Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ethnography of Crime and Punishment
Mark S. Fleisher
Ethnography is the process of conducting firsthand research within a community. Researchers who do ethnography are called ethnographers. The process involves learning the local language, participating in daily routines, and becoming sufficiently part of the local social environment that people go about their daily lives in the presence of the ethnographer without playing to an audience. Anthropologists have practiced ethnography for more than a hundred years in foreign venues. Over the past forty years, however, sociologists and anthropologists have used ethnographic techniques to study American inner-city community life, as well as the lifestyles of lawbreakers and the forms of punishment to which lawbreakers are subject. The ethnography of crime and punishment is the study of crime, criminals, and forms of institutionalized punishment, conducted by gathering data first-hand among criminals on the street and in correctional settings. The study of crime has been conducted principally in two ways. The first way ...