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NCJ Number: 97930 Find in a Library
Title: Need for Qualitative Interpretations of Criminal Justice Research - The American Minority Situation
Journal: Crime and Justice  Volume:7/8  Issue:3/4  Dated:(1979/1980)  Pages:209-213
Author(s): L French
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: The need for more and better qualitative interpretations of criminal justice, particularly as it relates to minority issues, is discussed.
Abstract: The advent of computerized statistical packages and the availability of private and public computer data banks have contributed to a greater emphasis on secondary analysis and data manipulation as an end in itself. This ex post facto type of research often is used to generate articles and disseminate misleading information. Studies using ex post facto analysis are summarized to illustrate how the use of secondary data and sloppy methodology may contribute to misrepresentation and the enhancement of negative stereotypes of minority groups. The studies summarized are Wolfgang and Amir's Philadelphia studies, Reason's Indian study, and an analysis using the North Carolina Department of Correction's RAPSTAT program. A plausible solution to the dilemma of minority research is offered by the use of qualitative methods which incorporate the minority view, such as phenomenological ethnomethodological approaches. The introduction of a minority perspective into qualitative research would serve to check the obvious white-Anglosaxon-Protestant ethnocentrism of the male-dominated criminal justice system. Computer analysis of quantifiable data must remain a methodological means. Statistical manipulators should play merely a technical role in providing services to others who have a broader theoretical and cultural knowledge of the population under study. Forty references are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Ethnomethodology; Evaluation of evaluation; Minorities; Racial discrimination; Research methods; Secondary data analysis
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