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NCJ Number: 168362 Find in a Library
Title: Seeing Ourselves: Exploring the Social Production of Criminological Knowledge in a Qualitative Methods Course
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice Education  Volume:7  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1996)  Pages:65-77
Author(s): R Wright; M Stein
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 13
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A course in the social production of criminological knowledge offered an opportunity to teach advanced honors students qualitative methods in criminology and criminal justice and to overcome the problems involved in such research.
Abstract: The teaching of qualitative methods in criminology and criminal justice has been generally neglected, partly due to the recognition that access to appropriate study sites is dangerous and difficult. Student researchers cannot rush the delicate process of penetrating a hidden or deviant population and cannot develop an understanding of the inner workings of the criminal justice bureaucracy in time to meet course deadlines. The honors course was offered in 1994. Students were asked to study the social production of criminological knowledge in their own department, using participant observation and interviewing, the standard tools of qualitative research. Four males and four females participated in the seminar, which met weekly for 15 weeks. Students performed a different field exercise each week from Week 2 to Week 11. They observed and interviewed faculty members as they went about their work. Perhaps the most important ethical issue involved the need to protect informants' identities; this task was difficult in a department of eight members. The students all concluded that the tenure and promotion process encouraged faculty to focus on research; both students and faculty benefited from the course and the research it produced. 19 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Criminal justice education; Curriculum; Educational courses; Higher education; Research methods
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