Mastering Sociology by Gerard O’Donnell (auth.)

By Gerard O’Donnell (auth.)

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24 Mastering Sociology These are the principal findings of a Home Office report, Investigating burglary: The Measurement of Police Pe~formance, based on research into police procedures in six areas' (Police Review, 1986). In 1986 a number of allegations were made by serving police officers that scores of fictitious crimes have been invented and then 'solved' with false confessions, to bolster the crime figures. 'One detective, with more than 20 years' experience, said: "It is all one big untruth, which is taken as an official white lie, and there is a knock-on effect.

But led Doc to remark: 'You've slowed me up plenty. Now failed'. l ·sweeper ' in a fac tory allowed him to circulate freel y; Roland Frankenberg actually became secretary of the football club of the village he was observing. But how involved should a sociologist become? Ned Polsky has argued for complete immersion even to the point of joining in a robbery, Howard Parker was prepared to receive 'knoc k-off' . and in observi ng a Glasgow gang james Patrick was abused by others for not joining in a gang.

Care of the sick, elderly, disabled or unemployed are all ways in which families have protected their members. In many societies one of the family's functions is economic, as a unit both of production and consumption. In Britain the family is still a major unit of consumption; requiring items such as housing, holidays, television sets and cars; but industrialisation has removed joint working from most families, although it still does occur, for example, among farmers and Asian shopkeepers. The family has a function in most societies of regulating sexual contact, but although important this is not an essential function of all family systems.

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