This book provides an introduction to research and some of the methods in the field of crime and justice and related areas, including police, prisons and criminal justice policy making.
Less a dry 'how to' book, it is concerned rather to provide a wide-ranging discussion that illustrates the kind of research that has been done in particular areas, the findings of previous studies, the pitfalls of 'real life' research (and some potential solutions) and the range of possible research methods and approaches - both qualitative and quantitative. It shows how appropriate methods are chosen for particular studies and explores the theoretical underpinnings of the studies, including how and why researchers use theory; the political and ethical issues; and the role of emotions such as fear and danger in researching the field of crime and criminal justice.
Key features include:
- First hand interviews with leading 'hands on' academics
- Examples, excerpts and sources of original research
- Analysis of the theories, methods and outcomes of previous research
Throughout the book there is an emphasis on the often troublesome (and often ignored) relationship between the topic of study, desired outcomes and suitable methods, with a wide range of illustrative case studies. Here the approach is practical - pointing out the different approaches various studies have used and how their outcome is often determined by their choice of methods. The book also reflects on the philosophies of research and includes discussions about the way the choice of methods will be reflected in the findings and vice versa (which seems obvious but is often forgotten).
Researching Crime and Justice: Tales from the Field will be an essential source of inspiration and ideas for criminology students and other researchers on crime and justice.