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Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”Developments in Critical Victimology$
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Marian Duggan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447338765

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447338765.001.0001

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The ideal victim through other(s’) eyes

The ideal victim through other(s’) eyes

(p.27) One The ideal victim through other(s’) eyes
Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”

Alice Bosma

Eva Mulder

Antony Pemberton

Policy Press

Following up on the illuminating article ‘The Ideal Victim’ by Nils Christie, this chapter expands on and reacts to its key arguments. Christie assumes that the most important reasons for perceiving a victim as legitimate and blameless lie in the specific attributions of the victim, and those of the relationship between victim and offender. The article aims at expanding these two arguments on the basis of more contemporary theories in victimology such as the Stereotype Content Model and the Moral Typecasting Theory. However, the importance of two observer related aspects that Christie leaves underdeveloped will also be emphasized. Firstly, the individual’s sense of threat and subsequent coping when confronted with a victim will be discussed. Secondly, the society’s particular interests and values at the time of victimization will be considered. The concept of framing is of particular importance in both aspects, because it can be used to explain how victims may (ex-post) be accepted as ideal or non-ideal, irrelevant of their ‘objective’ attributes, but dependent on the framer, either on collective or individual level.

Keywords:   stereotype content model, moral typecasting theory, justice motive, framing, objectivity, victimology

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