Comparative Studies: Difficulties, Pitfalls and Resistance

James O. Finckenauer, Rutgers University

This paper will take as a given that cross-cultural and cross-national examinations of crime and criminal justice processes are important and valuable. Having said that, we nevertheless need to be alert and sensitive to a myriad of potential problems that can arise in conducting such examinations. Here I will explore just some of these issues and problems that surround comparative studies. The paper does not offer simple solutions to these problems -- there are none. Instead, its intent is to challenge creative minds to think about and to propose their possible solution.

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Updated 05/20/2006