Theory may be thought of as the foundation of all social science disciplines. It guides how researchers think about objects of study and provides the lens through which they filter their subject matter in order to make sense of complex phenomena. It guides social scientists in organizing concepts, developing research questions, and interpreting data outcomes. Moreover, it helps consumers of research understand the integrated relationship between different critical topics of discussion. Whatever the role you may play—whether as a researcher or a consumer of research—it is useful to understand how the relationship between theory and research works and why it is important.
To prepare for this Application Assignment, choose a criminal justice theory and a particular criminal event or type of crime. Think about how this theory could be used to analyze the criminal event or type of crime.
The assignment (2–3 pages):
- Identify the theory and the criminal event/type of crime you selected.
- Explain how this theory might be used to analyze the criminal event or type of crime you selected.
- Explain why this theory is or is not appropriate for analyzing this criminal event or type of crime.