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Review 1 of "Getting Jumped in Vacationland: The Complicated Rhetoric and Realities of Assault in a Small Town"

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onNov 08, 2021
Review 1 of "Getting Jumped in Vacationland: The Complicated Rhetoric and Realities of Assault in a Small Town"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

An interesting paper. The most substantive concern is that the authors did not sufficiently acknowledge how “unrepresentative” the ECSU comments might be. As with the “gadflies” who speak during the public hour at local government meetings and the writers of letters to the editors of newspapers, those who are moved to make their views public are likelier to be dissatisfied than satisfied with the status quo. One must therefore be cautious about making too many inferences from them about the mood of the general population.

In any discussion of “the idyllic small town,” Herbert Gans’ Deciding What’s News, in which he lists “small-town pastoralism” among eight “enduring values” in the news, is seminal. The authors should consider citing him in that section of the paper. (See also Russell Frank, “When Bad Things Happen in Good Places,” Rural Sociology 68(2), 2003, pp. 207-230.)

The title, though catchy, is misleading. It hints at crimes against visitors, but the authors find that most of the crimes are local-on-local.

There are a number of nuts-and-bolts errors in this paper—too many in the opinion of this reviewer, who advises the authors to edit and proofread more carefully in future.

Word usage:

  • Visitors travel to the area, dubbed Vacationland due to the largess of its tourism industry. Largesse, typically spelled with an e, is not quite the right word here.

  • 31 offenders were not provided a clear residential status, and 11 were not proscribed a racial category. Proscribed is the wrong word here.

  • Janice’s comment suggests that the situation is part of a larger issue in the local area - that tragedy has become constant and irreconcilableDon’t understand the use of irreconcilable in this context – irreconcilable with what?

  • While “trash” could easily have hearkened to the poor White trash pejorative, references to “gangs” and “streets” serve as coded references to oft-repeated stereotypes of black Americans. Hearkened is the wrong word here.

  • …any community that regularly experiences these social ills may well find their perception of the situation cynical and rankled from despair. Rankled is the wrong word here.

  • It constitutes an advance in mixed methods approaches by demonstrating how difference sources of data (qualitative and quantitative) tell contextually different stories about phenomenonPhenomenon is singular; phenomena is needed.

  • The other side of the ECSU assault discourse – the earnest, yet moralizing, despair for the perceived loss of the small-town idyll seems to provide a way for area residents to express their displeasure at stories of group violence in a way that does not also cause them to lose any modicum of respectability (Smith 2014). Not sure I understand “modicum of respectability.”

 Sentences that need work (missing words, etc.):

  • In a rare early example, Dinitz (1973) studied the pseudonymous town of Lincoln (with a population of approximately 11,250 at the time) shunned what it saw as the encroachment of urbanicity and modernity. 

  • They tell any resident who questions their presence, or the fact that are taking pictures or filming, that they are “with the news” and are, at times, aggressive in their attempt to get as close to the action as possible

  • There was no explicit reference to race, however Carol seemed to be making a statement which she wanted first couched in euphemism and then legitimized through hypertext - that what must be going on is “gang” violence perpetrated “trash” that needs to be removed from “your streets.”

  • Over thirty years later, when ECSU posted a report of shots were fired outside of a drive-thru grocery on Hancock Street, 

  • One comment exclaims “Move out now!” though it is not clear to whom the intended recipient is (ECSU 2018a).

  • Whether this despondency is localized to a momentary thought and fades from mind or compounds after successive exposure to stimuli, comments like those from ECSU members after they read text or witnessed video of suggesting a lack of collective efficacy appear to lend support to Sampson’s assertion.

  • The use of word “despair”…

 Punctuation:

  • Commas missing before quotations

-Additional comments suggest that someone should contact the municipal authorities to pressure the landlord to address the problem, reasoning that the tenants were likely receiving housing assistance, For instance, one commenter suggests “I'm guessing the tenants they have are not responsible for their own rent, and so since rent is a given from Metro Housing they most likely do not care who's living there” Note missing periods here, as well.

-commenting “I don’t know

-Another commenter chimed in “Either a bad 

-One comment exclaims “Move out now!”

  • Missing the second dash:

-The cavalcade of comments demonizing Hancock, its residents, and the town of Sandusky - alongside the growing likelihood that the call was a false alarm provides compelling reasons to compare the racializing rhetoric with verifiable police data. 

-The other side of the ECSU assault discourse – the earnest, yet moralizing, despair for the perceived loss of the small-town idyll seems to provide a way for area residents to express their displeasure at stories of group violence in a way that does not also cause them to lose any modicum of respectability (Smith 2014). 

  •  Tense agreement:

-When Case and Deaton revisited the data in 2017, they acknowledge…

Carol linked youth and poverty when she opines 

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