Sociology - Official Statistics + Crime & Deviance

  • Created by: Iqra
  • Created on: 21-12-12 21:11
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  • Official Statistics {Crime & Deviance}
    • Practical Issues
      • Due to the government providing the information, the researcher saves time and money
      • The information can be used to make comparisons between offending rates for different classes, ethnic groups or genders.
      • Can also be used to examine trends over time .
      • Governments are interested in the same crime and deviance issues so stats produced by the government are likely to be very useful for researchers.
      • However official definitions of key concepts may differ from those that sociologists use like social class.
    • Representativeness
      • Some OS are highly representative due to police forces being required to keep records
      • However for interpretivists, there is a large 'dark' figure due to social processes being changed. This dark figure are all crimes that unreported and unrecorded, and that this decreases its representativeness.
    • Reliablity
      • Government uses standard defs and cats in collection of crime stats.
      • The same collection is replicated each year, this allows direct comparisons.
      • However governments could change their defs, cats or rules about recording offences. Like for instance where similar offences have occurred, only the most serious one may be counted
    • Validity
      • Interpretivists challenge the validity as they see them as being socially constructed.
        • Crime stats are the outcome of interactions between police, suspects and others based on labels and typification etc
      • Self report studies may provide more valid stats compared to those based on crimes known by the police.
  • Can also be used to examine trends over time .


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