The Enigma of Japan as a Testing Ground for Cross-Cultural Criminological Studies
International Annals of Criminology, V.50, Nos. 1-2 (2012)
13 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2014
Date Written: January 1, 2012
The purpose of this paper is to discuss methods and hypotheses of empirical comparative research on criminal behavior from the perspective of a Japanese criminologist. Referring to the title of van Wolferen's book on The Enigma of Japanese Power, the author studies Japan as an ideal testing ground for any approach in comparative criminology: with an apparently contradictory combination of tremendous economic development and a consistently low crime rate, lower than those in most other developed countries, Japan still needs comparative research of three types: first, using data from a culture or country different from those where theories to be tested originated; second, confronting qualitative research focusing on only two or three cultures; third, comparing quantitative research involving a large number of cultures or countries.
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