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UNT CJUS 4650 - Introduction to Victimology

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CJUS 4650 1st Edition Lecture 1Outline of Current Lecture I. The Definition of VictimologyII. Primary and Secondary VictimsIII. Victim or Offender?IV. Victims Being UsedCurrent LectureVictimology- “Scientific study of physical, emotional, and financial harm people suffer because of illegal activities”- Included in this definition is the victimization occurring for victims within the criminal justice system- Non-criminal victims:o Victims of racism/sexismo Natural disaster victimso Victims of overcharging at a storeo Victim of poverty- “Ology”: “The study of”Victims- Individuals who experience loss, injury, or hardship for any reasonCrime Victims- Above, as a result of an illegal actDirect/Primary Victim- Experience a criminal act and its consequences firsthandIndirect/Secondary Victim- Family and those who suffer emotionally or financially but are not immediately involved- Can also include first responders, detectives, police (burnout)- Ex: The families of the victims of 9/11Studying Victimization ScientificallyThese notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.- Subjective Approacho Issues are approached from standpoint of morality, ethics, philosophy, personalized reactions, emotionso Make results sway in direction they feel passionate about- Objective Approacho Requires observer to be fair, open-minded, even-handed, dispassionate, neutral, and unbiasedo This is the ideal approach- “Ideal victim”o Person who suffered harm was weaker than the aggressor, acting virtuously, or not looking for trouble or breaking and laws, and wrongdoer was a stranger acting illegally and was unprovokedVictims or Offenders- Who is the victim and who is the offender?- Not always clear cut- Consider:o The Menendez brothers: Brothers who killed their parents because they claimed they were abused by their parents- The dynamics between victims and victimizers need to be sorted out in an even-handed and open minded manner, objectivelyCriminals as Victims- Victims not always “innocent”- Examples:o Gang members killing a member of another gango Drug dealer ripping off a customero A john killing a prostitute- The designations “victim” and “offender” are not always at opposite poles but sometimes can be pictured as overlappingCycle of Violence- Cycle of violence over time can transform victims into victimizers- Groups of picked-on students may gang up against their bullies- Battered wife may launch a vengeful attack against her husband- Convicts are much more likely to have been abused physically or sexually as childrenVictims vs. “Good Guys”- Victimologists do not limit their studies to clashed between victim and offenders- They also consider the social reaction to victimization- Victims are often “used” by others partieso Media sensationalizes some caseso Organizations with an agenda might use a victim’s plight for publicity, fund


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