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The Impact Of The Ethnic Minorities Sociology Essay

Impacts that may arise whilst conducting a qualitative date research are issues such as racism. Miles (1989) defined racism as “an ideology that is integral to the process of capital accumulation and class relation in capitalist societies.” However it is known that and old definition of racism was based of explicit beliefs in biological superiority, as for a new definition of racism where it is based the notion of cultural superiority. Ethnic minority groups are subjected to policing and the criminal justice practices that label these kind of communities. Young black men are particularly getting defined as an “inherently criminal class” (Bowling et al 2001). In the 1990’s questions of policing, discrimination, racial prejudice, inequality was raised in the Scarman Report. This looked at the violent racism towards those who are black and from Asian communities. Since 1992 The Home Office now publish documents on race and criminal justice. This is so it can be brought together for statistical data of black and minority ethnic groups as suspects, offenders and victims within the criminal justice system (Newburn 2007). The use of stop and search is one of the most controversial issues in policing from the perspective of young black men and young Asian men. These types of ethnic minority are more likely to be stopped by the police then white minority groups. Some ethnic groups are more likely to offend, and to commit particular types of crimes, than others. Assuming that any differences in patterns of crime are reflected in differences in patterns of suspicious behaviour (Newburn 2007). In 2007/08 there were 1,035,438 stop and searches of people recorded by the police. When looking at ethnic appearance data of these, 17% were of Black people, 9% of Asian persons, 2% of people of other ethnic origin (Ministry of Justice 2009). It is known that being stopped at searched is associated with the reduced confidence of the police and their willingness to co-operate (Newburn 2007). Given that statistics show ethnic minority communities are generally at a higher risk of a committing a criminal victimisation. The relationship between the fear of crime and experience of crime is complex as ethnical differences in perceptions is a risk that can appear and it can be influenced in the actual risk of crime. The fear of crime can become involved by personal experiences, peers and crimes reported in the media. It was found by Percy (1998) that on the street and people who were home alone at night ethnic communities felt less safe, alternatively white communities who did feel safe. These can affect a person’s freedom to the community , it could also affect someone sociably (Bowling et al 2001)

[Q2]The area has two distinct areas – one is the deprived area of Butetown, the other the new developments of gentrified Cardiff Bay. What methodological issues does this raise?

Whilst carrying out a quaualitive research methodological issues will be raised whilst conducting this research. To be critical of focus groups people who take part in the focus groups may feel uncomfortable and unable to express their views in front of others which will affect the research that is taken place and will not give correct findings. Furthermore, the dynamics of the groups and how people interact with others can affect the way a discussion goes. The researcher may have less control within the group then they would have if the interviews were taken place in a one-to-one format. Also the topic may not be addressed and conversation may draw towards another subject. If this happens then the material will be more difficult to record and analyse. (Crow et al 2008). One problem that researchers may come across is the issue of access. Gaining access to documents, people, and places are prerequisite for a researcher, a researcher who cannot gain access to the relevant sources can only engage in speculation on the topic of research. Without the data of information, the research cannot take place. There are two kinds of settings in which a researcher can gain access. The first kind of access is a group or organisation, these may be from schools or prisons. The second kind is the setting of a public environment, this is where the researcher can access freely and would not need permission. However, the researcher must be practical and consider ethnic issues. For researchers access to sources requires getting formal authorization these people are known as gate keepers (Crow et al 2008). Gate keepers are individuals who are normally those from committees who have a formal responsibility to control settings such as police or the government these can grant permission and allow access to those who wish to researcher. However, the researcher needs to have an insight of the social setting before the research can take place. Another issue that could be raised is a Participant observation, this is a qualitative method in ethnographic research, there objective is to help the researcher learn the perspectives held by study populations. As qualitative researchers presume that there will be multiple perspectives within any given community (Bryman 2008). Researchers also use data collected through participant observation to improve the design of other methods, such as focus groups and interviews. Researchers accomplish this through observation alone or by observing and participating. Within the study of community research the participant observation research always takes place in locations believed to have some relevance to the research. This method of research is distinctive as the researcher approaches the participants in within their own environment rather than having the participants come to the researcher. The main disadvantage of Participant observation is that it is time-consuming. Also the difficulty of documenting the data as it would be hard to write down everything that is important while the Participant observation was participating and observing (Bryman 2008). Another methodological that could be raised is that issue of samplings. Sampling methods are classified as either probability or non probability. These methods include random sampling, stratified sampling and systematic sampling. The population has an equal chance of being selected for the conducting research. However, if the population was to be large then it would be difficult to identify every member of the population. The benefit of probability sampling is that sampling error can be calculated. Sampling error is the degree to which a sample might vary from the population (Crow 2008). In non probability sampling, members of the population are selected in a non random method. These consist of convenience sampling, judgment sampling, quota sampling, and snowball sampling. In non probability sampling, the degree to which the sample differs from the population remains unknown (Crow 2008).

[Q3] What are the ethical and political issues which a qualitative study focusing on this subject and in this location would need to consider?

Whilst conducting a research politics may become an issue. Politics and criminological research is not just a social activity, it is also a political activity. This includes a relationship between the subjects that are being researched and the researcher. However, there are others within the research who interest are put forward. These can include, stakeholders who are the sponsors of the research, gate keepers who control the access of information and data. Funding may become an issue whilst conducting a research. Many social researches are funded by organisations such as government departments and firms. These organisations have an interest in the research that is taken place and the outcome the research has. Politics become an issue because some research is funded and some are not. Criminological research is mainly funded by the Home Office (Bryman, 2008). However, research can be overtly and directly influenced by government and their political agendas. Bryman (2008) suggests that the researcher can be very committed to their work and those they are researching but find that the political process means that they are believed as ‘the enemy’

Ethical principles may become an issue as research involves collecting data from people, about people (Punch 2005). Ethical principles is defined as by Homan (1991) ‘the science of morality’ where he claimed that ‘those who engage in it determine values for the regulation of human behaviour.’ Therefore, whilst conducting research the researcher needs to protect their participants and develop a trust relationship and guard against misconduct, finally promote the integrity of research. According to Bryman (2008), there are four critical ethical issues that researchers need to consider whilst conducting and planning research which are: (i) Not causing harm to participants (ii) Deception, (iii) Invasion of privacy, (iiii) Informed consent. One ethnic principle which can be propounded is the issue that a person who is taking part in the research may not be submitted to harm. Harm could involve: Physical, lose of self-esteem, stress and the harm of the person’s personal development. The issue of personal disclosure and personal privacy through internet sources in which the researcher needs to protect. Also the researcher can be subjected to harm, this can be physical harm, emotionally and mentally. In addition, suitable support for the researcher and the participant will need to be set in location where it is relevant to the research. The second principle of ethnic issues is deception, this means whilst conducting the research the researcher should be open and truthful to the participate in what they are researching and about the topic. The researcher should not misrepresent the purpose of the topic. However, some researchers do take part in some scale of deception about the research (Bryman 2008). Invasion of privacy may become an issue with ethnic principles. The SRA guidelines states that participants “may feel they have been treated as objects of measurement without respect for their individual values and sense of privacy” In any research the people who are taking part their private information should remain confidential. This is linked to the informed consent, to a degree the participants consent is given on the basis understanding on the involvement of the participants. However, the right to privacy is limited. Informed consent is another area that ethical concern relates to an issue. This is commonly gained in writing and involves the participant being told what the research is for and how the researcher will conduct the findings. All participants are told about their expectations and their rights to withdraw from the conduction of the research. Bryman (2008) suggests that “the principle means that prospective research participants should be given as much information as may be needed to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to participate in a study”

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