The Anti-Social Network: Cyberstalking Victimization among College Students

By Bradford W. Reyns | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 1
The Problem of Cyberstalking

VICTIMIZATION

Despite the fact that every crime has a victim, criminologists have focused almost exclusively on offenders for most of the discipline’s history. It was not until about halfway through the twentieth century that the first generation of victimologists began to devote research attention to victim-centered issues. The scientific study of victims can be traced back to the work of several scholars, including von Hentig (1948), Wolfgang (1958), Schafer (1968), Amir (1971), and Mendelsohn (1976), who each in their own way proposed that victims were responsible to some degree for their victimization. In time, the field of victimology expanded in scope to explain not only the victim’s role in their victimization, but other aspects of victimization as well (e.g., correlates, consequences) (see Doerner, 2010; Fisher & Reyns, 2009). Subsequent generations of victimologists have called attention to the importance of opportunity as a precursor to victimization (e.g., Cohen & Felson, 1979; Hindelang, Gottfredson, & Garofalo, 1978; Wilcox, Land, & Hunt, 2003). It is in the work of these scholars and those that followed them that the current study is grounded.

The advent of the National Crime Survey (NCS) in 1972 and other subsequent victim surveys (e.g., British Crime Survey, National Violence Against Women Survey, National Victimization Against College Women Surveys) greatly expanded the research capabilities of victimologists by providing much needed data for testing and refining theories. Since that time, victimologists have explored a variety of types of victimization, ranging from broad categories (i.e., personal, property) to particular types (e.g., rape, larceny, stalking), and considered the victimization experiences of a number of specific populations

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