Thursday, May 29, 2008

On follow-up

It's only Thursday afternoon, and I have everything I wanted to do this week finished! So tomorrow, I'm going into campus to do some grant work and download and read a couple of articles I used in the previous entry to clarify some things about them.

The previous entry was 6 pages long in Word and had 15 unique citations. So it is basically longer and more in depth than it might need to be on the exam. And, like the entry on parents, I was able to identify some things I need to work on and already have a better sense of how this research hangs together on paper. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The role of peers

The interesting difference between the role of parents with the role of peers is that parents are almost exclusively conceptualized as barriers to criminal activity, be it indirectly through the development of self-control via parental socialization (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990) or directly via social control (Hirschi, 1969?) or monitoring (i.e., Osgood and Anderson, 2004?), while peers are considered a motivating influence that encourages involvement in criminal or otherwise deviant activities.

The importance of peers first came into consideration with Sutherland's (1947) theory of differential association. Differential association argues that people become criminal through their associations (i.e., friendships) with other criminals. Sutherland argues that these relationships will provide the individual with an excess of delinquent or antisocial definitions; in other words, these relationships will cause the individual to develop the same antisocial attitude as their friends. It is through these relationships that individuals learn the techniques necessary to engage in criminal activities as well as the proper reasons for doing so. Sutherland notes that these relationships vary in frequency of contact, duration, priority, and intensity, so merely knowing someone who is engaged in delinquent or deviant behavior does not automatically mean that the individual in question will also become delinquent.

Sutherland's theory was expanded upon by Burgess and Akers (1966), who incorporated the notion of differential association into their concept of social learning theory. Social learning theory is based around four central concepts: differential association, differential reinforcement, definitions, and imitation. Differential association is used here similar to how Sutherland (1947) originally conceptualized it: it is association with delinquent peers leading to an excess of definitions of behavior favoring delinquency; it is an environment where deviant behavior is normative and prosocial behavior non-normative. Differential reinforcement is the balance between the anticipated rewards and consequences of a particular act and the actual rewards and consequences; this suggests that a lack of suitable punishments will reinforce the individuals delinquent identity. This is related to the third concept, definitions. Here, the authors argue that the individual attaches general and specific meanings to the behavior they are engaging in, both from a religious or moral standpoint (general) and a specific standpoint (this may also be considered a symbolic interactionist definition, such that the individual is attaching specific meanings to these behaviors ((Katz, ??)). Finally, the individual must also imitate the behaviors they are exposed to in order to become delinquent themselves. While these propositions may seem intuitive, they do expand about Sutherland's original conceptualization in important ways -- namely, Sutherland argues that merely making criminal behavior normative will cause individuals to engage in these acts. Burgess and Akers include the actual process of becoming a delinquent that Sutherland takes for granted.

Naturally, social learning theory, differential association, and the general perspective that peers influence criminal behavior has evolved since Burgess and Akers first introduced social learning theory in 1966. Recent research on the role of peers has taken three distinct approaches: (1) an assessment of demographic differences, (2) an expansion of the definition of "friends" to include romantic peers, "best friends", and siblings, and (3) reassessing the idea of differential definitions of delinquent behavior.

The work of Haynie and Payne (2006) and Mears et al. (1998) are recent examples of research that has focused on the importance of race and/or gender in regard to the relationship between peer associations and crime. Haynie and Payne (2006) focus explicitly on the ability of friendship network composition to explain racial differences in participation or involvement in violence. The authors also show significant differences between white, black, and Hispanic youth in regard to the effect of friendship network characteristics on propensity for violence. Perhaps most notably, these authors find that network heterogeneity is negatively associated with involvement in violence for black adolescents, but positively associated with involvement in violence for white adolescents.

Gender, specifically the gender gap in involvement in delinquency, is examined by Mears et al. (1998). These authors argue that men and women are effected differently by exposure to similar criminogenic conditions, in this case, association with delinquent peers. Their analysis supports their hypothesis that the gender gap in delinquency exists partially because of men and women attach different moral evaluations to delinquency, in this case, the behavior of their peers. At the very least, these findings qualify the basic premise of social learning theory and differential association; being surrounded by delinquent peers does not have the same effect for all persons, above and beyond Sutherland's (1947) allowing for variation based on frequency of contact, intensity, duration, and priority.

The expansion of the definition of "friends" is another part of differential association and social learning theory that has come into consideration in recent years. Specifically, recent research has looked at the way relationships with romantic partners (Haynie et al., 2005) and siblings (Haynie and Mchugh, 2003) influence involvement in delinquent activity as well as whether network placement, specifically the difference between friends and best friends, impacts involvement in delinquency (Weerman and Smeenk, 2005). Both Haynie et al. (2005) and Haynie and Mchugh (2003) expand upon the traditional conceptualization of friends to include other peers that adolescents normally and reasonably spend time with in varying capacities. Not surprisingly, both sets of authors find that relationships with romantic partners and siblings during adolescence can contribute to the individual's overall participation in delinquency; Haynie et al. (2005) show that romantic partners' delinquency has a unique effect on the individual's participation, net of the roles of their other friends. While romantic partners have more of a direct influence on participation in delinquency, Haynie and Mchugh (2003) show that siblings have an indirect effect on involvement in delinquency. Here, the authors show that siblings have an indirect effect on delinquency via their own friends; that is, if you have a sibling who has delinquent friends, you may be more likely to become delinquent as well via your knowledge of and interactions with this third party. A third approach is taken by Weeman and Smeenk (2005), who ask whether network placement -- i.e., friends versus best friends -- makes a difference in the likelihood that an individual will become involved in delinquency. Here, contrary to what may seem to be an intuitive relationship, these authors find no support for the idea that best friends will have a stronger impact on participation in delinquency than ordinary friends; there is no difference whatsoever. This further complicates the role of peers; romantic partners (Haynie et al., 2005) have a direct impact, siblings have an indirect impact (Haynie and Mchugh, 2003), but best friends do not play a special part.

Finally, a third area of research on the role of peers has focused on reassessing the idea of "definitions" first discussed by Burgess and Akers (1966). This approach, exemplified by the work of Rebellon (2006) and Kreager (2007), argues that delinquency may be a means to an end for some adolescents, instead of being the end result from their existing relationships. Specifically, both authors argue that in some cases, involvement in delinquency is a way for adolescents to attract positively-valued attention from their peers. Of course, this does not apply to all adolescents; Kreager (2007) finds that it is most applicable among young males with low levels of education. Rebellon (2006) also shows that engaging in delinquency to attract peers doesn't necessarily work the way hypothesized by Kreager (2007); here, Rebellon finds no support for a direct effect, but he does find what Burgess and Akers (1966) might call an "imitation" factor, in that those persons the individual is trying to attract socially are more likely to engage in delinquency themselves, indirectly reinforcing the individual's idea that these types of behaviors will make them popular. That being said, participation in delinquency is not always a means of attracting peers; Kreager (?) shows that isolated individuals who have problematic encounters with their peers are more likely to become involved in delinquency. In this case, delinquency is the byproduct of negative relationships with peers, rather than something that is a result of positive relationships with them.

Of course, while research on the peer effect does show that peers influence delinquency in a variety of ways, Haynie and Osgood (?) caution us about taking the peer effect too far. Their research indicates that the effect of antisocial behavior becoming normative through peer interactions is not as significant as differential association (Sutherland, 1947) would have us believe; that peer interactions do not fully account for the importance of opportunity; and that peer influence does not mediate other influences, including those of age, gender, family, or school. Therefore, the argument can be made that the role of peers is no different from the role of parents -- this group does have a real influence on involvement in delinquency, but not to the extent that they were originally believed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Went to bed around 12:30-1am last night. Fell asleep around 5:30-6am. Major tossing and turning, compounded by a) the idea that I am going to miserably fail the exam, b) an idea I had for my first lecture in SOC 101, whenever that day comes, and c) I hate the heat and I hate early meetings.

So, today was bad.

Did some grant stuff, but I didn't do as much as I could/should have done because by 11:30 this morning, I was dead on my feet. Driving home from campus, I zoned out for about 5 miles and then suddenly realized I was driving 20mph under the speed limit. Got home, wound up sleeping for about an hour, and then loaded up on caffeine and tried to read my notes on strain theory. The treatment strain theory has received in the literature is fairly consistent -- people agree that it applies, they've shown it applies in different circumstances (i.e., one study focuses on the homeless, one focuses on an incarcerated population) and it's shown both economic strain (I want money but I can't get it legally) and emotional strain (This sucks, so FTW) are both real. But, like every other theory, they explain some portion of the variance, but not 100% of it, and there's one article that shows how strain interacts with other factors. Interestingly, the articles I read today barely overlapped with the articles I've read previously -- so these don't include Broidy and Agnew (date? I forget) which shows men and women experience different kinds of strain or Thaxton and Agnew (date? I forget) which shows strain resulting from poor relationships is a better predictor of crime than not being in positive prosocial relationships. So, similar to the effect of parents piece I wrote about earlier, there's this recognized effect of strain, but it doesn't apply in the exact ways that the authors (Merton, 194X; Agnew, 1992) actually stated.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Late night musings

Got nothing done this weekend, aside from the little bit of work I did today. It's easy to fall back into the trap of "I have 3 months or so to still prepare for this exam, so why not take some more time off?", but I can't do it it like that. Doing it that way = fail.

Tomorrow, I have a meeting at 10am, but all I've got to do beforehand is print stuff up for it. Then I need to justify staying their longer, because I'm trying to make it worth my trouble to drive in since gas is so expensive. So, I'll probably stick around for a couple of hours to do some coding, or maybe get a head start on whatever work I'm given for the grant this week. I've got some other things to get done, namely starting to focus on stuff for the grad student organization.

As far as prelim stuff, since it's an abbreviated week, I'm not going to go too insane (I hope). I think that, from here on out, I'm going to be giving myself 5 goals every Sunday night to try and accomplish that week as far as exam prep goes. But, since I didn't do anything today because my wife had the day off and we just hung out, this week I'll make it 4:

1) Finish organizing my notes on the articles I find useful for any potential methods & measurement question;
2) Read my notes on strain theory;
3) Reread my notes on the role of peers;
4) Write something on either strain theory or the role of peers.

Should be doable. I hope. We already have plans for next weekend so there's not much wiggle room on this one, but that's okay. I plan on getting a ton done Wednesday and Friday, if nothing else.

As for the youtube video- I am completely re-immersed in politics again. After the 2000 election, I became completely disheartened -- and this was intensified in 2004. I tried to pretend like it doesn't matter to me, but it does, moreso now than it did then since I have a significant stake in it now above and beyond the basic human condition. I am unapologetically leftist. Deal with it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Another wasted Saturday

Going back home today, which is going to basically kill the day because I'm not doing anything productive this morning (blogging, gaming) and I'm not going to be doing anything productive tonight (even I'm not ready to spend a Saturday night studying yet). My family and I have a strange relationship, so things like this are never something I look forward to. At all.

I'm debating either broadening this blog slightly to account for my recent return to studying and following politics again, or starting a second blog for that stuff. It'd just be reaction pieces, so I don't know if its worth it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Great start

I am very proud of the "effect of parents" post. It has 13 unique citations, and if I can improve the way I structure that answer and fit everything together better, I'm going to have a good answer to any question involving the role of parents in delinquency. On top of that, it incorporates both self-control, power-control theory, and social disorganization theory, so I can come at it from different directions. Which is exactly what I need to be doing.

If I am knocking out stuff like this at the end of May, then I think I am in good shape since the test isn't until the middle of August. Granted, I have a lot of material left to cover, and then I have to go over it all again several more times, but still, I'm off to a great start, if I do say so myself.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Under pressure

Yeah. Started working on that post about the role of parents and peers. Got really stressed out about it. Major knot in my neck and shoulder, and I am obsessing over that post because that's how I roll.

Yuck. Three more months of this.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The effect of parents

I have spent the last little while reading through my notes on the differential effects of parents and peers on the development of criminal behavior. These are two very important groups because both have strong and often competing influences during adolescence. Not surprisingly, these are also at the center of the biggest debate in criminology: whether or not people are born good or bad. Persons arguing the former position cite Sutherland's theory of differential association or Akers' social learning theory and say that criminal behavior is the result of relationships and time spent with other delinquents. Persons arguing the latter say tend to cite Hirschi's social bond theory, though more recently it's social bond theory in the life course perspective. This perspective basically argues that strong relationships with other people, especially parents, acts as a deterrent against involvement in criminal or deviant activities. Others, arguing from the self-control perspective, say that because self-control is the direct result of the parenting practices used to raise the individual during their childhood, the parents have the most important role in determining whether or not a person will become a criminal.

Naturally, it's much more complex than that, but for the purpose of this blog, it's okay. Anyway, the interesting thing about the competing roles of parents and peers is that both sides argue that their perspective is 100% dominant and explains the lion's share of the variance in delinquent behavior. Recent research shows that both relationships with both parents and peers do have a significant impact on an individual's involvement in delinquency, neither is the be-all end-all explanatory variable that it claims to be.

Recent research on the role of parents focuses on the following aspects: the relationship between parents with low self-control and their children's self-control, the role that the neighborhood might play in both the development of self-control as well as the effects of high levels of collective efficacy and average rates of unstructured socializing, and the role of family structure (single parent home vs "intact" families). The pattern of these relationships suggest that although the relationship between parent and child is important, the relationship between community and family is also important. For example, Pratt, Turner, and Piquero (2004) show that community structure contributes as much to self control as parental socialization does, such that persons living in disadvantaged communities will likely develop lower self control that persons living in non-disadvantaged areas net of parental socialization. These findings are similar to those of Hay et al. (2006), who found that community disadvantage increases the effect of crime on problems within the family environment, suggesting that crime is more detrimental to within-family relationships in impoverished areas. However, the effect of community structure on the role of parents is not limited to the importance of socioeconomic status. Specifically, the way the residents of a community interact with one another also impacts the effectiveness of parents. For example, Simons et al. (2005) argue that the level of collective efficacy -- the degree to which members of a community believe they are capable of controlling or impacting the community in which they live -- also plays an important role. These authors suggest that collective efficacy is positively associated with authoritative parenting, such that communities that are more efficacious will be more likely to be comprised of families where the parents are more authoritative. Both of these concepts was shown to decrease the likelihood of adolescents associating with delinquent peers; furthermore, these authors also show a moderating effect, in that the deterrent effect of authoritative parenting is greater in areas of high collective efficacy. This study is not the only one to find a relationship of this nature. Osgood and Anderson (2004) find that time spent in unstructured socializing -- that is, adolescent socialization that does not include any parental monitoring or involvement -- has both an individual and contextual effect. These authors argue that time spent in unstructured socializing is associated with involvement in delinquent behavior; they also show that communities with high rates of unstructured socializing also have high rates of delinquency. In other words, no matter how closely parents monitor their own children, the fact that other parents are not monitoring their own kids' behaviors increases the likelihood that their children will become involved in some form of delinquency. This is an interesting relationship, because conventional wisdom suggests that individual parenting methods have a tremendously important impact on adolescent involvement in delinquency, be it through creating self-control through parental socialization (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990) or through monitoring adolescent friendships with potentially delinquent peers (Walsh, 2005).

This body of research overlaps with two other important roles parents play. I have already mentioned the relationship between community structure, parental socialization, and self-control (Hay et al, 2006). Recent research also suggests that parental socialization may not be necessarily as important to the development of self-control as Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) hypothesized. For instance, Nofziger (2008) shows that mothers with low self-control will raise children with low self-control, because their own lack of impulse control inhibits their ability to adequately monitor their children's behavior and consistently punish deviant behaviors. While this line of research suggests that the relationship between parental socialization and self-control may actually be spurious, there are others who argue that the relationship is non-existent. This perspective, taken by Wright and Beaver (2005) , argues that self-control is most likely biologically determined, which, if true, would remove parental socialization from the model completely. These authors cite biological deficiencies such as ADHD which have an undeniable and intuitive relationship to self-control as evidence that biological causes should be taken into serious consideration. In their study, the inclusion of ADHD into the model made the effect of parental socialization weak and inconsistent, supporting their hypothesis that self-control is the result of biological factors. In sum, the relationship between low self-control and parental socialization proposed by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) may be effected in different ways by community disadvantage (Hay et al., 2006), community structure (Osgood and Anderson, 2004; Simons et al., 2005), parental self-control (Nofziger, 2008), and biological factors (Wright and Beaver, 2004).

In addition to the roles of parents I have already discussed, a third factor considered in the literature are family structure and processes. This refers not only to whether or not there is a difference between one and two-parent households, but also incorporates things like the age of the mother at childbirth or the relationship status of the parent if they are not married and living with the other biological parent. This line of research speaks to within-group differences among parents, suggesting that the mere fact of having a parent/being a parent does not have a universal deterrent effect on whether or not you/your child will become involved in delinquent behavior.

The age of the mother at childbirth is an issue raised by Pogarsky et al. (2003). These authors show that children born to young mothers were more likely to be involved in delinquency than children born to older mothers, though this effect was stronger among white and Hispanic families than it was for African-Americans. The authors suggest that this relationship is partially due to the circumstances these children are born into (i.e., unstable family lives), but that this factor doesn't completely explain the "young mother" effect.

Another factor to be taken into consideration is the family structure itself, specifically whether or not the individual in question is presently living in or grew up in a one or two-parent household. This issue is addressed by both Demuth and Brown (2004) and Apel and Kaukinen (2008). Demuth and Brown (2004) show unequivocally that adolescents raised in single-parent homes are more likely to be delinquent than their peers in two-parent homes, and that children raised by single fathers are less delinquent than children raised by single mothers. That being said, these authors also show that the processes by which the family operates and the methods employed by the parents to monitor and discipline their children completely mediate the difference between single mothers and single fathers, suggesting that being a single parent isn't necessarily the important factor, but that the parenting methods employed are. Abel and Kaukinen (2008) tease out the within group differences in two-parent homes, allowing for differences in marital status (married versus cohabiting) and the presence of children from previous relationships. These authors show that adolescents in a home with one non-biological parent are substantially more delinquent than their counterparts, and that there is substantial variation within families centered on the presence of step-siblings and whether or not the parents are officially married. A related issue here is identified by Hagan, Simpson and Gillis (1987) and again by McCarthy, Hagan and Woodward (1999), both of whom suggest that the processes utilized by parents extends not only to their ability to discipline their children, but also the philosophical standpoint of the parents -- that is, are they raising their children in a traditional patriarchal environment, or are they utilizing a more balanced approach? Both Hagan, Simpson and Gillis (1987) and McCarthy, Hagan, and Woodward (1999) show substantial variation between families with two-married parents and single parents in the delinquency of their children based on this philosophical approach. This, coupled with the findings of Demuth and Brown (2004), Apel and Kaukinen (2008) and Pogarsky et al (2003) suggest that, as I said previously, the mere presence of parents in ones life doesn't guarantee a reduction in the likelihood of delinquency.


The post on the effect of peers will be coming tonight or tomorrow. Man, that was rough, and could use some reorganizing, but I am glad I did it because it's going to make the actual answer so much better.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Welcome to the weekend

Actually managed to get more done yesterday than I thought, because I've become surprisingly efficient after four years of this stuff, and part of this is spending time thinking about what you've read and rolling it around and letting it sink in.

Knocked out three more sets of notes, today covering social disorganization/structure/class, corporate crime, and labeling theory/reintegrative shaming, and then I read three articles: South and Messner's (2001) piece on the link between criminology and demography, MacMillan's (2001) article on the economic impact victimization can have in the life course, and Hagan and Foster's (2004) article on the association between violent victimization during adolescence and early entry into adulthood. I also tore through a stack of about 70 articles or so, it's tough to judge, could be more, could be less, from a couple of classes. A lot of them were social psych articles that didn't really apply -- things like the role of self-esteem, identity conflict, etc -- so I pulled out some things that are useful (namely anything related to Matsueda's conceptualization of reflected appraisals) .

Today, I think I might not do anything. Maybe tonight I'll look through some of the notes just to see what's there, since I haven't really had a chance to do that yet. I really don't feel well this morning, so a wasted day might not hurt.

This week, I collect my notes on methods and measurement, I'd like to spend some time reading through my notes on race and gender, I've got a grant meeting on Tuesday morning to prepare for, and I need to look at the model for this paper some more. If I can get a good handle on race and gender by the end of the week and get into parents and peers, I'll be pretty happy, I think.

Another Friday

Spent part of the drive yesterday rolling the notes I read previously on social control theory around in my head to find ways to synthesize it. Basically, Gottfredson & Hirschi (1990) argue that self control is the one & only predictor of criminal behavior; they say self control control is a product of interactions with parents during childhood, it becomes stable and unchanging by age 7, and this process is consistent across race and gender. Research since then has shown that G&H were only partially correct; self control is a strong predictor of involvement in criminal behavior, but it is not stable (parenting practices can modify it in adolescence; other relationships effect it throughout the life course), it also isn't the only component that predicts criminal behavior, as the presence of self-control variables in models doesn't completely mediate the relationship delinquency and other measures. Also, some suggest that maybe parenting isn't as important to the development of self control as G&H argue; for instance, persons born with functional deficits like ADHD obviously have issues with impulse control, and so there is likely a biological component at work here as well.

If only I could remember the citations for some of that off the top of my head.

Right now, I am trying to finish getting my notes organized. The summer "officially" starts Monday, so I have to go in and take care of a bunch of paperwork and get ready for a grant meeting on Tuesday morning. But, if I get these journal notes organized by then, it won't be too much to pull relevant material from my course syllabi to supplement them (there's already a lot of overlap, obviously) and then, well, we'll see.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ain't no hangman gonna throw a noose around me

It turns out the meeting I missed yesterday wasn't my fault; we talked for 45 minutes or so today about the exam, and it reaffirmed much of what I had already assumed/figured out on my own. The funny thing is that it turns out the big meeting I wrote about previously is now on again, because it's department policy so they have to do it. Ha ha ha. So I saved some of my questions I had for today for the next meeting, whenever that is.

The downside of today is that my presentation scheduled for November in STL is...not looking good. I need to do some serious work on that badboy to replicate my original findings. I just had an idea for something I could do for it, so, we'll see. I hope.

Tomorrow I am taking a partial day off to go have lunch with a friend. Friday I finish organizing my notes and preparing for a grant meeting on Tuesday; this weekend, I do as little work as I can and take some time to myself.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I am Jack's growing anxiety

I have gone through all four journals I wanted to hit (American Sociological Review, Criminology, Social Forces, and Journal of Research on Crime & Delinquency) and pulled out tons of abstracts from each one. These, in addition to the syllabi for several classes (Juvenile Delinquency, Theories of Criminality, Deviant Behavior, Sociology of Adolescence, Sociology of Interpersonal Violence, and Race and Ethnic Relations) will form the core of my study material, though some of those classes I'm really only pulling one of two things from.

Now I am going through the journal stuff and reorganizing the abstracts into the following categories. Asterisks are what I accomplished as of this post:

Age / The Life Course *
The Role of Parents *
The Role of Peers *
Social Class / Social Disorganization Theory
Strain Theory
Labeling Theory
Self-Control Theory
Issues in Methods & Measurement
Social Class / Corporate Crime

My goal is to have everything done by the weekend, I hope. There are two entries for social class because SES is an interesting beast of a concept that consistently shows no relationship between class status and crime, because it turns out status is associated with different social psychological measures and routine activities that lead to motivations/opportunities for crime, so gang violence is one thing to talk about because it is associated with lower class status, while corporate offending is another thing to talk about because it is associated with higher class status. Social disorganization theory also captures neighborhood context and effects, which isn't something we are necessarily concerned with in regard to occupational and corporate crime. And so on and so forth. There is also a lot of overlap between some of these things, which is good for me in the long run because right now, I'm terrified of trying to synthesize some of this stuff into one coherent response.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I am Jack's throbbing headache

I have finished going through every issue of The American Sociological Review and Social Forces for every article with the keyword "crime" from 1990-2007. I pulled every abstract, and then read every abstract and removed it if it wasn't something I felt I could use on the exam in any way, and if I did keep it, made notes about where I might use it or where else I might encounter it (i.e., ASR has a lot of articles that were used in my Soc of Interpersonal Violence seminar). This came out to be 50 or so more articles that I have to sort through, though not all of them are new to me. I have to go through these again and make another round of cuts and place them in the context of all of the other articles I have already.

I found a couple of really good life course articles, one talking about military experience as a life course transition and another talking about the life course perspective in general. I also found a ton of stuff on race and social dis/organization, which my notes have been lacking on. I also found a good piece on quantitative versus qualitative research, which I needed something in. I think these past couple of days have been very worthwhile, as I have strengthened my resource base in several areas. I have a ton of notes that other people have collected and things like that, but they haven't been very helpful to me thus far. I can only stare at things so much, and it's not helping me to study like that.

Next up, I go through the journals Criminology and Research on Crime & Delinquency for the past 5 years in total and pull everything that might be useful. Then I take everything from these four journals that I've kept plus everything from several classes (thankfully I have brief article outlines that I used as study guides for other exams!), and then it's a matter of organizing everything again and categorizing it by theories of crime and by correlates of crime.

And then I start writing practice answers.

This test isn't until the middle of August.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I am Jack's bleary eyed Tuesday

Spent an excruciatingly long day with my parents yesterday. My ears are still ringing.

I have decided to put off working on one project I'd wanted to do this summer to put more emphasis on studying for my prelim. I am still kind of nervous about this, I am still kind of not. I don't know. I should probably take today off after yesterday, but there's no rest for the weary.