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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78587 Find in a Library
Title: InternationalSummaries: Comparative Method in Criminology
Author(s): G Kaiser
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: J-LEAA-023-77
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS Publication Sales
Box 6000 Department F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The use, advantages, and limitations of the comparative method in international criminological studies are explained.
Abstract: The comparative criminology method has developed considerably from its start in the early 20th century to its prominent position in contemporary criminology. Today, the main areas of comparative international studies include international crime statistics, inquiries into the dark figures of various countries by means of victim interviews, empirical research involving study and control groups, studies of public attitudes concerning legal and correctional issues, systems analysis, and comparisons of the agencies of social control in different countries. The comparative method is a valuable criminological tool since it (1) broadens the perspective and subject range of researchers, (2) sharpens awareness of different sociocultural systems, (3) makes research data from other countries available where national studies are missing, (4) confronts legislators with alternative legal solutions from other countries, and (5) tests the applicability of a particular model or legal theory in a country having a different social framework. At the same time, the comparative method faces considerable methodological problems such as the lack of a unified international body of theory, the inability of establishing valid international crime statistics, the difficulty of finding truly comparable groups for study, and the difficulty of comparisons and drawing conclusions from dissimilar sociocultural and political systems. At this point, the comparative method represents a challenge to criminology that can be met only through persistent efforts and cautious verification of results. The article contains an outline, numerous bibliographical references, and detailed summaries in English, French and Spanish.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Criminology; International crime statistics; International organizations; Multinational studies; Research; Research design
Note: This article, summarized and translated from German by Sybille Jobin, was originally published in West Germany in 1978. NIJ/NCJRS international summary of "Die vergleichende Methode in der Kriminologie" (NCJ-61189).
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