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Understanding DevianceA Guide to the Sociology of Crime and Rule-Breaking

Understanding Deviance: A Guide to the Sociology of Crime and Rule-Breaking (7th edn)

David Downes, Paul Rock, and Eugene McLaughlin
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date: 29 January 2023

p. 28712. Victimologylocked

p. 28712. Victimologylocked

  • David Downes, David DownesEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics
  • Paul RockPaul RockEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics
  •  and Eugene McLaughlinEugene McLaughlinProfessor of Criminology, City University


Victimology is now regarded as a central component to the study of crime and deviance. Victim-based analysis enables understanding of different aspects of criminal and deviant behaviour and is redefining focal research concerns across a range of crimes. This academic development has been matched by the recognition by the criminal justice system of the consequences of victimization and moves towards both victim services and a victim-centred justice process, and by increasing political concern with victimization. The chapter analyses victimology’s key conceptual approaches, ideas, and typologies and examines whether and how different criminological perspectives understand the victim. The chapter considers the issue of victim precipitation, in the context of offender motivation, crime events operandi, and differential risks. It concludes with a discussion of how victimology has connected across to human rights violations with restorative and transitional justice foregrounding consideration of global issues such as truth-telling, reconciliation, reparations, peace-building, and normative compliance.

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