Crime and Social Control as Fields of Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences
Crime and social control are fields of qualitative research in the social sciences, where behavior is not inherently deviant or criminal, but rather, deviance is a matter of interpretation and judgment. "Crime" is constructed and negotiated in social discourses and processes of social interaction in and with institutions of social control. Therefore only qualitative inquiries of "crime" make sense. This paper reports examples of qualitative studies (from ethnography, hermeneutical sociology of knowledge, ethnomethodology/conversation analysis, discourse analysis and narrative analysis) especially of deviant subcultures, reporting conflicts to the police, police inquiries and interrogations and criminal court procedures.
crime as social construction; 'Verstehen'; second code of the criminal justice system; ethnography; ethnomethodology; discourse analysis; narrative analysis