A critical review allows you to examine many aspects of a book: the theoretical traditions from which it derives and within which it is working, the research methods used by the author, its substantive argument, the adequacy of the data presented and the claims made.
A critical review allows you to examine many aspects of a book
Critical Review Essay Assignment
Jeffrey Reiman & Paul Leighton — The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison (9th, 10th or 11th edition will do)
A critical review allows you to examine many aspects of a book: the theoretical traditions from which it derives and within which it is working, the research methods used by the author, its substantive argument, the adequacy of the data presented and the claims made. When you have completed a critical review you will not only know some more information, but you will also understand better how analyses and interpretations of your society are constructed and how they can be evaluated.
In crafting a critical review the following points should also be covered in the course of your review:
A. Theoretical Framing:
What questions or topics are being discuss ed?
Firstly, Why is this topic important to the author(s)?
Secondly, What theoretical frameworks do the author(s) use in crafting his argument?
Note that the book is using at least three of the theoretical perspectives cover ed by Pfohl in his text on Images of Deviance and Social Control. Finally, your review should be conversant about those three perspectives.
B. Research Methods& Sampling:
Firstly, What research methods did the author use for his study?
Secondly, How did the author gather his information?
Thirdly, Who or what did the author observe?
Fourthly, Was the choice of methods appropriate to the topic being studied and the theoretical questions being asked?
Further, Do you think these results are valid and/or true?
Also, How generalizable and representative are the results?
Lastly, Would other research methods might have yielded better result? Different results?
C. Data/Results: What were the actual findings and results of the study?
Do you believe these findings? Why or why not?
D. Interpretation: Do you agree with the author’s interpretation of the data? Why or why not?
Are other interpretations possible?
What further questions does this research provoke for you? Explain. This is where you may offer your critically informed judgment about the book.
(See next page)
Part of your success on this assignment will depend on the following:
Make sure you follow the instructions above. This is a critical sociological review you are writing, not simply thumbs up and thumbs down opinion piece. Be sure to include the sociological elements that I ask for in the course of your review. Your grade depends in part on how well you can appropriately incorporate theoretical, methodological and empirical points raise d in the book and demonstrate that you were engage d with the course.
Technical details: Your review should be 6-8 typed pages long, double spaced, 12 pt. font, with normal margins. Please put your name on a separate page at the end of you paper, not on the front page. Aside from classroom discussion you are to work independently on this assignment. If you directly quote or rely substantially on any other person’s work you must give a proper citation. (Note that you are not expect ed to look at materials besides what you are reviewing and the class texts.)
This assignment due 11:59 p.m. and is worth 150 points. Please submit it to Canvas on time. No late work will be accept ed so please submit well ahead of the deadline.