Online Identity – Third Post   1 comment

Posted at 11:52 pm in Criminology,Sociology

Criminology Focus:

Following last week’s revised Brief, as the literature review has solely been focused on Sociology, it seemed appropriate that the focus this week was turned to Criminology.

This Week’s Achievements:

Last week I aimed to obtain three specific books; however, although I do intend to read all of the recommended textbooks, I decided this week to focus on:

Jewkes, Y. and Yar, M, (eds) ‘Handbook of Internet Crime,’ (Willan Publishing, Devon, 2010)

This textbook is extremely insightful into how the Web has impacted on individuals’ digital expression of their identity. Furthermore, how this may facilitate crime.

Chapter 14 – Smith, R.G, ‘Identity Theft and Fraud’ is particularly relevant, as Smith proposes that “arguably, one of the most pressing financial crime problems that has faced developed societies in recent years – namely the commission of crime through the creation and use of misleading and deceptive identities.” (p273) Therefore, this chapter covers a range of issues relating to identity that has been facilitated by the Web, from the possibility that Avatars can commit virtual crimes untraceable in the real-word, to identity theft – particularly on social networking sites.

Alongside this I thought it would also be useful to obtain some textbooks that are centred on the methodology that underpins the discipline of Criminology.

1) Harrison, J, Harrison, O, Martin, E. and Simpson, M, ‘Study Skills for Criminology,’ (SAGE Publications, London, 2005)

This book was written by academic criminologists targeting people considering or enrolled on an undergraduate degree in Criminology, to enable them to better understand what the course entails and its general requirements. Some areas covered, such as examination strategies are obviously irrelevant to this review; however the book does provide some important insights into the main study skills involved.

2) Babbie, E. and Maxfield, M, G, ‘Basics of Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology,’ (Thompson: Wadsworth, Canada, 2006)

This book is useful as it offers a different view of the methodology used by criminologists, as it is written for individuals undertaking research in the discipline. Therefore, it explains how the elements of ‘Criminal Justice Enquiry’ work, including references to: how data may be collected; how data may be modelled; where criminological theory fits in; and survey research.

Next Week’s Aims:

It would be interesting next week to also find textbooks that are focused on explaining the methodologies that sociologists utilise in their research. Furthermore, reading the other two recommended textbooks is also a priority.

Written by Laura German on March 4th, 2010

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One Response to 'Online Identity – Third Post'

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  1. I was a little concerned in your earlier blogs that your reading list was quite specialised and perhaps you would be diving in the deep end (e.g. with Sassen) before trying out the more basic texts – so I was pleased that you added Gidden’s ‘Sociology’ to your list as I think it will be helpful for you to also refer to a text which can give more of an overview and perhaps easier to grasp definitions.
    One of the issues you have now that you have added criminology as your ‘second’ discipline is how far this and sociology are distinct (this is an interesting debate I’d like to have for example with Craig Webber…I might suggest that criminology is a sub discipline of sociology… he might disagree (I don’t know for sure!)).
    You had quite a wide (possibly too wide) series of questions in your initial post. Do you have a sense that the question is firming up now? What struck me about your questions was the contrast and links between gender identity on line (‘I can be any gender/subvert offline gender power structures) and identity theft online (I can steal someone else’s id /gain power or money etc by doing this). So my question to you would be do sociology and criminology answer these kinds of questions differently? Would they offer different theories/explanations?
    There are some bits about methods in the last section of Giddens – but I wouldn’t get too hung up on methods – I would be keen for you you tell me/us what sociology and criminology have to say to help you with your (interesting) questions.

    Catherine Pope

    14 Mar 10 at 3:02 pm

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