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NCJ Number: NCJ 072727     Find in a Library
Title: Victim Typologies and the Proposal of an Alternative Based on Social Psychology - A Taxonomy of Situations Conducive to Victimization (From Verbrechensopfer, P 219-241, 1979, Gerd Ferdinand Kirchhoff and Klaus Sessar, ed. - See NCJ-72716)
Author(s): E Stephan
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 23
  Annotation: Development of victim typologies based on analysis of social situations conducive to victimization is advocated.
Abstract: Two basic approaches to establishing victim typologies are the intuitive phenomenological development of ideal types, and the empirical determination of real types by statistical analysis. Traditional typologies of the first kind, in which categories frequently overlap, are most common, while the second type has not become popular because of a dearth of data. Typological systems based on personality classification differentiate criminal victims, potential victims (i.e., those with a general or special predisposition), and crimes associated with offender-victim relationships. In contrast, typologies not based on personality classification discriminate situations, e.g., primary (direct) victimization, secondary victimization, tertiary victimization, mutual victimization, and nonvictimization or types of victim participation. Empirical research is plagued by difficulties such as unclear definition of victim situations, memory gaps and shame or arrogance of survey respondents, high dark figures, and inadequate official information. Nevertheless, such studies are the only source of really useful victim information. They must consider such factors as victim age, sex, family status, social class, and income; personality of the victim; and victim-offender relationships, whether within families or between strangers. Multidimensional analysis of typical constellations of status and personality characteristics which invite victimization and subsequent establishment of a taxonomy of victimization situations constitute the most useful approach. Particular determinants can make an everyday situation into a victimization situation (e.g., presence of valuables at a particular location); most important of these are the individual conditions, i.e., plans of the potential victim and potential offender, and their interaction. Precisely these individual determinants must be analyzed in detail. With such an approach victimization could be averted by training potential victims to recognize elements of dangerous situations so that they can withdraw before they are victimized. Notes and a 54-item bibliography are supplied.
Index Term(s): Victimology ; Research methods ; Victimization ; Behavior typologies ; Victims of Crime ; Victim-offender relationships ; Situational theory
Sale Source: Studienverlag Dr N Brockmeyer
Viktoriastrasse 1-3
Bochum, Germany (Unified)
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: West Germany (Former)
Language: German
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