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"'Nobody Gives A Damn if You Don't Know the Rules': Poverty, Strain, and Crime" (by Chrystina Hoffman, Dana R. Dillard, Erin King, and Angela Blackburn): Review 2

Published onJan 24, 2024
"'Nobody Gives A Damn if You Don't Know the Rules': Poverty, Strain, and Crime" (by Chrystina Hoffman, Dana R. Dillard, Erin King, and Angela Blackburn): Review 2

Vote: Publish Pending Minor Changes

I think they need to clarify a few things. 1) How were students recruited (sampling method). 2) Was there any deterrent to committing crime in the simulation?. 3) Add literature on adaptions to strain (conformists, ritualists, innovators, etc.). 4) Be clear on what your findings are. The findings do not show that the simulation is true or not, just how students felt about the experience. 5) The time findings are not convincing. Attached are the comments in detail.

Please put additional info below, as/if you see fit:

How were the students recruited?

The lacking leisure quote is not very convincing.

The time quotes unconvincing. Almost as if they are talking purely about time of the simulation going too fast, not a poor person not having time. If each week of the simulation was 30 mins instead of 15 would they have time? You also generalize quite a bit about time in your discussion section, but your findings are not strong enough to support that. Needs to be reworked

Should add literature on the adaptations to strain (conformist, innovator, ritualist, retreatist).

What you have in your findings is really adaptations to strain. You need to engage with this literature. For example, the conformist plays the game and does not steal, while the innovator chooses to sell drugs. Engage this with the existing literature.

What level of deterrent was there to committing crime in the simulation? If the possibility of arrest was present the authors should make this clear as it would add to the strength of the study. If there was no clear deterrent to committing the crime the paper should list this as somewhat of a limitation. The rational choice of a free will actor to choose crime in hard times can sometimes only be mediated by deterrence. Students would have had to believe there was a likelihood of getting caught and that there would be a punishment associated with that crime… or it is really not crime.

Overall, you need to be clear on what you are studying. You are not studying how well simulations represent the true poverty experience. In much of your discussion you write as if that is the key take away, it is not. What you are studying is the decision-making processes and experiences of the students in the simulation and their subsequent responses to that experience. It is assumed that the simulation is an objective reality into the experience of poverty. This study does not have the power to assess if the simulation is accurate or not, all you can assess is the experience of the students who went through the simulation. Make that clear in your writing.

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