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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75955 Find in a Library
Title: Macro-cultural Research Design for Testing Competing Macro-strutural Theories on Crime and Deviance
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1980)  Pages:249-260
Author(s): G C V Manen
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Extant archive data may be used to test relationships grounded in systems theory, according to this paper in which a macrostructural integrative theoretical model previously used to predict crime rates is applied to cross-cultural studies.
Abstract: This model was evolved for Washington, DC, from empirical tests of competing theoretical traditions over an 81-year period. As a result, a four-factor theoretically based paradigm of interacting change processes has been developed and analytically projected to other institutional levels and interactions contributing to conformity and deviance rates. The model can be universally applied but the weight of each of the four factors is expected to vary over time and place. The first factor controlling crime and deviance levels is the economic instability-stability factor which includes strain or stress caused by losses during business cycles, unequal distributions of wealth and changing social class distributions. The second, ecological factor, emphasizes the destruction of social relationships due to movements of population and industrialization. The Formal Controls factor refers to a possible macro-level effect of the criminal justice system in labeling processes that work to raise crime rates. The Value Consensus-Dissensus factor relates to alienation-anomie caused by breakdown of informal controls, morality, and crime. Through this approach, case histories of cities in varying stages and types of economic and political development can be compared. Longitudinal rather than cross-sectional studies can facilitate this goal. Thus, the tactic is to avoid direct comparisons of crime data between cities, while favoring comparisons of relationships, as to their direction (positive or inverse) and the gross degree of such correlations. This strategy avoids the pitfalls of direct comparisons of crime and deviance rates between cultures, minimizes concern with the 'dark figure' of unreported crime, and is testable in many locales with the creative use of inexpensive, official archive data. Data sources and about 40 references are included.
Index Term(s): Crime rate studies; Cross-cultural analyses; Cultural influences; Longitudinal studies; Models; Socioculture
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Cross-cultural Theory Construction and Testing Panel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 1979.
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