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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93498 Find in a Library
Title: Victimization and Victimological Orientations in Italy
Journal: Victimology  Volume:8  Issue:3-4  Dated:(1983)  Pages:23-34
Author(s): G Gulotta
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In the tradition of Italian criminology there are precursor indications with regard to the victim in the study of deviant behavior. But the author remarks that the recent flourish in attention paid to Victimology has been greatly influenced by the current trends in the criminal and social sciences in general that have blossomed outside of Italy.
Abstract: The author proposes a diagnostic model of the relationship between offender and victim in which the behavior of one is seen as a function of that of the other. Thus, it is advocated here, the study of the victim should no longer be concentrated only on the the victim's personality, but it should embrace the diad criminal-victim. The emergence of victimology as a new perspective in the study of crime is examined from an epistemological viewpoint. The victimizing event becomes more easily understandable if, besides the systemic approach, we take into account the findings of the attributional theory, a relatively new branch of social psychology built upon the individual perception of people when it comes to understanding the causes and the implications of the events they witness and experience. An observer responds more to the perceived meaning of another person's action than to his overt behavior. From a victimological point of view, this needs to be emphasized since it represents a source of ambiguity and misunderstanding able to elicit a victimizing behavior. In this global perspective, the attributional theory can supply valuable heuristic findings facilitating the interpretation of the dynamics of the interacting process, the assumption of the victim-criminal roles, the investigation of victim precipitation and the role played by dispositional or external factors in the attributional process. This approach shows its relevance also in the criminal justice system, when courts have to decide whether the offender was right or wrong in his perception, whether the interpretation of the situation was correct, whether the inferred process were justified or not. The analysis of the fundamental attributional biases is, therefore, of specific interest in the procedural context where the issues of responsibility, intention and causality reach their climax considering that judge, witness, victim and aggressor express independent and divergent patterns of attribution. (Author abstract)
Index Term(s): Italy; Victimization models
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