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Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

4. How criminology produces knowledge  

This chapter investigates how researchers create knowledge in criminology. It covers two themes: first, the empirical research methods used in the discipline, and how understanding and knowledge of crime can be developed by applying, analysing, and evaluating criminological information. Secondly, the chapter discusses how this knowledge and understanding is influenced by the three important and interlinking factors of subjectivity (personal and disciplinary perspectives and opinions), supposition (guesswork, assumption), and study (for example, scholarship and conducting empirical and other types of research). ‘Empirical methods’ are the generation of evidence through (sensory) experience, particularly using experiments and observations. The chapter looks at the different research methods available to criminologists, covering both primary and secondary sources.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

32. Conducting criminological research  

This chapter focuses on the process of conducting criminological research. Regardless of the size of the research, the same key principles and elements apply. The chapter begins by looking at how to choose a research or dissertation topic and how to conduct the necessary academic reading in this area and decide on an appropriate research methodology for that topic. It then considers how the project can be effectively planned and organised, and provides some advice on writing up the research and demonstrating critical thinking. Finally, the chapter identifies the fundamental ethical principles for conducting research: encouraging engagement with ethical thinking that goes further than a tick on a box of a dissertation proposal. These steps will develop the research experience and skills necessary for the ‘next step’ of continuing higher education or progressing into employment.

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Cover Criminology

5. Researching crime and criminal justice  

Emma Wincup

This chapter charts the development of the empirical research tradition in criminology; outlines the range of research designs and methods available to criminological researchers; draws attention to the particular challenges criminologists face when conducting research; and identifies new methodological developments currently influencing criminology.

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Cover Criminology Skills

16. Dissertations and research reports  

Many criminology students will be required to produce a dissertation or research report in their final year. This chapter distinguishes between these two pieces of work and offers practical advice on the requirements of each. It addresses skills such as selecting a workable research question and developing an effective relationship with supervisors, and also provides guidance on how to organize workload and create a suitable structure for a dissertation or report.

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Cover Criminology Skills

1. What is criminology?  

This introductory chapter attempts to answer the question ‘what is criminology?’ by exploring the origin of criminology as a discipline together with an overview of some of the types of question that may be of interest to criminologists. It sets out the structure of the remainder of the book, the first part of which introduces the source material that is commonly used in the study of criminology. The second part focuses on academic skills, while the final part concentrates on research methods.

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Cover Criminology Skills

12. Research ethics  

This chapter discusses the importance of research ethics in criminology, with emphasis on ethical issues arising from research using human participants. It first considers the value of ethical approaches to research and moves on to address the particular issues raised by criminological research. It draws on the British Society of Criminology Statement of Ethics to explore the core ethical principles of confidentiality, anonymity, consent, and the avoidance of harm. The final section offers guidance on identifying and addressing ethical issues raised by one’s own research, along with suggestions on points to consider when formulating an application for approval for a Research Ethics Committee.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Textbook on Criminology

11. Gender and feminist criminology  

Pamela Ugwudike

This chapter focuses on criminological studies of gender, particularly women’s experiences as offenders and victims, and the extent to which women’s offending and victimisation are interlinked. It begins with an overview of how gender features in criminological studies then considers the origins and principles of feminist criminology, which is a strand of criminology that has heavily influenced criminological studies of gender and crime. The chapter also explores the main theoretical traditions within feminist criminology and the philosophical orientations that influence feminist research. This exploration includes the criticisms levelled against feminist criminology. Finally, the chapter examines how more recent strands of feminist thought have tried to respond to these criticisms.

Book

Cover The Politics of the Police

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James W E Sheptycki

In its fifth edition, The Politics of the Police has been revised, updated, and extended to take account of recent changes in the law, policy, organization, and social contexts of policing. It builds upon the previous editions’ political economy of policing to encompass a wide global and transnational scope, and to reflect the growing diversity of policing forms. This volume explores the highly charged debates that surround policing, including the various controversies that have led to a change in the public’s opinion of the police in recent years, as well as developments in law, accountability, and governance. The volume sets out to analyse what the police do, how they do it and with what effects, how the mass media shape public perceptions of the police, and how globalization, privatization, militarization, and securitization are impacting on contemporary police work. It concludes with an assessment of what we can expect for the future of policing.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

21. Surveillance and security in a risk society  

Richard Jones

This chapter considers the issues of security, risk, and surveillance. It discusses the meaning of these terms within criminology; introduces key relevant theories; summarizes criminological research in these areas; identifies some new security and surveillance technologies; and discusses their implications, concerns, and debates surrounding their use.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

7. Crime and media: understanding the connections  

Chris Greer

This chapter examines the link between crime and media. It summarizes major themes and debates that have shaped the research agenda, and considers some less well-rehearsed issues such as the changing global communications marketplace, the development of new media technologies, and the significance of these for understanding the connections between crime and media. The chapter is organized as follows. The first section offers some background information and addresses the crucial question of why exploring media images of crime and control is important. The second section considers how scholars have researched crime and media, and presents an overview of the main findings. The third section examines the dominant theoretical and conceptual tools that have been used to understand and explain media representations of crime. The final section considers the evidence for the influence of media representations, both on criminal behaviour and fear of crime.

Book

Cover Criminology Skills

Emily Finch and Stefan Fafinski

Criminology Skills covers both study skills and research skills in one manageable volume. The text is designed to enable you to develop an integrated understanding of the key skills required to succeed in your study of criminology. A three-part structure introduces you to the skills of finding source materials and takes you through the academic skills you will need to succeed in your degree, before finishing with a section on research methods and writing dissertations and research reports. The book provides an ideal introduction to the key study and research skills that you will need to demonstrate during your study and practice of criminology. Criminology Skills first helps you establish a strong skills foundation before incrementally building to a more advanced level increasing the competence, and confidence, with which you will be able to approach projects that require strong academic and research skills. After an introduction to the study of criminology, the book covers: books and journals; statistics and official publications; media and web sources; criminal law; study skills; writing skills; referencing and avoiding plagiarism; essay writing; presentations; revision and examinations; research ethics; gathering data; quantitative analysis; qualitative analysis; and dissertations and research reports. It is accompanied by online resources.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

43. Criminological engagements  

Alison Liebling, Fergus McNeill, and Bethany E. Schmidt

This chapter considers the relationships between criminology and the worlds of penal policy, practice, and activism. It focuses, in particular, on the day-to-day interactions the authors of the chapter forge in their research lives and on their effects and failures as engaged criminologists. The chapter supports forms of criminological engagement that are subtle, long term, and relational rather than occasional, mechanical, linear, or instrumental, and proposes that these forms of engagement improve understanding but require constant reflection and negotiation. This chapter argues that knowledge-generation is slow and cumulative; it takes time to ‘read a situation’ in complex human and social environments and it should be an iterative process with those in research, in practice, or with lived experience teaching and learning from each other every step of the way. For knowledge to ‘do good’, it needs to be (qualitatively) ‘good’. It should be produced through patient, honest, rigorous, and disciplined, but also deeply engaged, forms of enquiry. This chapter suggests that our institutional structures often fail to support this model of research.

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Cover Criminology

23. Policing  

Trevor Jones

This chapter, which considers some key themes within policing research, begins by discussing the definition of ‘policing’, and its growth as a focus of political concern and criminological enquiry. It outlines the organization and structure of policing in England and Wales. The chapter then examines what the police actually do in practice; provides an overview of some contrasting models of policing; and explores several key debates within the policing literature.

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Cover Criminology

6. Psychology and crime: understanding the interface  

Keith Hayward and Craig Webber

This chapter, which introduces the ways in which psychological research has contributed to the understanding of crime and the criminal justice system. It combines a general review of some of the more prominent psychological explanations of criminal behaviour with some brief examples of how this work came to be employed in criminological theory and practice. At various intervals, the chapter also adopts a more reflexive stance in a bid to develop some critical insights into the way that ‘criminological psychology’ is portrayed and perceived within the popular imagination.

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Cover Criminology

6. Poverty, anomie and strain  

This chapter discusses the common and understandable belief that poverty can be a significant factor underlying offending. It considers first the research evidence connecting crime with poverty and unemployment and then takes a wider view of the ways in which the structuring of society can create pressures on individuals to break the law. From the earliest times, people have sought to equate crime with poverty. If this belief is correct, there should be more crime in areas where more poor people live and at times when overall levels of poverty are higher. It was not until the development of national crime statistics in the nineteenth century that any evaluation could be made of this widely held view.

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Cover Criminology

8. Interactionism and phenomenology  

This chapter focuses on two alternative hypotheses regarding crime and criminal behaviour. The first, based on interactionism, is that crime is not an objective entity, but a consequence of social processes that occur in societies made up of different value systems and in which particular individuals are able to influence both the actual and perceived status of others. As the name suggests, interactionism refers to the processes by which people come to react to their own self-image, their view of others and their perception of how others see them, as well as the settings in which they meet or interact with others. The second, based on phenomenology, is that it is impossible to impose meaning on the behaviour of others and that the only function of a ‘scientific’ researcher can be to provide an adequate account of the meaning of behaviour for the actors themselves. Phenomenology is a German philosophy developed during the 1950s by Harold Garfinkel.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

43. Criminological engagements  

Alison Liebling, Fergus McNeill, and Bethany E. Schmidt

This chapter considers the relationships between criminology and the worlds of penal policy and practice. It focuses in particular on the day-to-day interactions the authors of the chapter forge in their research lives and on their ‘effects’ and failures as ‘engaged criminologists’. The chapter supports forms of criminological engagement that are subtle, long term and relational rather than occasional, mechanical, linear, or instrumental, and proposes that these forms of engagement improve understanding but require constant reflection and negotiation. This chapter argues that knowledge-generation is slow and cumulative; it takes time to ‘read a situation’ in complex human and social environments and it should be an iterative process with the research community and the world of practice teaching, learning from each other at every step of the way. Research participants welcome a ‘full’ research presence of the kind described in this chapter. For knowledge to ‘do good’, it needs to be (qualitatively) ‘good’ and should be produced through patient, honest, rigorous, and disciplined but also deeply engaged forms of enquiry. This chapter suggests that our institutional structures often fail to support this model of research.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

27. Crime prevention as urban security  

Adam Adam, Susan Donkin, and Christine A. Weirich

This chapter reviews the learning and accumulated research evidence that has developed over the last 40 years or so with regard to crime prevention, community safety, and urban security. It begins by tracing the historic emergence of the modern ‘preventive turn’, its evolution and institutionalization within the UK, across successive waves of development. In doing so, it highlights three broad periods of change which are characterized as: the ‘early years’ of innovation and experimentation (from the late 1970s to the early 1990s); the period marked by ‘expansion and elaboration’ informed by infrastructure building and the opening up of crime prevention to incorporate wider features of community safety and perceptions of insecurity (the late 1990s to 2010); and ‘fragmentation and retrenchment’ marked by austerity and the rise of vulnerability as an organizing focus for service provision (2010 to the present). It situates the British experience in the wider context of Europe with a particular focus on urban policies, city-level strategies and delivery through multi-sectoral partnerships. This comparative framing helps to understand the particular British experience, its development, trajectories, persisting fault-lines and future challenges. Consideration is given to some of the recurring challenges that feature both across time and across jurisdictions. In particular, the question of institutional responsibility for prevention and the dissonance between the research knowledge base and contemporary policy and practice are explored.

Chapter

Cover The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

31. Understanding penal decision-making: Courts, sentencing, and parole  

Nicola Padfield and Cyrus Tata

This chapter expounds on the understanding of penal decision-making under the critical perspective that understands the interplay between courts, sentencing, and parole. It examines key issues in the daily realities of the work of sentencing and parole and their implications for research and policy. Conventional wisdom and popular assumptions about criminal justice have been led by a preoccupation with the most serious, glamorous cases. The chapter highlights the significance of the presumption of innocence, citing that cases are judged as unique and criminal justice agencies work autonomously in penal decision-making. It considers several strategies to reduce the use of imprisonment by promoting community alternatives

Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Police

1. Watching the watchers: Theory and research in policing studies  

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

This chapter offers a broad introduction to the study of policing. It first outlines the concepts of police and policing, and the long-term evolution of these processes, with an emphasis on the idea of policing as an aspect of social control. There is discussion of the notion of the police as a body of people patrolling public places in blue uniforms, with a broad mandate of crime control, order maintenance, and some social service and specialist functions. The chapter then considers various sources of police research ranging from journalists and academic institutions to official government-related bodies, think-tanks, and pressure groups. It also looks at the development of police research. The concluding section offers an analysis of the vexed conceptual relationship between policing and politics.