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Criminal, Crime Victim, or John Smith?: Constructions of Victimhood and Perpetratorship Among Swedish Probationers
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
2012 (English)In: International Criminal Justice Review, ISSN 1057-5677, Vol. 22, no 2, 171-191 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on criminals who are also victims of crime, that is, the victim-offender overlap. The study includes men who have become victims of violent crimes, but who are also perpetrators of such crimes. Sixteen Swedish probationers have been interviewed in depth and asked to describe their victimization and their offences. The interviewees clearly distance themselves from ideas of victimhood and describe the victimhood of others as something shameful. Their own victimization, and their own violence against others, is described in a pared-down and unemotional manner. Victimhood emerges in the study as something so negative that it can be described as shaming in the same way as if the individual is labeled as a criminal. Victimhood and the role of the victim do not constitute alternatives for the interviewees. The role of the criminal, by contrast, is prominent. The interviewees describe how they can switch between two roles: the role of the criminal and that of a "John Smith," or in Swedish, a "Svensson," who is a normal, law-abiding individual with an orderly life. Receiving a positive label as a "Svensson" from their environment may contribute to the interviewees acting in line with such a law-abiding role.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 22, no 2, 171-191 p.
Keyword [en]
comparative crime/justice, criminal victimization, violent behavior, Western Europe
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-20640DOI: 10.1177/1057567712443964Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84862977150OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-20640DiVA: diva2:680199
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-12-17 Created: 2013-12-17 Last updated: 2014-06-17Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf