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Qualitative Methodologies in Criminology - Ethnography Assignment

Course Number: CC426

Subject: Criminology


This guide has been created to help you in finding materials for your course CC426. Resources that contain qualitative research are not always clearly labelled as such so this guide will help you navigate the literature to find the best materials.

Step 1: Know Your Subject Guides

Subject guides have been created to give you a starting point for research closely related to a particular field. Below are some examples of more specialized databases you may want to try, but you can also try our larger interdisciplinary databases. The interdisciplinary databases will contain articles across fields of study and this can be helpful if you are unsure who may research this topic (for example: you may be looking for juvenile offenders, but perhaps education or social work researchers discuss it along with criminology researchers).

Step 2: Searching

When searching in databases try using the following keywords as part of your search. If you have limited the search to "Abstracts" and these words are within the abstract there is a higher chance that the journal article used qualitative research methods.

Keywords Qualitative, ethnograph*, ground theor*, purposive sample, heuristic*, semiotics, lived experience*, narrative*, life experiences, cluster sample, action research, observational method, content analysis, thematic analysis, field study, theoretical sample, discourse analysis, focus group, enthnological research, interview*

Qualitative Research Journal Suggestions

Step 3: Analyzing Your Sources

Once you have found some sources it is important to ask questions and critically evaluate them. You will also need to be able to contextualize the research within the broader context of the field, which may include identifying key scholars, analyzing research methodology and validity, and providing an argument for why this particular article is useful for your research. Using methodologies such as the CRAAP method that you learned in Brantford Foundations can help you evaluate your sources. Other tips include researching the authors, checking bibliographies and looking for repeated mentioning of sources across the literature, phrasing such as "in the seminal work of" or "leading scholar", looking for journal articles that include literature reviews, and articles that are using primary research rather than just secondary sources.

Step 4: Bring it all together and ask for help if needed

If you need any further assistance with research please do not hesitate to contact me - my contact information is on the upper left hand side of this page. I'm here to help and want you to be successful!

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