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'Dead in the water': Is rural violent crime prevention floating face-down because criminology can't handle context?


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Bell, EJ and Hall, HR (2007) 'Dead in the water': Is rural violent crime prevention floating face-down because criminology can't handle context? Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 9 (4). pp. 252-274. ISSN 1460-3780

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The paper explores the challenges of capturing context in criminology with reference to one kind of small-N situation – violent crime in rural communities. An illustrative analysis of the violent crime prevention research and select adjunct debates about method, including case-based approaches, was undertaken. First, the paper explores the need for methods offering diversity-oriented ways of understanding country, community, and the individual in situ in the community. Second, it examines how the challenges of "context" are being described in wider debates: about the technical limitations of "big Q" methods for criminology; about the relevance of research evidence; about case-based analyses. Third, it sketches the value of Charles Ragin's diversity-oriented, small-N method for enriching understandings of context. The paper concludes that Ragin's method can add value to local rural crime prevention practice and related micro-social policy development by illuminating the "black box" of individual cases.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: criminology research methods, case study methodologies, rural violent crime, local community crime prevention
Journal or Publication Title: Crime Prevention and Community Safety
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd
Page Range: pp. 252-274
ISSN: 1460-3780
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.cpcs.8150051
Additional Information:

© 2007 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:37
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:35
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