Criminology’s theoretical incarceration

Qualitative methods as liberator

Authored by: John J. Brent , Peter B. Kraska

The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415659703
eBook ISBN: 9780203074701
Adobe ISBN: 9781135114947


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There can be little doubt theory makes up a foundational element of any social science discipline. It defines the parameters for how we think, provides organizing concepts, frames research questions, and guides our methodological approach. Perhaps more importantly, theories allow us to interpret subject matter through multiple lenses to best understand phenomena (Kraska, 2006). Thus, having established theoretical frameworks is critical to any field and essential for disciplinary development. Undeniably, this truth holds for criminology and criminal justice. Given the complex nature of crime and crime control, a strong theoretical infrastructure, comprising various explanatory frameworks, is indispensable.

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