Comparing apples and äpfel: a cross-cultural analysis of the german and the american juvenile justice system
Link, Tanja Christa
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In this era of globalization, social scientists have become more aware of the benefits cross-cultural research provides. Researchers increasingly notice the importance other cultures play in our own country, and that knowledge and insight into these different ways and modes of life could enrich current research tremendously. This holds especially true for the study of and criminality and criminal justice systems. The study seeks to examine the problems and possibilities of cross-cultural comparative analysis between the American and the German juvenile justice system. Specifically, the paper focuses on two aspects that are deemed most important for cross-cultural comparison. The fist part of the paper investigates discrepancies and commonalities of the two juvenile justice systems with regards to their structure, key players, and the proceedings in juvenile court. The study then moves on to examine methodological issues researchers face cross-cultural comparative analysis. The author suggests that cross-cultural comparative research of juvenile justice systems and juvenile delinquency needs to involve both, the descriptive background, as well as the statistical analysis.