5. Methods and Counting Crime

5.9 Application

Dr. Wendelin Hume and Ashly Hanna, B.A.

The final stage of our research projects is to use the conclusions we have reached to inform or educate others. Since we studied Indigenous elders in both of our examples, we would first present our findings to the tribal leaders. We would also share with them what we would like to present to others or what we would like to publish. This sharing and seeking of approval before broader dissemination of our results is often part of the agreement reached to conduct research with Indigenous peoples. It is also respectful of the concept of data sovereignty, wherein Indigenous peoples can control what data are collected about them and how results are disseminated. This agreement does not mean we change our results but that we are careful and thoughtful in how we interpret and communicate the results.

In the past, Indigenous peoples did not have control over studies completed on them, and there is currently often disagreement by researchers about the need for tribal approval before sharing their research with others (Macdonald et al., 2014). The current typical research expectation includes domination over “who can know, who can create knowledge, and whose knowledge can be bought” (Chilisa, 2020, p. 58). So, the term “academic imperialism” refers to how typical scholarly circles attempt to dismiss or diminish any alternative methodologies or perspectives such as data sovereignty (Chilisa, 2020). This dismissal often takes place through gatekeepers such as committees that approve courses and course content, editors that approve or deny article topics, granting agencies that approve or deny funding, and publishers that decide which manuscripts are worthy of publication. This very textbook is an example of current efforts to address these historical omissions of Indigenous knowledge in the field of criminology.

When appropriate, researchers may instead attempt to create and consciously use strategies to end oppressive conditions that silence and/or marginalise Indigenous or any other minority voices. Since the researcher has power over the subjects, they need to be thoughtful about any potential power dynamics such as teachers performing research on their students, employers conducting research on employees, or even being certain to still follow ethical guidelines when conducting research on people in positions of power. Researchers may also assist in the restoration or development of cultural practices and traditions that were suppressed but are still relevant to the advancement and empowerment of historically oppressed non-Western societies.



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Introduction to Criminology Copyright © 2023 by Dr. Wendelin Hume and Ashly Hanna, B.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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