Sample Undergraduate Criminology Coursework
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Portfolio Task 1 Transcript
Interviewer: What is your General Opinion About Crime?
Tim: I think crime is something that is a threat to modern society. Specifically, it is about the nature of human deviance, which can threaten the lives and properties of individuals living in society. There is widespread disagreement regarding the nature and motivation behind criminal activities in society. Moreover, there are widespread differences in the way that society should tackle crime.
Interviewer: Why did you Select Criminology as a Course?
Tim: I’ve been fascinated by the human mind and its ability to perpetrate crime. Criminology is a vast discipline that incorporates knowledge from various disciplines like psychology and sociology to understand the crime’s nature. Right until the 18th century, it was presumed that supernatural and religious explanations could be advocated for the crime’s nature.
This has changed as humans have systematically studied various disciplines to understand how the human mind can work. For instance, I was perplexed by the case studies of serial offenders and others who claimed to be possessed by the devil when they engaged in mass slaughter acts.
Interviewer: What Influences Your Ideas and Attitudes Toward Crime?
Tim: many things have influenced me in my attitude towards crime. Primarily, it has been the fascination of the way that the human mind works. Understanding human behaviour is an intriguing aspect of the process of understanding crime. The mainstream consensus always considers crime to be a deviant process. But I find this explanation to be very superficial since it ignores the root causes of criminal behaviours.
Interviewer: So you’re Basically Stating that Crime is a Multifaceted Phenomenon?
Tim: Yup, it is a complex phenomenon. There have been numerous theories advocated to understand the nature of the crime. However, there has been no consensus about the exact causes. Some say it is due to social variables, while others insist that it is related to genetic and environmental variables.
Interviewer: How do you Think Society Should Respond to Crime?
Tim: Tough question. This is because society usually considers crime as anything that is against their mainstream values and beliefs. In some countries, sending an email against the government is a crime. We should differentiate between real crimes and political crimes. Society has sought to penalize those who are outcasts through the system of punitive approaches.
Interviewer: So you Believe that Punitive Approaches are Ineffective?
Tim: Nope. I’m saying that a combination of rehabilitative and punitive approaches is needed in the fight against crime. Each criminal perpetrates criminal actions due to different reasons. The multiple causes of crime need to be solved instead of simply jailing and locking all offenders. Disparities in society need to be eliminated to achieve the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness.
Emergent Themes according to Transcript
The following themes emerge from the transcript:
- Multiple causes of crime.
- Punitive approaches are ineffective against crime.
- The rehabilitative approach must also be strengthened.
- Crime should be studied in the context of modern society.
- Multiple variables need to be assessed before creating a robust response to crime.
From this experience, I have learned that interviews and observations must be carried out systematically and integrated. This is important as all the agreed parameters of the interview should be outlined before the process starts. Another important thing is to ensure specific, clear, and precise goals for the interview process.
Having such a framework helps the interviewer to conduct the process efficiently and effectively. Studies argue that research can be carried out effectively only when the research has a clear idea about their investigation objectives (Taylor et al., 2015).
Different research objectives require the use of different strategies. Empirical data is one of the most important sources of information that can be used to derive valid conclusions. Observation has been highlighted as important in understanding the external environment. These observations help to guide our actions and influence our reactions to events occurring in the external environment.
They help to generate the body of information that people share. A broad-based perspective from others can be identified through the use of this strategy. The science of criminology is concerned with observation as investigations must be undertaken to understand contemporary crime attitudes (Bryman, 2015).
The interview process was one that helped me to obtain an understanding of the reasons that any individual could take criminology as a subject. Transcribing is a skill that requires systematic observation and preparation. I outlined the questions that I would ask Tim, and I sought to carry with my notes and a recording of the interview process.
This is very important as dual methods can help me minimize errors in the process. Another important consideration during the observation process is to adhere to ethics (Neuman, 2016).
This is important as the participant must be given information about the purpose of the study. Moreover, the privacy and confidentiality of the participant must be protected by research ethics. I sought to implement this process as the transcript does not show the real name of the individual.
Moreover, it strives to focus on the emergent themes that have been identified through the observation and interview process. Interviewing skills are important for the researcher because they help in proficiently deriving valid conclusions. I sought to interview Tim to ensure that I could participate in neutrally and objectively (Neuman, 2016).
I had to adopt a non-judgmental attitude because my goal was to collect the data through empirical observations. Interviewing requires the use of proficient listening skills that will help in achieving the core goals. Moreover, listening is essential as I need to understand what the respondent is stating and its context.
Recalling such information helps in the next step when the data is collected and analyzed (Allison et al., 2016). During the interview process, it is critical for the interviewer not to interrupt the participant, creating a bias in the research process. I was listening to Tim and allowed him to speak until he completed the sentences.
This was important as I was able to identify the emergent themes that were identified after the end of the interview process. I have learned from this experience because it has helped me to improve my observation and interview skills.
I know that a keen observer listens carefully to the participant while striving to code the information. This is important because it will help the researcher recall information and analyze it systematically. My experiences also told me about the nature of crime in society according to the unique perspective Tim.
This helped me understand that crime is indeed a multidisciplinary issue in which research is still being undertaken. Such research plays a critical role in the development of effective strategies against criminal behaviours. The researcher should not interrupt the process while striving to be a good and active listener. It is also important to follow ethics to achieve systematic success within a short time.
Portfolio Task 2 Research Question
Does the increased recording of domestic violence incidents by police help victims seek legal and rehabilitative remedies against perpetrators?
Summary and Interpretation of Statistics
Domestic violence is considered to be a major problem in the United Kingdom. The data shows that 8.2% of women and 4% of men are domestic abuse victims in 2015 in the country (Woodhouse & Dempsey, 2016). This comes to a total of 1.3 million female and 600,000 male victims (Woodhouse & Dempsey, 2016).
Additionally, over 27% of women and 13% of men are domestic abuse victims since 16 (Woodhouse & Dempsey, 2016). The causes of domestic violence include the use of addictive substances like alcohol and illegal drugs, unemployment, dysfunctional family structure, the dependency of the victim, and others. Police recording of domestic violence incidents helps improve the victims’ ability to have access to legal and other measures to protect them from offenders.
Additionally, police reporting mechanisms can be strengthened to help achieve critical goals within a short time. The statistics also show the ability of domestic victims to learn about the reality of abusive relationships. They can successfully find legal measures that can help them achieve critical success within a short time.
Source: Woodhouse, J & Dempsey, N (2016). Domestic violence in England and Wales. Briefing Paper. House of Commons Library
The above tables’ analysis shows that police’s increased recording seems to be beneficial for domestic violence victims. This is because reporting enables the victims to seek legal remedies that can protect them and find them a safe place where they can be rehabilitated and asked to provide the means to achieve success in living an independent life.
Additionally, it is also important for domestic victims to have adequate legal protection. Previously, police officers’ attitudes were that domestic violence was a private affair between couples (Woodhouse & Dempsey, 2016). This has changed with the need for reporting mechanisms that must improve the law enforcement system’s ability to respond to domestic violence victims’ needs and requirements.
Taylor, S.J., Bogdan, R. and DeVault, M., 2015. Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.
Bryman, A., 2015. Social research methods. Oxford university press.
Neuman, W.L., 2016. Understanding research. Pearson. Allison, B., Anne, H., O’Sullivan, T., Owen, A., Hilton, A., and Rothwell, A., 2016.
Research skills for students. Routledge. Woodhouse, J & Dempsey, N (2016). Domestic violence in England and Wales. Briefing Paper. House of Commons Library