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Lecture Two.docx

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SOC 1500
Michelle Dumas

January 15, 2014 Crime and Criminal Justice: Lecture Two Research Design -trying to gain knowledge about a particular topic -a research question you want to have answered Exploration -when you are typically exploring a topic that is relatively new -cybercrime, identity theft (did not occur to the same extent that it does now) -focus groups, marketing, regular persons Description -trying to describe a phenomenon, situation, events or people -observe and then describe what is going on in the data -census data (to describe the Canadian population) Explanation -to explain a phenomenon -why some cities might have some crime rates than others -to explore difference between countries or cities to determine how they are different in an effort to explain what is going on in the data Modes of Observation Experiments -not typically done in sociology -well suited when you have a hypothesis you want tested -the cause and effect of a phenomenon -Independent variable – causing something to happen -Dependent variable – the effect of whatever cause we are observing -often pretesting and post testing -test before the experiment to see what the results are, then the variables are presented to determine if there is a difference between the pre and post testing -to see if the variable has an effect -Experimental group – the ones that are receiving the experiment -the control group does not receive the stimulus -if the two groups differ, something is having an effect -Advantages - you can isolate particular variables you want to test, it can be repeated overtime -experiments typically are done in an artificial setting which may not occur in a natural social setting (disadvantages) Quantitative -empirical – what can be counted -usually refers to surveys to collect about people – census -in person, interview, by phone, handing out, online, electronically -surveys and quantitative research employs scientific analysis to analyze results -we can replicate surveys, sending them to different groups to verify results -can help us gather information about large populations (send it to everyone in Canada) – advantageous -relies on statistical analysis -it is extremely flexible – many ways to gather information -categories are already predetermined, limited amount of categories that you can choose from even if none might be suitable, you may have a topic that is not easily answered through a questionnaire, people might not know how to answer a question or will be reluctant to answer the question, it is up for interpretation which can lead to skewed results (disadvantages) Qualitative -researchers that observe people in their natural settings -someone is watching people and take extensive notes -it is good to see how people talk to one another, how people interact in social settings -through participant or non-participant observation, you can participate with them or just observe them -they may not know you are observing them for research purposes -the work of Howard Becker (1963) – Outsiders – how to become a marijuana user – he learned how to in jest marijuana (he was a participant observation) -in depth interviews – open ended questions that you ask people trying to get as much depth and details as possible – to get life history, childhood, life decisions ( typically done with serial killers to determine why they killed the individuals the way they did and why they targeted certain people to profile for other killers) -case studies – observing one small group over time to know more about a certain group – nudist colonies -Ethnography – spend time immersed in another culture to get to know the group they are studying very well – Stephen Whyte, live with the people you are studying -Field Research – following people in their occupation, following police officers to see how they approach juveniles and adults and how they interact with others, sitting with crown attorneys while they are talking to determine which courses to go forward and which to dismiss – do not directly participate -a lot of validity – we measure what we think we are measure, we know that we are researching what we expect to, the researcher is directly collecting the data you need -you can observe people that are unwilling, unable or don’t have time to fill out surveys (strengths) -it can capture rich detail that wouldn’t be determined from a simple survey -can be 100s of pages of notes -watching people in their natural settings, there isn’t an artificial setting like that of a laboratory -sample sizes are very small, attention is focussed on a few people (20-40 people) -due to the small sample size, you cannot generalize -it can be dangerous for the researcher because they are not protected, they don’t have the same privileges of judges or crown attorneys -charges can be used against you if you are caught in a criminal act -when people know they are being observed, it can alter their behaviour Content Analysis -you can use qualitative or quantitative to analyze audio visual text -television shows, movies, online reporting, newspapers -used in media and communication studies in particular -you can make comparisons across the medium (different television shows or stations – the way a news story is told in a newspaper, on different stations) Quantitative -Manifest content -what is on the surface content -typically something we can count, how much time is devoted, can be counted calculated and compared -a significant difference between adult and juvenile crime – on average a story on an adult is told for 30seconds, and for juveniles 90seconds Qualitative -Latent content -the unintended or under the surface -pictures and video they chose to use, the language -kids crime is described in a more graphic tone and focus more on violent crimes and how violent young people are Designing a Research Project -depends on your question, what you are trying to answer Experiment Milgrim (1963, 1965) -how do people become obedient, and how obedient are people in general -recruited 40 males between the age of 20 and 65 -the unknown person was the teacher and the student knew about the experiment -when the student got the question wrong, they were given an electric shock until they got up to 450volts -no one stopped administering shocks until they got up to 300volts, 65% went up to 450 volts Qualitative Humphreys (1970) Tearoom Trade -he wanted to see the interaction of homosexual males -he recorded people’s license plates to visit their homes later -if anyone looked under the age of 20, they did not want to interact with children -many were married to women, had important occupations, etc -seen as a huge invasion of privacy Ethics -in the interest of knowledge we are sometimes invading a level of privacy, there has often been an enormous amount of deceit -from Milgram’s experiment, people ended up hospitalized and had to attend extensive therapy thinking they had seriously harmed or killed someone -we must prohibit and protect people from harm -emotional or psychological distress -protect people from physical harm -we are expected to minimize deceit as much as possible -informed consent – inform people about the nature of that research and allow people to know they can terminate their involvement at any time, they do not have to participate in anything that is not in their best interest -people must consent before the experiment -the right to privacy for legal and non-legal reasons (with the law, with family) – you cannot identify them in their research (anonymously) Measuring Deviance and Crime Through Official Statistics -collected and recorded by police -Statistics Canada collect information from court, punishment, number of guilty individuals -the official statistics that have been collected is known as the Uniform Crime Reporting – UCR -the UCR is done the same in all countries, it has been standardized so they can be compared across time and places -In the USA the UCR is collected through the FBI (Federal Police Force) UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) -collecting statistics from police Police Proactively aware of crime – come across crime on their own through their jobs -usually related to gambling and drugs Reactively aware of crime – people report crimes and they react and respond to them Strengths – we can compare statistics across time to see how crime has changed (to see the increase in homicides rates and across countries and cities Weaknesses -if a crime is not reported t
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