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SOC 1500 (763)
Lecture 2

SOC 1500 Week 2

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1500
Professor
Michelle Dumas
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 2 September 18, 2012 Research Design  Exploration o What you want to know  Description  Explanation o Why do some cities/countries have crime rates than others Modes of Observation Experiments  Independent & Dependent variables o Independent-cause o Dependent- effect  Pretesting &Posttesting  Experimental & Control groups o If control group does have same change=no affect going on  Advantages  Disadvantages o Very artificial o Experimented on in a laboratory not realistic Quantitative  Empirical  Surveys  Reliability  Strengths  Weaknesses o Low on validity o Measuring the wrong thing Qualitative We observe people as they naturally go about their lives and record what they’re doing. From that, we can come to conclusions about how people behave in their natural settings.  Participant/non-participant observation o Don’t engage in any activities they do  In-depth interviews o Want to get someones life story o Serial killers  Case studies o Want a specific group of people (5 people) and get to know them very well  Ethnography (Whyte)  Field research  Validity o Has a lot of validity o You are measuring what you think you’re measuring  Strengths o You are observing people who are unable to fill out a survey o You get rich detail  Weaknesses o Sample size is extremely small o A lot of data to collect and analyze o Can’t do more than a dozen people o Small sample size means no generalization allowed o Can be dangerous-drug smugglers o Researchers don’t have the same privileges as doctors and lawyers so can be put in prison for not giving up the names in their research o Presence of an observer can alter peoples behavior Content Analysis  Media o Anything in print and text, we want to analyze it  Comparisons  Quantitative o Manifest content-what is on the surface o Accounting things-how much time dedicated to the story o How many criminals mentioned are male or female  Qualitative o Latent content Designing a Research Project Experiment  Milgram (1963, 1965) o Results o How people are obedient and why o How far will people take it until they say enough for following orders o Could you get someone to kill another person by making them obedient o People giving volts to people if got question wrong Qualitative  Humphreys (1970)- “Tearoom Trade” o Interactions between homosexual men in public place Ethics  Protection o People in Milgrams experiment had physiological problems because they thought they had killed someone o Make sure physical and emotional harm is reduced  Deceit  Consent  Privacy o Important in crime and deviance o Some people lose family or job if came out o Researchers are not allowed to identify participants in any way (name or address etc.) Measuring Deviance/Crime Official Statistics  Police survey o Every year police collect data on their department and send it to Statistic Canada and it is then analyzed  Stastics Canada  UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting)  USA o Collected by FBI UCR Police  Proactive- police detect crime themselves o Police arrest someone o Victimless crimes (drug use and prostitution)  Reactive o Someone reports a crime Strengths  Time-1961 been collected the same way and same information on national level o Homicide rate in Canada was higher in 1975 than today o Consistent from year to year  Place- standardized and collected the same way in all of Canada, we can compare to different cities and countries o Each country collects data and standardizes it in the same way o England has a lower homicide rate than Canada Problems of UCR We are not getting true accurate portrait of crime committed. Most accurate is homicide. 1. Crime-actual number of break and enters is unknown. 2. Reported-we estimate about 2 of every 3 break and enters are reported. 3. Actual-9/10 are actual break and enters. 4. Charged-1/8 actually charged 5. Prosectued-1/20 prosecuted in court 6. Convicted-1/23 convicted of crime (guilty) 7. Sentenced-1/43 actually punished *Funnel This gives a distorted view of what crime is committed Weaknesses 1. Police-a crime not reported to police is not recorded 2. Definition-crime definitions change over time a. Can change the count b. Rape is no longer a crime in Canada as of 1983 i. Now sexual assault level I, ii, iii (rape I or ii) 3. Discretion-police officer decides if they want to press charges. If they don’t, it doesn’t get recorded. Crimes Reported Violent Offences  Homicide-when people are missing it is reported, when body found it is reported.  Attempted murder-someone survives a homicide they are likely to report it  Assault  Abduction  Sexual Offence (L3)  Robbery-must be in presence of victim and there is potential for harm Property Offences  Breaking and Entering  Theft Motor Vehicles  Theft over $200  Theft $200 and under  Have stolen goods  Frauds Organizational Practices  Official statistics o We assume coming from experts that know what they are doing  Assumptions o Because official, we assume they are 100% correct  Problems o Potential for mistakes because taken by humans  Death-someone has died and someone decides how the person died  Could be labeled as suicide (could have been murder)  Labeled a murder but really an accident  Evidence Self-Report Surveys Sociology Origins Strengths  Crime o Certain crimes are far more likely to be captured in police data than others  Class o Regardless of class, most respondents said they have committed a crime (90%)  Authorit
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