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NCJ Number: 149566 Find in a Library
Title: Codifying Women's Bodies? Towards a Genealogy of British Victimology
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(1994)  Pages:45-70
Author(s): C Doran
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 26
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Applying Foucault's critique of the silence and disqualification of women's voices in the 19th Century legal realm, this article argues that recent British victimology also should be assessed regarding its accuracy in codifying the actual victimization experiences of women.
Abstract: Current feminist thought in the areas of crime and law has increasingly turned to the work of Foucault as a means of examining women's input in criminal justice. Foucault, however, neglected to examine the codification of embodied experience that resulted from the imposition of power/knowledge in the 19th Century. Although victimology has emerged over approximately the same time period as feminist criminology and has had a somewhat similar growth rate, some feminists have identified certain disquieting features of this new interest in women as victims. There is an apparent gap between official discourse on women's victimization and what is actually happening in women's lived experience. This paper focuses on what is happening when women's lived experience is subtly transformed in the analysis of victimization surveys. The first part of the paper provides an overview of the emergence of victimology, with attention to its left-wing variant. It then examines victimology's failure to consider the critical literature on official statistics. The author then combines the insights of Foucaultian analysis and Smart's concern with embodied resistance to suggest the need for genealogical analysis of the rise of victimology, including its left-wing variant. The author proposes that contemporary victimology studies be examined for their codifying potential as well as for their criminological findings. 24 notes and 126 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Female victims; Foreign criminal justice research; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Victimology
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