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Chapter

Pamela Davies

This chapter explores the parameters of the study of the crime victim, and the history and scope of the academic subdiscipline within criminology known as victimology. It discusses victimological perspectives; researching victims of crime; and the extent, nature of, and risks to criminal victimization. The final section examines public policy and practice, considering how and why ‘victim’ is a problematic concept in the context of compensation. It problematizes a number of taken-for-granted victimological concepts, such as victimization and crime victim. This section also shows that key concepts, such as victim precipitation, culpability, provocation, and ideal victim connect to particular ways of constructing the crime victim and understanding victimization.

Book

Steve Case, Phil Johnson, David Manlow, Roger Smith, and Kate Williams

Criminology is a core, introductory textbook on the field of crime and criminology. It starts by looking at what crime is and the theories that try to explain it. It then considers society's response to crime. It shows how to carry out independent research and plan first steps in a career. The critical, applied approach is emphasized through some of the many features that are integrated throughout the book. These include conversations with authentic voices from the field, compelling personal insights, and challenges to the reader to question assumptions, apply knowledge, and critically reflect on their personal viewpoints. Topics covered include crime statistics, the media, victimology, youth crime, sociological positivism, crime control, punishment, and rehabilitation. The last part of the text applies theories of criminology to the real world and introduces the reader to what might be involved in a career in criminology research.

Chapter

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.

Book

Understanding Deviance provides a comprehensive guide to the current state of criminological theory. It outlines the principal theories of crime, deviance, and rule-breaking, discussing them chronologically, and placing them in their European and North American contexts considering major criticisms that have been voiced against them, and constructing defences where appropriate. The volume has been revised and brought up-to-date to include new issues of crime, deviance, disorder, criminal justice, and social control in the early twenty-first century. It considers new trends in criminological theory such as cultural criminology and public criminology, further discussion of how post-modernism and the ‘risk society’ is reformulating crime and deviance, and an assessment of how different approaches address the fall in crime rates across most democratic and developed societies. There is also a new chapter on victimology.

Chapter

Angus Nurse

This chapter assesses victimology, which has become an important sub-discipline within criminology. Victimology includes the study of victimisation as well as the challenges of legal and institutional definitions of the ‘victim’. Discussions include debates concerning victims’ rights and activism and how victimhood has come to be understood and responded to. The chapter then considers both narrow and wider ideas of victimisation, and examines whether and how criminal justice processes and public policy have developed in response to victims’ needs. While victims are really the people who the criminal investigation and trial are meant to serve, they are often not part of the process. The chapter also looks at a key part of victimology, which is the use of statistical evidence on the levels of victimisation.

Chapter

8. Victimology and hate crime  

Evidence and campaigning for change

This chapter examines how different types of criminological evidence related to victimology and hate crime can influence policy-making processes. It first considers how non-governmental organisations and pressure groups collate and analyse data on crime-related issues before discussing the changing role of the victim in criminal justice processes. It then explains why some victims of crime are regarded as being more ‘deserving’ than others and how this relates to broader issues of power; distinguishes between positivist and radical/critical approaches to victimology; and assesses the main features of hate crime, with emphasis on the need for hate crime legislation. It also describes forms of hate crime as well as the social and political issues underlying both public and policy responses to the affected groups. Finally, it analyses the broader notions of structural inequalities which are at the heart of a critical victimology in relationship to the concept of hate crime.