victims of violent crime. A practical weakness of using questionnaires is that there is variation in the willingness of respondents to co-operate. Victims of violent crime are likely to be cooperative as it is in their interests for it to be reduced, but perpetrators are unlikely as they fear being caught. Corporate crime – white collar – refers to acts that are committed during the course of legitimate business such as financial fraud. Sociologists often use secondary sources such as official statistics and other documents. Corporate crime is often very difficult to trace and there is rarely any public coverage of the crimes committed. Many official documents are confidential and not available to researchers making it difficult o investigate.
  2. 2. Structured interviews are helpful as ‘they can be carried out with a large sample’ but the reluctance of victims to come forward and the fact that the perpetrators are on the outskirts of society means there are problems getting an appropriate sample. The researcher is presented with the problem of being told something criminal and having guilty knowledge, therefore placing them in an ethical dilemma of their civil duty and their duty of confidentiality to those they are interviewing. A structured interview may limit the amount of this knowledge. There are two types of experiment: laboratory and field. Lab experiments have less ethical issues that field. Ethically with researching prisons and prisoners, whether it is in a real prison or an artificial one, there is potential that participants may be harmed by the experiment.

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