The four components of research described above are integrated into the following steps of the research process. Qualitative sociologists generally employ observational and analytic techniques that allow them to contextualize observed patterns in relation to existing hierarchies or assumptions within natural settings.
Thus, while the true experiment is ideally suited for the performance of quantitative science, especially because it is the best quantitative method for deriving causal relationships , other methods of hypothesis testing are commonly employed in the social sciences, and qualitative methods of critique and analysis are utilized to fact check the assumptions and theories created upon the basis of "controlled" rather than natural circumstances. The scientific process is iterative. At any stage it is possible that some consideration will lead the scientist to repeat an earlier part of the process.
For instance, failure of a hypothesis to produce interesting and testable predictions may lead to reconsideration of the hypothesis or of the definition of the subject. It is also important to note that science is a social enterprise, and scientific work will become accepted by the community only if it can be verified and it "makes sense" within existing scientific beliefs and assumptions about the world when new findings complicate these assumptions and beliefs, we generally witness paradigm shifts in science .
All scientific knowledge is in a state of flux, for at any time new evidence could be presented that contradicts a long-held hypothesis, and new perspectives e. For this reason, scientific journals use a process of peer review , in which scientists' manuscripts are submitted by editors of scientific journals to usually one to three fellow usually anonymous scientists familiar with the field for evaluation.
Boris Johnson referred to police watchdog for potential ‘misconduct in public office’ investigation
The referees may or may not recommend publication, publication with suggested modifications, or, sometimes, publication in another journal. Sometimes peer review inhibits the circulation of unorthodox work, and at other times may be too permissive. The peer review process is not always successful, but has been very widely adopted by the scientific community.
The reproducibility or replication of quantitative scientific observations, while usually described as being very important in a scientific method, is actually seldom reported, and is in reality often not done. Referees and editors often reject papers purporting only to reproduce some observations as being unoriginal and not containing anything new. Occasionally reports of a failure to reproduce results are published - mostly in cases where controversy exists or a suspicion of fraud develops.
The threat of failure to replicate by others as well as the ongoing qualitative enterprise designed to explore the veracity of quantitative findings in non-controlled settings , however, serves as a very effective deterrent for most quantitative scientists, who will usually replicate their own data several times before attempting to publish. Sometimes useful observations or phenomena themselves cannot be reproduced in fact, this is almost always the case in qualitative science spanning physical and social science disciplines. They may be rare, or even unique events.
Reproducibility of quantitative observations and replication of experiments is not a guarantee that they are correct or properly understood. Errors can all too often creep into more than one laboratory or pattern of interpretation mathematical or qualitative utilized by scientists. In the scientific pursuit of quantitative prediction and explanation, two relationships between variables are often confused: correlation and causation. While these terms are rarely used in qualitative science, they lie at the heart of quantitative methods, and thus constitute a cornerstone of scientific practice.
Correlation refers to a relationship between two or more variables in which they change together. A positive correlation means that as one variable increases e. A negative correlation is just the opposite; as one variable increases e. Causation refers to a relationship between two or more variables where one variable causes the other.
In order for a variable to cause another, it must meet the following three criteria:. An example may help explain the difference. Ice cream consumption is positively correlated with incidents of crime. Employing the quantitative method outlined above, the reader should immediately question this relationship and attempt to discover an explanation.
It is at this point that a simple yet noteworthy phrase should be introduced: correlation is not causation. If you look back at the three criteria of causation above, you will notice that the relationship between ice cream consumption and crime meets only one of the three criteria they change together. The real explanation of this relationship is the introduction of a third variable: temperature. Ice cream consumption and crime increase during the summer months. Thus, while these two variables are correlated, ice cream consumption does not cause crime or vice versa.
Both variables increase due to the increasing temperatures during the summer months. It is often the case that correlations between variables are found but the relationship turns out to be spurious. Clearly understanding the relationship between variables is an important element of the quantitative scientific process. Like the distinction drawn between positivist sociology and Verstehen sociology, there is - as noted above in the elaboration of general scientific methods - often a distinction drawn between two types of sociological investigation: quantitative and qualitative.
For instance, social class, following the quantitative approach, can be divided into different groups - upper-, middle-, and lower-class - and can be measured using any of a number of variables or a combination thereof: income, educational attainment, prestige, power, etc. Quantitative sociologists also utilize mathematical models capable of organizing social experiences into a rational order that may provide a necessary foundation for more in depth analyses of the natural world importantly, this element of quantitative research often provides the initial or potential insights that guide much theoretical and qualitative analyses of patterns observed - numerically or otherwise - beyond the confines of mathematical models.
Quantitative sociologists tend to use specific methods of data collection and hypothesis testing, including: experimental designs , surveys , secondary data analysis , and statistical analysis. Further, quantitative sociologists typically believe in the possibility of scientifically demonstrating causation, and typically utilize analytic deduction e. Finally, quantitative sociologists generally attempt to utilize mathematical realities e.
Qualitative methods of sociological research tend to approach social phenomena from the Verstehen perspective. Rather than attempting to measure or quantify reality via mathematical rules, qualitative sociologists explore variation in the natural world people may see, touch, and experience during their lives.
As such, these methods are primarily used to a develop a deeper understanding of a particular phenomenon, b explore the accuracy or inaccuracy of mathematical models in the world people experience, c critique and question the existing assumptions and beliefs of both scientists and other social beings, and d refine measurements and controls used by quantitative scientists via insights gleaned from the experiences of actual people.
While qualitative methods may be used to propose or explore relationships between variables, these studies typically focus on explicating the realities people experience that lie at the heart or foundation of such relationships rather than focusing on the relationships themselves. Qualitatively oriented sociologists tend to employ different methods of data collection and analysis, including: participant observation , interviews , focus groups , content analysis , visual sociology , and historical comparison. Further, qualitative sociologists typically reject measurement or quantities essential to quantitative approaches and the notion or belief in causality e.
Finally, qualitative sociologists generally attempt to utilize natural realities e. While there are sociologists who employ and encourage the use of only one or the other method, many sociologists see benefits in combining the approaches. They view quantitative and qualitative approaches as complementary. Results from one approach can fill gaps in the other approach. For example, quantitative methods could describe large or general patterns in society while qualitative approaches could help to explain how individuals understand those patterns.
Similarly, qualitative patterns in society can reveal missing pieces in the mathematical models of quantitative research while quantitative patterns in society can guide more in-depth analysis of actual patterns in natural settings. In fact, it is useful to note that many of the major advancements in social science have emerged in response to the combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques that collectively created a more systematic picture of probable and actual social conditions and experiences.
Sociologists, like all humans, have values, beliefs, and even pre-conceived notions of what they might find in doing their research. Because sociologists are not immune to the desire to change the world, two approaches to sociological investigation have emerged. By far the most common is the objective approach advocated by Max Weber. Weber recognized that social scientists have opinions, but argued against the expression of non-professional or non-scientific opinions in the classroom.
Weber did argue that it was acceptable for social scientists to express their opinions outside of the classroom and advocated for social scientists to be involved in politics and other social activism. The objective approach to social science remains popular in sociological research and refereed journals because it refuses to engage social issues at the level of opinions and instead focuses intently on data and theories. The objective approach is contrasted with the critical approach, which has its roots in Karl Marx's work on economic structures. Anyone familiar with Marxist theory will recognize that Marx went beyond describing society to advocating for change.
Marx disliked capitalism and his analysis of that economic system included the call for change. This approach to sociology is often referred to today as critical sociology see also action research. Some sociological journals focus on critical sociology and some sociological approaches are inherently critical e. Building on these early insights, the rise of Feminist methods and theories in the 's ushered in an ongoing debate concerning critical versus objective realities. Drawing on early Feminist writings by social advocates including but not limited to Elizabeth Cady Stanton , Alice Paul , Ida Wells Barnett , Betty Friedan , and sociological theorists including but not limited to Dorothy Smith , Joan Acker , and Patricia Yancey Martin , Feminist sociologists critiqued "objective" traditions as unrealistic and unscientific in practice.
Specifically, they - along with critical theorists like Michel Foucault , bell hooks , and Patricia Hill Collins - argued that since all science was conducted and all data was interpreted by human beings and all human beings have beliefs, values, and biases that they are often unaware of and that shape their perception of reality see The Social Construction of Reality , objectivity only existed within the beliefs and values of the people that claimed it.
Stated another way, since human beings are responsible for scientific knowledge despite the fact that human beings cannot be aware of all the potential biases, beliefs, and values they use to do their science, select their topics, construct measurements, and interpret data, "objective" or "value free" science are not possible. Rather, these theorists argued that the "personal is political" e. Whether or not scientists explicitly invoke their personal opinions in their teaching and research, every decision scientists make will ultimately rely upon - and thus demonstrate to varying degrees - their subjective realities.
Some examples of the subjective basis of both "objective" and "critical" sociology may illustrate the point. First, we may examine the research process for both objective and critical sociologists while paying attention to the many decisions people must make to engage in any study from either perspective. These decisions include:. As you can see above, the research process itself is full of decisions that each researcher must make.
As a result, researchers themselves have no opportunity to conduct objective studies because doing research requires them to use their personal experiences and opinions whether these arise from personal life, the advice of the people that taught them research methods, or the books they have read that were ultimately subject to the same subjective processes throughout the process. As a result, researchers can - as Feminists have long argued - attempt to be as objective as possible, but never actually hope to reach objectivity. This same problem arises in Weber's initial description of teaching.
For someone to teach any course, for example, they must make a series of decisions including but not limited to:. As a result, Weber's objectivity dissolves before the teacher ever enters the classroom. Whether or not the teacher or researcher explicitly takes a political, religious, or social stance, he or she will ultimately demonstrate personal stances, beliefs, values, and biases implicitly throughout the course. Although the recognition of all science as ultimately subjective to varying degrees is fairly well established at this point, the question of whether or not scientists should embrace this subjectivity remains an open one e.
Further, there are many scientists in sociology and other sciences that still cling to beliefs about objectivity, and thus promote this belief political in and of itself in their teaching, research, and peer review. As a result, the debate within the field continues without resolution, and will likely be an important part of scientific knowledge and scholarship for some time to come. Ethical considerations are of particular importance to sociologists because of the subject of investigation - people.
Because ethical considerations are of so much importance, sociologists adhere to a rigorous set of ethical guidelines. The most important ethical consideration of sociological research is that participants in sociological investigation are not harmed. While exactly what this entails can vary from study to study, there are several universally recognized considerations. For instance, research on children and youth always requires parental consent. Research on adults also requires informed consent and participants are never forced to participate. Confidentiality and anonymity are two additional practices that ensure the safety of participants when sensitive information is provided e.
To ensure the safety of participants, most universities maintain an institutional review board IRB that reviews studies that include human participants and ensures ethical rigor. It has not always been the case that scientists interested in studying humans have followed ethical principles in their research. Several studies that, when brought to light, led to the introduction of ethical principles guiding human subjects research and Institutional Review Boards to ensure compliance with those principles, are worth noting, including the Tuskegee syphilis experiment , in which impoverished black men with syphilis were left untreated to track the progress of the disease and Nazi experimentation on humans.
A recent paper by Susan M. Reverby  found that such unethical experiments were more widespread than just the widely known Tuskegee study and that the US Government funded a study in which thousands of Guatemalan prisoners were infected with syphilis to determine whether they could be cured with penicillin.
Ethical oversight in science is designed to prevent such egregious violations of human rights today. Sociologists also have professional ethical principles they follow. Obviously honesty in research, analysis, and publication is important. Sociologists who manipulate their data are ostracized and can have their memberships in professional organizations revoked.
Conflicts of interest are also frowned upon. A conflict of interest can occur when a sociologist is given funding to conduct research on an issue that relates to the source of the funds. For example, if Microsoft were to fund a sociologist to investigate whether users of Microsoft's product users are happier than users of open source software e. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, as several high profile cases illustrate e.
But the disclosure of conflicts of interest is recommended by most professional organizations and many academic journals. A comprehensive explanation of sociological guidelines is provided on the website of the American Sociological Association. Having discussed the sociological approach to understanding society, it is worth noting the limitations of sociology. Because of the subject of investigation society , sociology runs into a number of problems that have significant implications for this field of inquiry:.
Washoe County Library System
While it is important to recognize the limitations of sociology, sociology's contributions to our understanding of society have been significant and continue to provide useful theories and tools for understanding humans as social beings. Charmaz, Kathy. Blumer, Herbert. Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method. Sociologists develop theories to explain social phenomena. A theory is a proposed relationship between two or more concepts. In other words, a theory is explanation for why or how a phenomenon occurs.
An example of a sociological theory is the work of Robert Putnam on the decline of civic engagement. While there are a number of factors that contribute to this decline Putnam's theory is quite complex , one of the prominent factors is the increased consumption of television as a form entertainment.
Putnam's theory proposes:. This element of Putnam's theory clearly illustrates the basic purpose of sociological theory: it proposes a relationship between two or more concepts. In this case, the concepts are civic engagement and television watching. The relationship is an inverse one - as one goes up, the other goes down. What's more, it is an explanation of one phenomenon with another: part of the reason why civic engagement has declined over the last several decades is because people are watching more television.
Putnam's theory clearly contains the key elements of a sociological theory. Sociological theory is developed at multiple levels, ranging from grand theory to highly contextualized and specific micro-range theories. There are many middle-range and micro-range theories in sociology. Because such theories are dependent on context and specific to certain situations, it is beyond the scope of this text to explore each of those theories.
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce some of the more well-known and most commonly used grand and middle-range theories in sociology. In the theory proposed above, the astute reader will notice that the theory includes two components: The data, in this case the findings that civic engagement has declined and TV watching has increased, and the proposed relationship, that the increase in television viewing has contributed to the decline in civic engagement.
Data alone are not particularly informative. If Putnam had not proposed a relationship between the two elements of social life, we may not have realized that television viewing does, in fact, reduce people's desire to and time for participating in civic life. In order to understand the social world around us, it is necessary to employ theory to draw the connections between seemingly disparate concepts.
Another example of sociological theorizing illustrates this point. In his now classic work, Suicide ,  Emile Durkheim was interested in explaining a social phenomenon, suicide , and employed both data and theory to offer an explanation. By aggregating data for large groups of people in Europe, Durkheim was able to discern patterns in suicide rates and connect those patterns with another concept or variable : religious affiliation. Durkheim found that Protestants were more likely to commit suicide than were Catholics.
At this point, Durkheim's analysis was still in the data stage; he had not proposed an explanation for the different suicide rates of the two groups. It was when Durkheim introduced the ideas of anomie and social solidarity that he began to explain the difference in suicide rates. Durkheim argued that the looser social ties found in Protestant religions lead to weaker social cohesion and reduced social solidarity. The higher suicide rates were the result of weakening social bonds among Protestants.
While Durkheim's findings have since been criticized, his study is a classic example of the use of theory to explain the relationship between two concepts. Durkheim's work also illustrates the importance of theory: without theories to explain the relationship between concepts, we would not be able to hypothesize cause and effect relationships in social life or outline processes whereby social events and patterns occur.
As noted above, there are many theories in sociology. However, there are several broad theoretical perspectives that are prominent in the field they are arguably paradigms. These theories are prominent because they are quite good at explaining social life. They are not without their problems, but these theories remain widely used and cited precisely because they have withstood a great deal of criticism. As the dominant theories in sociology are discussed below, you might be inclined to ask, "Which of these theories is the best? In fact, it is probably more useful and informative to view these theories as complementary.
One theory may explain one element of society better than another. Or, both may be useful for explaining social life. In short, all of the theories are correct in the sense that they offer compelling explanations for social phenomena.
- Spyder Hole;
- Sunrise Meditations (Booklet Book 323);
- The Ten Greatest Miracles of the Bible.
- Forbes Now.
- About the Book Lists.
Structural-Functionalism is a sociological theory that originally attempted to explain social institutions as collective means to meet individual biological needs originally just functionalism. Later it came to focus on the ways social institutions meet social needs structural-functionalism. Structural-functionalism draws its inspiration primarily from the ideas of Emile Durkheim.
He sought to explain social cohesion and stability through the concept of solidarity. In more "primitive" societies it was mechanical solidarity , everyone performing similar tasks, that held society together. Durkheim proposed that such societies tend to be segmentary, being composed of equivalent parts that are held together by shared values, common symbols, or systems of exchanges. In modern, complex societies members perform very different tasks, resulting in a strong interdependence between individuals.
Based on the metaphor of an organism in which many parts function together to sustain the whole, Durkheim argued that modern complex societies are held together by organic solidarity think interdependent organs. The central concern of structural-functionalism is a continuation of the Durkheimian task of explaining the apparent stability and internal cohesion of societies that are necessary to ensure their continued existence over time.
Many functionalists argue that social institutions are functionally integrated to form a stable system and that a change in one institution will precipitate a change in other institutions. Societies are seen as coherent, bounded and fundamentally relational constructs that function like organisms, with their various parts social institutions working together to maintain and reproduce them. The various parts of society are assumed to work in an unconscious, quasi-automatic fashion towards the maintenance of the overall social equilibrium.
All social and cultural phenomena are therefore seen as being functional in the sense of working together to achieve this state and are effectively deemed to have a life of their own. These components are then primarily analysed in terms of the function they play. In other words, to understand a component of society, one can ask the question, "What is the function of this institution?
Thus, one can ask of education, "What is the function of education for society? Durkheim's strongly sociological perspective of society was continued by Radcliffe-Brown. Explanations of social phenomena therefore had to be constructed within this social level, with individuals merely being transient occupants of comparatively stable social roles.
Thus, in structural-functionalist thought, individuals are not significant in and of themselves but only in terms of their social status : their position in patterns of social relations. The social structure is therefore a network of statuses connected by associated roles.
Structural-functionalism has been criticized for being unable to account for social change because it focuses so intently on social order and equilibrium in society. For instance, in the late 19th Century, higher education transitioned from a training center for clergy and the elite to a center for the conduct of science and the general education of the masses.
As structural-functionalism thinks about elements of social life in relation to their present function and not their past functions, structural-functionalism has a difficult time explaining why a function of some element of society might change or how such change occurs. However, structural-functionalism could, in fact, offer an explanation in this case. Also occurring in the 19th Century though begun in the 18th was the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution, facilitated by capitalism, was increasingly demanding technological advances to increase profit.
Technological advances and advanced industry both required more educated workforces. Thus, as one aspect of society changed - the economy and production - it required a comparable change in the educational system, bringing social life back into equilibrium. Another philosophical problem with the structural-functional approach is the ontological argument that society does not have needs as a human being does; and even if society does have needs they need not be met.
The idea that society has needs like humans do is not a tenable position because society is only alive in the sense that it is made up of living individuals. What's more, just because a society has some element in it at the present that does not mean that it must necessarily have that element. For instance, in the United Kingdom, religious service attendance has declined precipitously over the last years.
Today, less than 1 in 10 British attend religious service in a given week. Another criticism often leveled at structural-functionalist theory is that it supports the status quo. According to some opponents, structural-functionalism paints conflict and challenge to the status quo as harmful to society, and therefore tends to be the prominent view among conservative thinkers.
Robert K. Merton proposed a distinction between manifest and latent functions. Latent functions are the unintended functions of a phenomenon in a social system. An example of manifest and latent functions is education. The manifest purpose of public education is to increase the knowledge and abilities of the citizenry to prepare them to contribute in the workforce.
A latent function of the public education system is the development of a hierarchy of the learned. The most learned are often also the most affluent. Thus, while education's manifest function is to empower all individuals to contribute to the workforce and society, it also limits some people by creating boundaries of entry into occupations. A prominent sociological theory that is often contrasted with structural-functionalism is conflict theory. Karl Marx is considered the father of conflict theory.
Conflict theory argues that society is not best understood as a complex system striving for equilibrium but rather as a competition. Society is made up of individuals competing for limited resources e. Broader social structures and organizations e. Conflict theory was developed in part to illustrate the limitations of structural-functionalism.
The structural-functionalist approach argued that society tends toward equilibrium, focusing on stability at the expense of social change. This is contrasted with the conflict approach, which argues that society is constantly in conflict over resources. One of the primary contributions conflict theory presents over the structural-functional approach is that it is ideally suited for explaining social change, a significant problem in the structural-functional approach. A heuristic device to help you think about society from a conflict perspective is to ask, "Who benefits from this element of society?
Because higher education in the U. Thus, the educational system often screens out poorer individuals not because they are unable to compete academically but because they cannot afford to pay for their education. Because the poor are unable to obtain higher education, this means they are also generally unable to get higher paying jobs which means they remain poor.
This can easily translate into a vicious cycle of poverty. Thus, while the function of education is to educate the workforce, it also has built into it an element of conflict and inequality, favoring one group the wealthy over other groups the poor. Thinking about education this way helps illustrate why both structural-functionalist and conflict theories are helpful in understanding how society works. Not surprisingly, the primary limitation of the social-conflict perspective is that it overlooks the stability of societies. While societies are in a constant state of change, much of the change is minor.
Many of the broader elements of societies remain remarkably stable over time, indicating the structural-functional perspective has a great deal of merit. As noted above, sociological theory is often complementary. This is particularly true of structural-functionalism and social-conflict theories. Structural-functionalism focuses on equilibrium and solidarity; conflict-theory focuses on change and conflict.
Keep in mind that neither is better than the other; when combined, the two approaches offer a broader and more comprehensive view of society. In contrast to the rather broad approach toward society of structural-functionalism and conflict theory, Symbolic Interactionism is a theoretical approach to understanding the relationship between humans and society.
The basic notion of symbolic interactionism is that human action and interaction are understandable only through the exchange of meaningful communication or symbols. In this approach, humans are portrayed as acting as opposed to being acted upon. The main principles of symbolic interactionism are: .
- Rudy Giuliani: How a 9/11 hero became Trump’s conspiratorial Ukraine fixer.
- AGGRESSION OF THE MIGHTY.
- Quilting is Murder;
- Christmas Walruses: Counting Book for Kids (Christmas Books for Children 8);
- Our Guide To 2016’s Great Reads!
- ‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You’.
This approach stands in contrast to the strict behaviorism of psychological theories prevalent at the time it was first formulated in the s and s. According to Symbolic Interactionism, humans are distinct from infrahumans lower animals because infrahumans simply respond to their environment i. Additionally, infrahumans are unable to conceive of alternative responses to gestures. Humans, however, can. This perspective is also rooted in phenomenological thought see social constructionism and phenomenology. According to symbolic interactionism, the objective world has no reality for humans, only subjectively-defined objects have meaning.
Meanings are not entities that are bestowed on humans and learned by habituation. Instead, meanings can be altered through the creative capabilities of humans, and individuals may influence the many meanings that form their society. Neurological evidence based on EEGs supports the idea that humans have a "social brain," that is, there are components of the human brain that govern social interaction. A good example of this is when people try on clothes before going out with friends.
Some people may not think much about how others will think about their clothing choices, but others can spend quite a bit of time considering what they are going to wear. And while they are deciding, the dialogue that is taking place inside their mind is usually a dialogue between their "self" that portion of their identity that calls itself "I" and that person's internalized understanding of their friends and society a " generalized other " called the "me". Such an individual has incorporated the "social" into the "self" and will thus experience the world through an ongoing internal communication process that seeks to determine "if I do this, what will be thought of me.
It should also be noted that symbolic interactionists advocate a particular methodology. Because they see meaning as the fundamental component of human and society interaction, studying human and society interaction requires getting at that meaning. Thus, symbolic interaction tends to take two distinct, but related methodological paths.
Processual Symbolic Interaction seeks to uncover the elaboration and experience of meanings in natural settings of social interaction through primarily qualitative methods e. Symbolic Interaction arose through the integration of Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theories. Specifically, Symbolic Interaction seeks to uncover the ways "meanings" are deployed within interactions and embedded within larger social structures to facilitate social cohesion Structural Functionalism and social change Conflict Theories.
To use the case above, Symbolic Interaction may be used to explain the distinction between Conflict and Structural Functionalist approaches to education. If people act toward education based on the meaning they have for it, for example, then people that believe or are taught to believe that education serves an important function for all of society e. On the other hand, if people believe or are taught to believe that education transmits social inequalities from generation to generation e.
In either case, societies and the people that form them will move towards cohesion Structural Functionalism or conflict Conflict Theory concerning educational structures based upon the meanings these people have for the current educational structure. Central to Symbolic Interaction is the notion that selves and societies exist in an ongoing reciprocal relationship wherein each acts back upon the other. Stated another way, Symbolic Interactionism argues that people become selves by learning and internalizing the symbolic materials of the social and historical context and culture they are born into and raised within e.
As a result, Symbolic Interactionists argue against the division of society into micro, meso, and macro forms, and instead focus on the ways that interconnected people continuously construct, alter, signify, and affirm themselves and others in ways that create, sustain, and change existing social structures. Ransom faces life in prison, charged with causing his death. Detective Simonsen, who had spent almost 19 years on the force, did not always want to be a police officer, his friends said.
He felt a calling to help people through traumatic times, driven in part by the untimely deaths of his father and sister during his high school years. He worked in the social services field briefly before deciding to enter the New York Police Academy. Law enforcement proved an excellent fit for an athletic and affable man interested in psychology.
Detective Simonsen began his career patrolling the nd Precinct in October He was among the first to respond to the Sept. It was an ordeal that made the patrol partners inseparable. In , Detective Simonsen joined the precinct squad, where he became an expert on robbery cases. His colleagues said he had a knack for convincing suspects to confess and for bonding with victims. In one case, Mr. Shortt recalled, Detective Simonsen was assigned to investigate a robbery that left a victim with a broken jaw.
Detective Simonsen succeeded in getting one of the suspects to confess and to incriminate his partner. He then coaxed a confession out of the partner and had the man confirm his identity by signing the back of his own wanted flier. Shortt said. He always acted decently toward them. Even in cases where he had DNA evidence confirming a theory and a witness identification of a suspect, Detective Simonsen and his partner made a habit of trying to obtain a written confession.
Though he loved the job, Detective Simonsen, who was a union delegate, had told friends he planned to retire soon if he did not receive a promotion to detective second-grade, a rank he had been nominated to receive. For younger officers in the precinct, Detective Simonsen was an anchor. You always wanted to talk to Brian. That reputation as a community pillar extended to Calverton, Long Island, where Detective Simonsen had settled with his wife Leanne, after meeting her on a trip to Las Vegas with mutual friends.
Detective Simonsen opted to make the mile commute into the city rather than leave Long Island, where he played softball in the Riverhead police league. Though Detective Simonsen and his wife never had children, they kept the fridge stocked with snacks for the neighborhood kids. His sister-in-law, Michelle Quinn, said Detective Simonsen had a deep love not just for his wife, but for her entire family in Chicago, which includes several police officers.
After he returned to New York, she found it in her house. Quinn added, her voice breaking. He would have put him on his plan. In the days since the shooting, police officials have described Mr. Ransom as a career criminal. For those who knew him, that description is not wrong, but does not tell the whole story, either. Ransom has been in and out of trouble with the law since , with 25 arrests as a juvenile and an adult.
Still, his adult criminal record does not include any violent crimes or involve weapons. His most serious convictions were for shoplifting. His other convictions were for actions that were more bizarre than menacing. Ransom in his young-adult years. Friends, family and longtime neighbors of Mr. Ransom described a man of contrasts, prone both to deep displays of charity and to intense flashes of instability.
He had trouble finding work. Bing Site Web Enter search term: Search. Penelope Cruz, 45, stuns in a white prom-style gown as she receives Lifetime Achievement award from Bono at the San Sebastian Film Festival Amy Childs continues to flaunt her impressive two stone weight loss as she slips into a leopard print dress for beauty launch Advertisement. Today's headlines Most Read Property tycoon who drove a Rolls-Royce and was a Harrods elite customer pleads poverty in court battle that The damning Leon Brittan files: After the former Home Secretary was hounded by police on his death bed, we Meghan Markle makes secret pilgrimage during royal trip to South Africa to spot where student was raped and Can you handle pain?
Take our quiz to reveal what levels you experience day-to-day and what you can cope Sir John Major 'conspired with Margaret Thatcher's closest aides' to ensure she wouldn't stepped down and he No Brexit is worse than no deal says Sajid Javid: Chancellor warns failing to deliver on referendum would Model friend of Boris Johnson at the centre of watchdog probe was invited to meet Prince Andrew at Boris Johnson is referred to police watchdog over friendship with model Jennifer Arcuri after she was given Margaret, her lover and me: Anne Glenconner was the princess's closest confidante. Now in her explosive John Humphrys claims he's changed more nappies than most women… but doesn't think he's a good husband: JAN Revealed: More than , Britons are giving up their jobs to look after loved ones with dementia every Prince Harry meets landmine victim who famously brought Diana to tears 22 years ago during trip to Angola as Revealed: Meghan told entrepreneurs in Cape Town that she's determined to 'fulfil her heart's desires' and Meghan Markle's nephew is arrested 'for wandering around Hollywood while high on drugs, shouting gibberish Olivia Colman and her co-stars in series three of The Crown on a flighty Camilla, a feisty Anne, a bitter A touching homage to Diana, not just a photo opportunity: As Harry follows in his mother's footsteps in Salt shakers should have a tobacco-style health warning to remind people to limit their sodium intake and Another 10, officers will be given tasers in Government bid to help police protect themselves from Veteran BBC news presenter Harry Gration, 68, welcomes new son as his year-old wife gives birth after Every cat in Britain could be microchipped under new animal welfare measures to be announced at Conservative Developers could be banned from putting gas boilers in new homes in one of several new green initiatives to Boris Johnson faces ambush as SNP and Labour look to table a confidence vote next week in a bid to secure Remainer rebels line up ex-minister to Labour vows to scrap Universal Credit and replace the 'disastrous' reforms with a new system while ditching Where to give your wallet a holiday: Sterling's taken a bashing, but there are still plenty of glorious RSPCA faces calls to sack senior trustee after he was outed as 'vegan extremist' with links to group who