JST437 Criminological Research (8)


This subject proceeds through method and methodological theory and practice in order to elucidate the ethical, political and social concerns of doing criminological research in contemporary society with a focus on qualitative research.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
DistanceBathurst Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST437
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLAustralian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Enrolment restrictions

Available only to students enrolled in the BAchelor of Social Science (Justice Studies)(Honours)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to identify and understand the arguments of criminological theorists on the relation between theory and method in criminological research
- be able demonstrate an understanding, interpret and critically evaluate official statistics
- be able to demonstrate an understanding of the issues surrounding the ethical conduct of research and the methodological implications of formal ethics committees
- be able to demonstrate an understanding of various methodological approaches and their justifications
- be able to demonstrate expertise in the application of one qualitative method
- be able to design a research strategy appropriate to a research question for an honours dissertation
- be able to critically assess a major ethnographic work
- be able to develop their position(s) on the relation between theory and method in their social research


The subject will cover the following topics:
- Examination of the debate on the separation of facts and values in the social sciences: a study of Weber & Adorno Investigation of the uses of criminal statistics in the production of quantitative and qualitative criminological research, including the use of official statistics as a research source - Role of the state in the collection and the validation of social science research and statistics, and the practical implications of this role - Power: reflexivity, positionalities and the role of social scientists - Research design: the development of appropriate research designs considering constraints on the researcher and those being researched - Feminist methodologies: exploration of the varying schools of feminist thought and implications for social science research including the ways feminist methodologies have attempted to address the failure of many of the theories to explain the massive gender differences in the offending, criminalisation and victimisation of womenIndigenous methodologies: is there such a thing as indigenous methodology, and what contribution does criminology make to these debates? - Politics of knowing: exploration of the social construction of reality - Postmodern discourse and the five senses: how can we know what they say that they know? - Interviewing: students will pull apart the idea of the asking question and open up issues of performance, performativity, role taking and listening in interviews - Narrative and oral history: looking at people's own accounts of their lived experience as authoritative sources - Textual analysis: this version of discourse analysis combines social theory with discourse theory to get to a point where we can look at a piece of text and talk about what is going on in that text. There are many textual analysis techniques: intertextuality, chunking, social semiotic approaches, theme analysis and lexical mapping and these will be explored - Moral dilemmas: an examination of the moral dilemmas surrounding the interpretation and presentation of criminological research including the politics of doing research - Students will also be introduced to a range of research skills including computer based analysis packages for qualitative research


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.