Examining Paradigmatic Development in Criminology and Criminal Justice: A Content Analysis of Research Methods Syllabi in Doctoral Programs

Christopher J. Sullivan, Rutgers University
Michael G. Maxfield, Rutgers University

Kuhn (1996) describes a paradigm as a model for a field of scientific inquiry. He notes the importance of shared scientific research methods in the paradigm. This study examines research methods teaching in doctoral programs to identify elements of a paradigm. Research methods syllabi were obtained from schools that have a doctoral program in criminology and criminal justice. Content analysis was conducted to identify themes in courses and readings. There was little evidence of consensus in doctoral-level research methods teaching at these institutions. This is indicative of a discipline that does not have an established paradigm.

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Updated 05/20/2006