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What are the uses of both qualitative and quantitative research methods for the criminological understanding of patterns and trends of crime and victimisation?

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Introduction

What are the uses of both qualitative and quantitative research methods for the criminological understanding of patterns and trends of crime and victimisation? Both quantitative and qualitative research methods help successfully provoke the required data for the criminological understanding of patterns and trends of crime and victimisation. Both methods have disadvantages and advantages linked with requiring the needed data, it can be argued that one method is more beneficial than the other due to the nature of this research yet it can also be argued that both research methods combined will be able to successfully provoke the required data drawing attention not only to cause and affect but also the numerical data which can help highlight the crime which is most significant in the contemporary UK. Quantitative methods provoke numerical data which can be tabulated. It can take the form of questionnaires, surveys and structured interviews. Quantitative methods produce results which have to be transcribed and can take the form of unstructured interviews, case studies and covert and overt observations. Qualitative research methods provoke rich and multi dimensional data which is high in validity. The nature of the question being examined is highly sensitive; therefore it would be proven to use quantitative methods which can take the form of an unstructured interview. ...read more.

Middle

Added to this, this method is not reliable as it is unlikely that the same answers will be provoked if asked again. Therefore it lowers reliability and makes it difficult to generalise, quantify or get a representative sample. It is not a systematic method. With no preset questions and relying on the skills of the interviewer the results are difficult to verify and reliability is inevitably lowered. The interviewers presence and the way questions are asked may affect results. This means it can lack objectivity. The interviewer may even offer their own opinions which may bias the results regarding criminological understanding of patterns and trends of crime and victimisation. The interviewer may be too close to the subject and alter their findings without realising. Thus having a direct effect on the results causing them to be unreliable and unrepresentative. Bias may also occur during the detailed analysis process. Finally the experiment can be seen as unnatural; therefore the validity of the results must be questioned. Qualitative data is a cheap reliable method which provokes representative results which can be generalised as regards to criminological understanding of patterns and trends of crime and anti social behaviour. The researcher already knows clearly in advance what trends and patterns they want to identify which makes it a quick method. ...read more.

Conclusion

This method also helps to build up rapport between the interviewer and the interviewee which may help with the validity of the results which is a positive factor. Added to this fact is the interviewee may give out more information to the researcher due to the fact that they are able to talk freely, although this is a longer process and more costly than other research methods on the whole it is a lot more effective. Another benefit of using this method is that crimes that may have previously been ignored in the official crime statistic come to light, given a more representative understanding of crime patterns and victimisation. However we must not dismiss quantitative methods as theses methods as these help us find the cause and effect and produce much needed numerical statistics which help to reinforce or dismiss peoples opinion of crime. It also a cheaper method which is highly reliable and can be replicated- surely a positive characteristic which can not be taken into account when using quantitative methods. To conclude I feel that the best approach when attempting to look at the criminological understanding of trends and patterns o crime and victimisation. By using multiple methods you are able to collect multiple methods of data which helps to show the understanding of patterns and crime and victimisation. ...read more.

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