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Gangs in Canada - Essay Example

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A common methodological problem in social research, is mistaking 'correlation' versus 'cause'. For example, when a rock rolls downward rather than upward from the starting point of a hill, we would posit gravity as a 'cause' of this phenomenon. However, the fact that the rock was either a sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic type of rock would be correlative…
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Gangs in Canada
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Download file to see previous pages Further, Carrington presents an analysis of data that suggests that gang participation and indeed, group participation in crime if relatively low in Canada. One of the critique's that will be raised in relation to Carrington's argument, is that he does not take into consideration the relatively low amount of gun crime in Canada. Therefore, the hypothesis that will be pursued, will ask, is there a correlation or causal relationship between (a) strict gun laws and little gun manufacturing, (b) a low incidence of violent gun crime, and finally, (c) the relatively low-incidence of gang crime in Canada? Carrington establishes a number of important conclusions in his study titled: “Group crime in Canada” (2002), is that relative to the past and relative to other geographical locations, gang-related crime is low in Canada. Before addressing how he approaches the causes of gang and group crime, some remarks on the methodology and data used by Carrington. One of the more important methodological concerns, regards where the data comes from that leads Carrington to the conclusions that he makes. The data collection for Carrington's analysis, comes from the UCR2 data-set which is compiled by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics [Carrington, 2002]. ...
Carrington points out that the total amount of possible crimes that his sample set covers, is actually only “14 percent” [Carrington, 2002] of the total crimes. Further, and as he notes in the end-notes, the sample is of course, only the crimes for which an allegation or a conviction was made [Carrington, 2002]. In other words, he is acknowledging there is a limitation with regard to focusing only on convictions, and therefore, also includes allegations, the author is acknowledging that this is not capturing the entire picture. Unquestionably, the crime that goes undetected is not captured in Carrington's data, and this is one of the problems that he openly acknowledges. Further, Carrington also points out that there is a limitation because the data only amounts to 14 percent of the total crimes that have occurred between 1992 and 1999. Among the 21 categories of crime that Carrington presents, he points out that “24 percent of offenders in the present sample offended with identified accomplices” [Carrington, 2002]. Further, this is not only a low number in contrast to the total amount of data collected in the 21 categories of crime, it is also a number that is low in relation to past statistics but also very different across geographical divides. The general areas examined, include Gender, Age, type of Crime, which includes how “serious” [Carrington, 2002] , and finally, the “degree of harm” [Carrington, 2002] caused by the crime. As Carrington points out, the degree of harm is actually the determining factor for how “serious” the crime is. Which is why it is being mentioned here as a sub-group or sub-category of information that is presented by Carrington. As mentioned in the introduction, one of the short-comings of Carrington's ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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