Understanding Criminology: Current Theoretical Debates

By Sandra Walklate | Go to book overview
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chapter seven
Criminal victimization, politics and welfare

What is victimology?

A challenging victimology?

Rebalancing the criminal justice system

Feminism, policy and violence

Ethnicity and hate crimes

Conclusion: criminal victimization and social responsibility

Further reading

The previous chapter considered the way in which it is possible to map interconnections between notions of social justice and the process of criminalization. This chapter will be concerned to examine those same interconnections but with a differing focus, that of understanding the process of victimization. In order to achieve this aim, this chapter will offer an overview of the different strands of victimological thought that have influenced criminology since 1979 (namely positivist and radical victimology) and will consider the potential for a critical victimology as a way of constituting a better informed policy agenda on criminal victimization in the twenty-first century. It is via the latter concerns that the relevance of the question of the relationship between the citizen and state, considered in the previous chapter, will re-emerge. But first, what is victimology?


What is victimology?

The origins of victimology have been variously ascribed to Mendelsohn (1974), von Hentig (1948) and Wertham (1949). It was arguably von

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