A Critical Evaluation of two Research Methods, Qualitative and Quantitative

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Qualitative Article:A Women's Place is in the Home: Females and Residential BurglaryThis article uses a qualitative research method. Qualitative research involves analyzing and interpreting texts and interviews in order to discover meaningful patterns descriptive of a particular phenomenon (Adler & Clarke, 2008, p.13.). The method has been adopted to investigate the research question. The research question is; what involvement do women have in residential burglaries. This research question is analysed by comparing female characteristics with their male counterparts and, through primary investigation, into the roles female burglars play during offences.

The article contains two literature reviews summarising previous studies relating to the research question (Adler & Clarke, 2008, p. 85). The first study was by Ward, Jackson, and Ward. This study examined police, court and prison records of 80 female inmates serving time for burglary. During this study, it was found; women played one of four roles in burglary offences. The four roles are;•Conspirator, who helps set up the crimes (not taking part)•An Accomplice, who takes orders and does what she was told during the offence•A partner, who operated on a equal footing with other offenders involved in the burglary•A sole perpetrator, who carried out the burglaries herself.

Ward, Jackson and Ward also concluded that majority, 56% to be exact, of the females committed their offence with other people.

The second study was by Simon and Sharma. This study employed Prosecutor Management Information Systems data to explore women's involvement in a variety of crimes, including burglary. Conclusion's from the study support that women do not commit crimes under the control of men, and 70% of female arrests where by females acting alone. An ethnographic study by Cromwell, Olsen, and Avary was also mentioned. But, due to sample size limits it was seen as conclusive.

The two literature views first mentioned are sufficient in developing an answer to the research question. Although, it may have been more beneficial to use feminist perspectives that have developed theories and challenging issues relating to women offending.

There were no hypotheses formulated from the study, as it was a form of explanatory research. Explanatory research tends to be deductive, moving from one general to less general statements (Adler & Clarke, 2008, p.14). Therefore, rather than pursing natural science-like hypothesis, qualitative researchers are moved by more the pursuit of empathic understanding (Adler & Clarke, 2008, p.433).

A research design has been used in this study to answer the research question (Adler & Clarke, 2008, p.158). Allied with qualitative research methods, this study incorporated asurvey design technique on individual case studies, as a way to reinforce and evaluate the findings (Adler & Clarke, 2008, p. 55). The researchers conducted their own primary research through in-person interviews. The interviews conducted involved a non-profitability sample of 105 currently active residential burglars. The interviews weresemi-structured and where conducted informally. The subjects sampled were located through a "snowball" sampling strategy, whereby a few offenders were contacted initially and where asked to refer others (Adler & Clarke, 2008, p.122). This process was continued until the researchers had a "built" suitable sample.

The research design works well with the research question, which would have been chosen for its feasibility. Although, time and cost expenditure, due to the nature of the research question, would have been the dominant issue. Importantly, in regards to the time expenditure, the researcher managed to deduct time constraints due to using the "snowball" sampling system.

The findings suggested that women, compared to their male counterparts, do not differ significantly in regards to involvement in residential burglaries. But, the results from the data...
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