Non-Peer Reviewed

Posted: November 30th, 2013

Non-Peer Reviewed





Non-Peer Reviewed


            The article to be reviewed is obtained from the Internet Journal of Criminology. It addresses the nature of graffiti, its prevalence in public rest rooms, and influence the nature of the medium has on the graffiti itself. The paper analyzed graffito in a number of public restrooms. The question that the author addressed was the content and communicative features of graffito with relation to the space and cultural values of the wider society. The purpose of the paper was to identify the prevalence of this cultural phenomenon among the gender divide in comparison with earlier studies done on the same.

Study design

The author used a cross-sectional research design to conduct his research. A cross-sectional design aims to gather data from a multitude of different platforms at a relatively short time. This study saves the researcher’s resources as well as provides a wide base of data to compare with the theory. The study involves the observation of a representative of the public restrooms containing graffiti. It is a descriptive study, which focuses on the theme of the study irrespective of other variables (Ellis, 2010). The author of the paper studied 323 public restrooms with graffito. This represents the restrooms that contain graffiti.

Operational Definition

            The study matter is public restroom graffiti, which the researcher refers to as ‘latrinalia’. This is to distinguish this graffiti from that which appears on other places. The researcher cites the source of this phrase, which is the coinage of a researcher studying the same topic. This term is used throughout the research paper to denote the public restroom graffiti. An operational term is used to refer to the topic interest and serves to set it apart from other such terms not referring to the research, and irrelevant to the topic.

Inductive verses Deductive Logic

            In the research paper, inductive logic is used to refer to the finding of this research and earlier research to draw conclusions based on the findings. Although the conclusions are scientific, they leave room for the possibility that the conclusion reached is false. An example of inductive reasoning that is drawn from the research paper is that the rules that dominate male public restrooms demonize homosexuality. The researcher went on to demonstrate that this finding is not accurate evidenced by the homosexual and homophobic graffiti found on the walls (Trahan, 2011).

Deductive logic entails reaching a certain conclusion from a variety of statements. Deductive reasoning differs with inductive logic in that a conclusion is reached from a general principle. An example from this research paper is the conclusion arrived at after analysis of the content of graffiti in male public restrooms. This shows that the writers are homosexual, homophobic or anti-homophobia. The nature of the messages left on the walls leads on t this conclusion. They based on the premise that the only people with access to the restroom are of a gender only, in this case men only.

Quantitative verses Qualitative Design

Qualitative research design aims to get an in-depth knowledge of human nature and the reasons for such behavior. They investigate the why of the action or decision taken. On the other hand, quantitative design focuses on the empirical research of the phenomena under study by employing mathematical and statistical modes. The researcher using this method collects data in numerical form to answer to the question posed at the beginning of the study. In this paper, the research used qualitative research design to collect word data. He looked for themes in the latrinalia that created patterns exclusive to that form of expression.

A possible disadvantage of using qualitative design over quantitative is bias. In quantitative design, the use of empirical data collection methods ensures great scientific accuracy of the data collected. Qualitative design relies on the interpretive skills of the researcher. Bias on the part of the researcher may hinder the results of the study from being ass objective as possible. In this study, the researcher may be biased against homosexuals, thus his interpretation of the latrinalia may be to promote homophobia or to depict homosexuals in a bad light.


The methodology used in the paper was sequential. The identification of a study group, the target of the paper and the topic of study is prepared before the beginning of the study. The target population is the people using public restrooms and leaving latrinalia. The sampling methods in the study are randomized as the public restrooms sampled are randomly picked in a university campus. The return rate is not mentioned in the study paper. It could be assumed as frequent, since the population of a university campus is largely fixed.


The findings of the study on the themes prevalent in latrinalia showed to specific dominant theme. The number of comments supporting both sides was close to equal. The prevalence of other themes such as religion and humor was much lower and related to the two main themes. The comments stemming from homophobic or homosexual statements revealed the ideological paradigms of the writers of the latrinalia and not necessarily the sexual preferences of the authors. The graffiti featured a series of arguments by multiple authors in a temporal sequence. The nature of the original statement governed the pattern manifested in the responses.

Author’s Conclusions

The researcher debunked earlier findings of a dominant theme. Instead, his finding showed no dominance by any theme. The relevance of the medium to the content is reiterated in the conclusion. He calls for further study into the relevance of the medium, which had been previously ignored. The reflection of latrinalia on the societal values of the author is broached. This is due to the cultural significance afforded to public graffiti. He finally reflects on the nature of the medium, its role on setting the agenda and its use a battleground to express the author’s ideology.

Impact verses Process Evaluation

Impact evaluation addresses the changes that can be alleged to a project. It seeks to evaluate the actual results from the hypothetical ones. The object of an impact analysis is to answer cause-and-effect questions. On the other hand, process evaluation places emphasis on the development and implementation of a project in comparison to the expected output. The use of these evaluation methods is to assess the efficiency of the project, and the impact it has on the intended target recipients.


The study was an improvement from the previous ones done on the same topic. The researcher should have expanded his area of data collection since a university campus may only reach individuals with similar mindsets or modes of disseminating their opinions. By expanding the research to a wider public and even including cities, the researcher may have obtained varied data. There are different themes covered in latrinalia. The ones the researcher covered are a small representation. These findings may have broadened the scope of the paper and field of study, as well.


Ellis, L., Hartley, R. D., & Walsh, A. (2010). Research methods in criminal justice and criminology: An interdisciplinary approach. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Trahan, A. (January 01, 2011). Identity and Ideology: The Dialogic Nature of Latrinalia. Internet Journal of Criminology

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