Humphreys - Tea Room Trade

He observed gay sexual encounters in public restrooms.

Aim: To exsplain how such encounters and the social structure they require worked and to investigate rules and meaning attached to the encounters. 


- Lasted 2 years and fell 2 stages 

1. Unsystemtatic observation, made researcher notes in tapes after each observation in his car

2. More systematic observation, detailed 'systematic observation sheet' filled for 50 encounters (gay), and further 30 observed by 'co-operating participants'. 

- Recorded people present, room position, age, clothes etc and other things like time of day. Sheet filled out directly after and more detail added later. 

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Humphreys - Tea Room Trade


- Two types of interviews to supplement data gained from observation. 

- Informed 12 particpents of his research and interviewed them (some written/some taped)

- Further 50 were interviewed (informally) with men he had observed. 

- The sample was gained by noting car registrations and tracking down names/adresses of these owners with police help (men unaware of being involved in study) 

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Humphreys - Tea Room Trade (Weaknesses)

- Aceptance does not come easily therefore it was difficult to move beyond supperfical contact in public places and get invertations to private parties. 

- Ethical concerns e.g. no informed consent, right to withdraw, invasion of privacy, no debreifing etc and some areas of human behaviour are not fit for scientific study e.g. sex

-  Generalisations are limited due to the small scale of men in the study

- Difficulties with recording observations e.g. Humphries tried to write it up as after the event he could. This could mean that information is missed or not remembered correctly.

- Problems of missrepsenting 

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Humphreys - Tea Room Trade (Strengths)

- In his observation he was a ' Watch Queen' (somone who got satisfaction from watching others have sex) this meant he could observe without causing alarm/disturbing the action.

- Being a 'Watch Queen' also Helped gain accsess to data and facilitated linking of participants in homosexual acts with automability. 

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Mark Daley - Secret Policeman

Undercover journelist (Mark Daley) trained to be a policeman in Manchester to investigate instututional racism within the police force

Aim: to investigate police practice, policies and individuals

- He spent 7 months undercover immursing himself in the police force using covert participant observation. He secretly filmed individuals while observing them during his time in the force. 

- He found that while Manchester has an ethnic minority of 6% (the highest in the uk) the police force only had 3% ethnic minority enrolled. 

- He saw that while the police force had many polices and education against racism for example the use of racist language it failed to irradicate institutional racism due to many officers haveing extrem racist views. For example one stating he ' would do as much as he could get away with'. 

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Mark Daley - Secret Policeman (Strengths)

- Using covert Observation allowed him to be able to acsess the information more easily as the respondents are likely to be more open and honest with him. 

- Using hidden camras he was able to exspose racisms with the force as the new recruits spoke freely as did the tutors inhancing validity.

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- Milgram used covert non-participant observation to research obdeience to authority. 

- He told his respondents he was conducting test on the effects of punishment on learning and got respondets to adopt the role of 'teacher'. This meant asking 'punishing' every wrong answer the student (an actor/research associate) gave with an 'eletric shock' that would get worse with every wrong answer. 

- Every wrong answer the 'student' would scream in pain (all fake)

- In response the teacher sweated, trembled and showed other signs of stress when 'punishing' the student. Despite this a large amount continued to follow orders. 

- This concluded that ordinary people will follow inhumane orders of they believe it comes from legitmate authority

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Milgram (weakness)

- Ethical issues

- Issues with right to withdraw as respondents continued due to the money they recieved and others stating they felt forced due to being intimidated.

- He decieved the respondents in many ways e.g. not aware the students were actors, unaware the shock wasn't real and therefor the suffering was fake. Thurfurther more, were not aware of the nature of the exsperiment

- Broke ' protection of subject' as he caused respondents a great deal of stressfor the duration of th studie. Therefore can be argued that respondents health was at risk

- Using non-participant observation can cause the research to be subjective as the lack of understanding may make some of the findings biased and coloured by his personal predictions, belifs and pre-conceptions. 

- Issues with the sample methord, as he used volenture/self-selected sample which compromises how representative the sample is.

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Milgram (Strength)

- High in reliability as it can be replicated and the results are consistant.

- Both qualitative and quantitave data was collected meaning he could come to a good consusion using both.

- His study was important as it has been useful to exsplain why people commit certain crimes and to exsplain why the holicourst happened.

- He thoroughly de-breifed and de-hoxed. He then kept in touch with the respondents for years after as part of de-breifing to make sure his study left no lasting physical or mental health damage. 

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The Offending Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS)

- Conducted by the National Centure for Social Research and the British Research Bureau (2005). One of the first longnitudinal, self-report offending surveys for England and Walse. 

- This was first carried out in 2003 with follow up surveys in each of the next 3 years invovling a panel of 5,000 young people and covered the same ground as the British Crime Survey, asking about vitimisation and what crime has been committed. 

- used 3 kinds of computer-assisted interviewing:

1. Computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) - Interviewer reads questions from a laptop and enters respondents answer.

2. Computer-assisted self interviewing (CASI) - Respondent reads the question themselves from a laptop and answers themselves without assistence from the interviewer

3. Audio computer assisted self-interviewing (A-CASI) - Like CASI but respondents can listen to the question on headphones. Allowing individuals with reading difficulties to take part. 

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The Offending Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS) (Wea

- A-CASI provides some assurance about confidentiality however, likely that not all respondents were truthful. 

- Can show factors associated with victimisation and offending but not the nature of this relationship.

- Children under 10 remain excluded and most other research on crime. 

- Self-report studies often lack validity as respondents may concel the extent of crime, not trust interviewer, believe the adminstrate of the crime leads to the arrest or other punishments. 

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The Offending Crime and Justice Survey (Strength)

- Using CASI and A-CASI made it more likely that valid responses could be obtained. 

- 97% of respondents said they answered honestly as they felt comfortable with confidentiality. 

- Able to collect a large sample quickly 

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The British Crime Survey England and Wales

The BCS is a victimisation study which was first carried out in 1982 and now annually asking all respondents about crimes reported or not reported. Results of the survey are published with the offical crime statistics collected by the police.

- Main methord used is questionairs administered by face-to-face interviews, designed to be representative of households, private/residential accomudation and 16+ in England and Walse.      - Excludes student resedents in halls, prisions, those in resident care, members of the armed forces and children. 

- sampling frame stratified to obtain 650 interviews in each police force area with randomly selected households.  (also use a boster sample for ethnic minority groups)

- questions consisted of: recall of incidents or crimes in 12 months, relating respondents local area e.g. length of residency/ main issues local area/how safe they feel etc.

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The British Crime Survey England and Wales (weakne

- Baised on large sample but it is not comprohensive and cannot measure all types of crime e.g. 'victimless crime' including illegal drugs, sexual assult and domestic violence. 

- A review suggests extending the coverage e.g. using under 16s, introducing CASI etc. 

- Victims may forget trivial crimes or lie about having reported crime to the police therefore the findings may not be valid.

- It's a household survey and does not question homeless people or people living in communal establishments such as prison or care homes 

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The British Crime Survey England and Wales (Streng

- BCS make a very valuable contributation towards understanding the extent of crime and experience of vixtime. 

- Useful for tracking change over time

- The results are published with the offical crime statistics. By representing the two sets of results together it helped to get a fuller picture of how crime can be obtained than from one set alone. 

- It is high in reliability 

- Able to obtain a large sample cheaply and quickly

- Large sample means that the survey is generalisable

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Ann Oakley - From Here to Maternity

Aim: To look at the experience of becoming a mother in modern British Society

- Prior to the research Oakley spent 6 months as an observer in London hospitals from which she chose her sample.

- Sample based on 66 women from London hospital. It was selected to enable general points to be made about the exsperience of being 1st time mother. So, certain groups were excluded e.g. ethnic minorites and only one hospital area. 


- 4 interviews with each women at intervals in there pregnancy. (also attending 6 of the births)

- By the 4th interview her sample had fallen to 55 due to 4 miscarriages, one premiture baby at another hospital and 5 moved to far away to continue. 

- All interviews were taped lasting 2.36h 

- All interviews were carried out herself and included a number of very open questions, some being extremly personal while others more general. 

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