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Analyzing a criminal justice research article

Locate a recent criminal justice research article from a recognized peer-reviewed professional journal or government publication.
Note. Non-peer-reviewed newspaper articles or articles from popular magazines, such as Time or Newsweek, are not acceptable.

Address the following:
- Identify the purpose of the research study, problem, and questions.
- Describe the design of the study.
- Identify an operational definition used by the researchers.
- Provide one example of inductive logic and one example of deductive logic presented in the results.
- Identify whether the research study is a quantitative or qualitative design. Explain your answer.
- Identify the methodology, population, sampling methods, and return rate, if applicable.
- What were the findings of the study?
- Describe the author's conclusions and recommendations.
- In your opinion, could the study have been done differently or improved? Detail your response.

Solution Preview

Social Dislocation, Crime and Discontent:

McVeigh, R (2006) Structural Influences on Activism and Crime: Identifying the Social Structure of Discontent. American Journal of Sociology, 112(2), 510-556

The purpose of this study is to see how the main variables of social activism, crime inequality and diversity affect each other. The basic argument is that crime and social activism will have the same set of social roots. The question concerns how people perceive the arrangement of resources in their neighborhood. All politics is local. The issue then comes down to fairness, not inequality. Fairness suggests, at least to Americans, that merit justifies inequality. When that merit cannot be ascertained, then it becomes a justice issue.

Crime and protest are often considered as two sides of the same coin. Protest was seen as just another form of disintegration, no different than crime, but of course, a bit more constructive. Social protest and crime, so it is argued, have the same causal variables. Social tension is rooted in alienation, discontent, and inequality. Protest under this view, comes from the same equally alienated people (511).

The Issues

Crime and activism are rooted in the same set of circumstances, but this does not mean they co-vary. It's just that they have the same origin. It needs also to be mentioned that activists and criminals are two very different groups of people. Arguing for a common root here is strange only because activists tend to come from strong social networks, while criminals do not.

The structure of a specific society affects how people vent frustration because it can limit available options and resources. The real issue here is heterogeneity. This can be a source for inter-group cooperation, but just as commonly, it can be the cause for disruption. When groups are tightly bound to one other, that is, are very cohesive, they have a strong sense of their interests. Any social injustice can quickly mobilize such closely knit groups (516). These groups, due to their positive effect on creating identities, can mobilize easily, since this identity can bear the costs of mobilization and risk. Individualists, so to speak, are not easy to mobilize. Group consciousness, plus a perceived injustice, is the ...

Solution Summary

The solution assists with analyzing a criminal justice research article.