Four Victimology Perspectives

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Victimology is the scientific study of the physical, emotional, and other harm which victims suffered due to crimes. The word “victimology” was created in 1949 by Frederick Wertham, an American psychiatrist. The word “victim” was derived from Latin ‘victima’ which means ‘beast for sacrifice’ or ‘sacrificial animal’ and the word ‘victim’ became a keyword in official politics in the 1980s (Stringer 2015a). The four types of victimology perspectives are positivist, radical, critical and feminist. The idea of positivist victimology has been around since the nineteenth century (Alvesson & Skoldberg, 2010). Positivists believe that we can get true and unbiased knowledge of actuality by utilizing methods of natural sciences in sociology. For positivists, reality exists individualistically in the human mind while nature is create by objective, observable, physical facts that are external to our minds. Positivists believe that like matter, humans are guided by an external factor and they act accordingly. By studying quantitative data, positivists merely pursue to find the laws of cause and effect that control human behaviour. One of the first positivists, August Comte, (Stringer, 2015b) used scientific methods to analyse society (Siegel, 2007). Furthermore, Emile Durkheim argued that by implementing…show more content…
The weakness of positivist victimology is their conservative tendency. Being able to distinguish areas where crime rates are greater can lead to improvements that could minimise the risk in the areas with high victimisation rates. On the other hand, the weakness of positivist victimology is that the theory believes that the identity of victims is obvious as it is related to the harm which they had withstood and also the fact that their status is distinct by the criminal

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