The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology

1st Edition

Edited by Heith Copes, J. Mitchell Miller


312 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415659703
pub: 2015-03-13
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pub: 2015-03-02
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Despite illustrious origins dating to the 1920s, qualitative crime research has long been overshadowed by quantitative inquiry. After decades of limited use, there has been a notable resurgence in crime ethnography, naturalistic inquiry, and related forms of fieldwork addressing crime and related social control efforts. The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology signals this momentum as the first major reference work dedicated to crime ethnography and related fieldwork orientations. Synthesizing the foremost topics and issues in qualitative criminology into a single definitive work, the Handbook provides a "first-look" reference source for scholars and students alike.

The collection features twenty original chapters on leading qualitative crime research strategies, the complexities of collecting and analyzing qualitative data, and the ethical propriety of researching active criminals and incarcerated offenders. Contributions from both established luminaries and talented emerging scholars highlight the traditions and emerging trends in qualitative criminology through authoritative overviews and "lived experience" examples.

Comprehensive and current, The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology promises to be a sound reference source for academics, students and practitioners as ethnography and fieldwork realize continued growth throughout the 21st Century.


‘This is an outstanding collection of essays covering a wide range of issues that are found at the very core of the criminological project. Crucial reading for both students and seasoned practitioners.’ - Dick Hobbs, Professor of Sociology, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Criminology rightly aspires to be a science, yet bizarrely we eschew the essential foundations of science itself by severely curtailing our range of methodologies. This impressive and badly needed volume features the work of the brave researchers who have swum against those strong tides to keep qualitative research alive and hence preserve criminology as a true science.’ - Shadd Maruna, Dean and Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University Newark, USA

Copes and Miller provide excellent examples of qualitative research strategies which have been used by scholars in crime research. The collection will prove useful to both researchers and graduate students in criminological and justice research. It is not a typical qualitative methods text - this one provides vivid examples of problems and strategies and specific examples of actual research experiences in several criminal arenas.’ - Craig J. Forsyth, Professor of Sociology, University of Louisiana, USA

Table of Contents

Preface, Heith Copes and J. Mitchell Miller Part I. Situating Qualitative Research in Criminology & Criminal Justice 1.The History and Evolution of Qualitative Criminology, J. Mitchell Miller, Heith Copes and Andy Hochstetler 2. Criminology’s Theoretical Incarceration: Qualitative Methods as Liberator, John J. Brent and Peter B. Kraska 3. Feminist and Queer Perspectives on Qualitative Methods, Vanessa Panfil and Jody Miller 4. Ethical Issues in the Qualitative Study of Deviance and Crime, Erich Goode Part II. Traditional and Unorthodox Qualitative Research Strategies 5. Comparative Historical Analysis in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Mathieu Deflem 6. Life History and Biographies in Criminology, Frank van Gemert 7. Edge Ethnography and Naturalistic Inquiry in Criminology, J. Mitchell Miller and Holly Ventura Miller 8. Visual Criminology: History, Theory and Method, Eamonn Carrabine Part III. Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Data 9. Sampling Designs and Issues in Qualitative Criminology, Miriam Boeri and Aukje Lamonica 10. Negotiating Identity as a Qualitative Researcher: The Impact of Studying Marginalized Populations in Criminology, Jennifer K. Wesely 11. Interviewing Offenders: The Active vs. Inmate Debate, Heith Copes, Scott Jacques, Andy Hochstetler and Tim Dickenson 12. Qualitative Criminology in Online Spaces, Tom Holt Part IV. Qualitative Research on Crime and Criminals 13. Researching Drug Crime Using Qualitative Methods, Ralph Weisheit 14. Using Qualitative Methods to Study Sex Crimes, RickTewksbury 15. Researching White Collar/Elite Crime Using Qualitative Methods, Michael Levi 16. Researching Homicide Offenders, Offenses and Detectives Using Qualitative Methods, Fiona Brookman Part V. Qualitative Research on the Justice Systems 17. From the Mouths of Babes: Conducting Qualitative Research with Youths, Rod K. Brunson and Kashea Pegram 18. Researching Police and Policing Using Qualitative Methods, Peter Manning 19. Court Ethnographies, Leslie Paik and Alexes Harris20. Qualitative Research in Institutional Corrections and Parole, Mark Pogrebin.

About the Editors

Heith Copes is a Professor in the Department of Justice Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned his PhD in sociology from the University of Tennessee in 2001. Heith has published over 50 articles and chapters on deviance and crime and, in addition, he has published several books (e.g., Identity Thieves: Motives and Methods) and edited collections (e.g., Voices from the Criminal Justice). His research emphasis is on understanding the ways that deviants and offenders make sense of their actions.

J. Mitchell Miller is a Professor in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida and a Fellow of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. He specializes in qualitative research methods, drug crime, and criminological theory and has conducted mixed methods program evaluation for various criminal justice system agencies including the NIJ, OJJDP, BJA, BJS, and the US State Department. He served as lead evaluator of the Moscow Police Command College and is a past president of the Southern Criminal Justice Association, former Editor of Journal of Crime & Justice and Journal of Criminal Justice Education, and an Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Fellow.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology