Assignment 1

Practice Questions and answers on crime and devience

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  • Created by: Steph
  • Created on: 31-01-11 15:23
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3) (i) One problem of using Victim Surveys to study the victims of crime is that some
Victims feel embarrassed about admittance to being a victim, such as a victim of rape.
So it doesn't get reported therefore reducing reliability.
(ii) Two problems with interviewing prisoners about their behaviour could be that
because they are in a prison, if anything they said about misbehaviour in the prison, such
as drug abuse got back to one of the wardens, it could add further complications to their
prison sentence.
Another problem could be that most crime committers are thrill seekers, so they could
over exaggerate their stories, reducing the researcher's reliability.
4) As Item A suggests `edge work' is a variety of criminal activities that are committed
for the `thrill'. This is usually seen in workingclass youths in subculture groups as they
the lack the role models and motivation to something more. The increase in gang culture
is now rather large and many of the crimes they commit are related to this so called
If a researcher was to use covert participant observation to investigate edge work as a
motivation for crime, they could join a gang and do the research from there. This would
come across lots of strengths and limitations such as it would give the researcher a good
insight into how the gangs think and what drives them to needing the thrill so bad. This is
a particularly good point for qualitative researchers, as it provides them with details.
Meeting the gangs up front and observing makes the evidence more reliable, as they
don't know why he/she is there, so they are more likely to act natural.
It would need to be studied over a long period of time and the researcher would need to
join different gangs to make the analysis more valid and reliable. This comes with the
problem of access. Many gangs keep to themselves and are very secretive, so the
researcher would need to gain their trust before they open up. Another problem could
be the risk of the researcher going native. If he/she tried edge work and liked it, gained
their respect and was blending in quite well, they could decide they like the lifestyle go
native and then not gain any research.
A better research method would perhaps be to ask the gang to keep diaries as there will
be a reduced chance of going native. A famous researcher who did this was Paul Willis
when he researched `the lads' and their antischool subculture.


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