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"Dead in the Water": Is Rural Violent Crime Prevention Floating Face-Down Because Criminology Can't Handle Context?

NCJ Number
Crime Prevention & Community Safety: An International Journal Volume: 9 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2007 Pages: 252-274
Erica Bell; Rob Hall
Date Published
October 2007
23 pages
This paper explores methodological limitations of the existing research for local rural crime prevention practice and related microsocial policy development.
Charles Ragin’s Quali-Quantitative Analysis (QQA) is of more direct value to formulating micro-policy using small-N datasets, rather than macrosocial policy, which by definition relies on “big picture” datasets unsuited to consideration of cases as configurations. While this method needs much more application to small-N crime prevention challenges before there is confidence in its strengths and weaknesses, it does seem to offer a way of acting on the rising dissonance of doubts about the adequacy of criminology’s engagement with context. QQA is seen as adding value to local rural crime prevention practice and related microsocial policy development. This paper explores the challenges of capturing context in criminology with reference to one kind of small-N situation, violent crime in rural communities. The paper describes the potential of QQA for delivering more community-usable research for practice. The paper focuses on the needs of violent crime prevention practice in rural communities in ways that suggest the wider usefulness of this approach for criminology, anywhere where researchers wish to enrich understanding of context through the study of small-N cases. References


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