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Sociology Essay: Policy Initiatives by Coretta Phillips


Task: You are required to select an individual (Coretta Phillips) and write a commentary sociology essay of 1500 words (+/- 10%) that answers the following questions:

  • The introduction to your commentary should provide a brief summary of your selected individual’s professional background and an explanation of her/his area(s) of expertise.
  • What has been the contribution of your selected individual to the development of policy and/or our understanding of policy?
  • What research methods has your individual used in her/his research and why have these methods been selected?
  • The conclusion to your commentary should present an overall evaluation of her/his contribution to policy and/or our understanding of policy.


This sociology essay sheds light on the background of Coretta Phillips who is a well-known and actively working professor of Social Policy and Criminology and has carried out several types of research in the respective field of her profession. She became a part of the Department of Social Policy in the year 2001 and has been an active member of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology. She has worked in the profession of teaching criminology as well as social policy in both undergraduate and postgraduate departments. Coretta Phillips has carried out her research studies in specific research areas which involve her major interest in ethnicity, criminal justice, crime, race, and social policy. In recent years she has been conducting her major research on developing a multi-disciplinary project that will focus on ensuring systematic, historical as well as a comprehensive account of criminal justice as well as criminal experiences witnessed by England's Gypsies and Travellers since the year 1960 (Phillips, 2019).

One of the books by Coretta Phillips "the Multicultural Prison (2012) is known to win the Criminology Book Prize in the year 2013, which was also shortlisted as one of 2014 the “BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed/British Sociological Association Award for Ethnography" competitors. Coretta Phillips has also carried out writing reports as well as acting as a consultant in a various organization such as the Ministry of Justice,United Nations Research Institute for Social Development,Howard League for Penal Reform,UK Home Office,the Metropolitan Black Police Association, and Judicial Studies Board along with Clinks. She is known to be one of the members of the editorial board of the "British Journal of Criminology”, along with others such as Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Punishment and Society, and Race and Justice. She also hasworked with the “Oxford University Press' Clarendon Studies in Criminology" as an editor. Thus, she has a well-established position as well as a contribution in the field of criminology, social policy, race, and ethnicity.

Contribution of Coretta Phillips on development of the understanding of social policy:
Coretta Phillips has not directly contributed to the development of any policy but has surely worked and contributed to developing the understanding of criminology and social policy (JUSTICE, 2020). She has contributed to the social policy and criminology with better understanding, information, and changes in order to promote better changes based on ethnicity, race, crime, social policy, and criminal justice for people belonging to minority groups and other socially deprived populations.

Social policy is known to be associated with the ways focusing on which a society throughout the world functions in order to fulfil the needs of humans such as education, security, health, work as well as wellbeing. Social policy functions by addressing the measures or manners used by societies of different states to respond and act against issues such as global social challenges, economic issues as well as demographics changes along with migration, poverty, and globalization. Social policy analysis the diverse role played by families, civil societies, national governments, markets as well as other international organizations in the process of delivering significant support and facilities throughout the society accounting for every age group. These supportivemeasures and services ensuring equality, family and child support education, schooling, income, poverty reduction, housing, pensions, health as well as social are a necessity and significant role played by the social policy (Terziev, Banabakova & Georgiev,2018). The aim of social policy is to assess and evaluate the significant ways or measures which can be used in order to assess the issues of inequality, discrimination, crime, and violence based on race, ethnicity, social-economic standards, status, gender, age, and migration among the society.

Coretta Philips has been found involved in the study of social policy specifically addressing the issues of young minority ethnic people of London, as these individuals were found to have involvement with criminal acts which were undetected by the police as being rooted deeply within the criminal justice system. Her work in social policy in addressing the minority young people focused on assessing the fact that some of the ethnic populations of the community are found easily caught by the criminal justice system and these are some other ethnic communities that remain safe even after committing a crime. Coretta Phillips has also conducted various researches within the premises of the United Kingdom, which focused on working on the diverse cultures a swell as ethnicity, doorstep fraud, social relations in prisoners, reflexivity, institutional racism, minority factor in criminology, epistemology, along with the role played by professional belonging to the minority ethnic population in case of criminal justice (Parmar, Earle& Phillips, 2020). Her researches and work in the field of criminology and social policy have helped in providing a wider range of ideas, support as well as benefits to the criminal justice system as well as other minority people as well those involved in deprived social conditions. She has been contributing since the year 2002 till date in the development and growth of social policy as well as criminology as well as help people develop a better understanding about these issues faced based on race, ethnicity, crime, social policy and criminology and the need to incorporated changes to support the society.

Methods used by Coretta Phillips in her research:
Coretta Phillips is found to use generally a common type of research method in her researches that she carried out in recent years which entirely focuses on involvingqualitative research method. One of her recent research studies on the criminal experiences witnessed by England's Gypsies and Travellers since the year 1960, she focused on using a crime survey as a qualitative method to assess the oral history with the help of serving prisoner as well as those belonging to the community (Phillips, 2019). It entirely accounted to be archival research involving interviews, and survey with the different professionals belonging to the four different regions of England. The research study intends to fill the gap of pieces of evidence that are present by focusing on the ethnic population or community within which there is no trace of any national victimization, self-reporting, or hate crime data for the record.

There are several other pieces of research carried out by Coretta Phillips which involved research methods such as ethnographic methods, semi-structured interviews, narrative methods, life history as well as photo-elicitation. Articles such as “Disproportionate and discriminatory: Reviewing the evidence on police stop and search" was focused on assessing the pieces of evidence and record of data available to value the police authorities and their empowerment in the act of searching and stopping criminal or unlegislated acts within the premises of Britain (Bowling & Phillips, 2007). It has entirely relied on qualitative research methods. "Entry into the criminal justice system: A survey of police arrests and their outcomes" was also relied on a qualitative research method where she focused on assessing the arrest record as well as outcomes of the arrest that took place by the police to evaluate the criminal justice system. it has been found that majority of her researches have been relied on assessing the record pieces of evidence as well as data available on the police, criminal justice system as well as other organization of social policy and criminal in order to evaluate the functioning and efficacy of the policies and laws of criminology. She focused on conductingqualitative research pieces of evidence which were co-primary as well as secondary as she supported her research with viewablepieces of evidence and data to fill the gap (Maitra, Mclean& Deuchar, 2018). She conducted primary research byinvolving criminal justice systems, prisoners, ethnic community people, and many more to assess the in-depthunderstanding of her field of research.

In order to conclude, it can be stated that CorettaPhillips has been working for a very long time to ensure that people and the issues related to criminology and social policy are highlighted and addressed in form of the worldwide populations. Her work and various researches on the respectivefield of ethnicity, race, crime, criminology, and social policy have helped people and various well-known government organizations and policies to understand better these fields and the issues people witnessed related to the field of social policy and criminology. The assessment helped in understanding the major contribution provided by Coretta Phillips in the field of criminology as well as social policy to promote better social support and services to the population. it has been found that she has used different type of research method which mainly focuses on qualitative research studies using methods such as ethnographic methods, semi-structure interviews, narrative methods, life history as well as photo-elicitation. ?

Bowling, B., & Phillips, C. (2007). Disproportionate and discriminatory: Reviewing the evidence on police stop and search. The Modern Law Review, 70(6), 936-961.

JUSTICE, C. (2020). Coretta Phillips and Ben Bowling. Crime, Inequality and the State, 377.

Maitra, D. R., Mclean, R., & Deuchar, R. (2018). “If You Want to Get Paid, You’ve Got to Do It”: A Qualitative Study on the Morality of Crime. Deviant Behavior, 39(7), 949-961.

Parmar, A., Earle, R., & Phillips, C. (2020). Race matters in criminology: Introduction to the Special Issue.

Phillips, C. (2019). The trouble with culture: A speculative account of the role of gypsy/traveller cultures in ‘doorstep fraud’. Theoretical Criminology, 23(3), 333-354.

Terziev, V., Banabakova, V., & Georgiev, M. (2018). Social support as part of social policy. Knowledge International Journal, 23(4), 973-980.


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