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M3D1: Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

Upon successful completion of this activity, students will be able to:

  • Explain and critically evaluate contemporary literature in the field of criminal justice
  • Identify ethical problems faced by individuals or communities and identify effective solutions
  • Explain the concept of social deviance and provide examples of deviant behavior in social context

As you read Part III of your text and the Instructor’s Notes, think about questions you have started to develop about deviant behavior and imagine how these kinds of data could provide answers to your questions. Imagine that you are a social scientist with a large grant to carry out a research project. Think about what could be gained from each kind of data, as well as what could be lost.

After reading Chapter 14, “Researching Dealers and Smugglers,” (pp. 132-147) in Adler & Adler, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of conducting this kind of research as a participant observer (as Adler did). Discuss which questions this project attempts to answer. Could these questions have been answered through official statistics or survey data? If so, how? What would be gained by using one of these approaches? What would be lost?

Evaluation Criteria

Your initial post should be at least 250 words and must substantively integrate the assigned readings in the instructions with proper APA style formatting.