Victimology: Criminology and Victim Essay

2192 Words Nov 21st, 2012 9 Pages
Explore the advantages and disadvantages of the positivist approach to victimology.
This assignment will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the positive approach to victimology. It will do this by looking at other victimology approaches such as; Radical, feminist, and critical victimology. Analysing the different theories within each approach, to highlight the negatives and positives within the positivist approach to victimology.
“The key characteristics of positivist victimology can be described as, the identification of factors which contribute a non-random pattern of their own victimisation, a focus on interpersonal crimes of violence and a concern to identify victims who may have contributed to their own victimisation.”
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Also “Von Hentig criticised the traditional offender-oriented nature of criminology proposing a new dynamic approach to the study of crime that incorporated clear recognition of the victim’s role in the crime” Victim precipitation has its advantages, as today it can be used as a case of defence where by the defendant can plead man slaughter/self-defence due to the victim provoking the defendant which led to the murder/attack being committed. (Brookman, F2005)
However Mendelsohn and Von Hentig’s typology can be criticized due to the fact that they are merely based on their observations, Rather than a collective study of empirical evidence; or a reliable source which would consist of, a good amount of qualitative and or quantitative data, to produce a reliable outcome and source of information.
Also, “Feminist researchers have criticised the above approaches, suggesting that examining victims’ behaviour for its role in the perpetration of a crime may constitute blaming the victim, thereby holding them responsible for their plight.” (Spalek, B 2006). Feminist would also criticize the way in which the positivist approach uses victim perception to address rape victims. They would argue that this leads to victim blaming and lack of trust within the criminal justice system, this could then results in secondary victimisation.

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