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NCJ Number: 91801 Find in a Library
Title: Race, Crime and Criminological Research - Some Unintended Consequences
Journal: Humanity and Society  Volume:6  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1982)  Pages:243-256
Author(s): C E Pope
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper notes that the focus (and subsequent funding) of research, the methodological techniques used in collecting and analyzing data, and the application of research findings may produce unintended racial consequences.
Abstract: Whether publicly stated or not, perceptions of crime and criminals in America are race specific, as black and other minorities are overrepresented in counts of criminals and in criminal victimization. Research focusing on the crime problem is likely to impact more heavily on minority populations; therefore, it is important that social science researchers are aware of the consequences of the focus and sponsorship of research, the techniques used to acquire data, and the possible consequences of their research efforts. There are three lines of inquiry that may prove fruitful in future research focusing on race and crime and that may attenuate erroneous assumptions and conclusions. Traditionally, social science research is cross sectional in considering relationships at one point in time; however most social phenomena are not static. This is particularly true of the criminal justice system, wherein decisions at one point in time are likely to impact decisions at subsequent points. To avoid distortions, it is important that data be collected and analyzed over time. Also, in examining issues relevant to race and crime, researchers should not ignore the organizational contexts in which decisions occur. Finally, as Moore (1973) and Zim (1979) suggest, more effort should be made to include minority personnel in the design and implementation of research projects. Twenty-nine references are provided.
Index Term(s): Minorities; Racial discrimination; Research methods
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