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Sandra Walklate

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Imagining the Crime Victim: The Rhetoric of Victimhood as a Source of Oppression

The preoccupation with safety that is a concomitant feature of the risk society manifests itself in a number of ways. Jock Young talks of this in terms of the shift from the inclusive to the exclusive society and the rise of vindictiveness. David Garland discusses its manifestation in policy terms in relation to the extension of “responsibilization” and the “culture of control.” Although each of these analyses presumes the importance of the crime victim, they do not delve deeply enough into this importance. Building on recent critiques of the culture of control, this essay argues that there is a further process of importance relatively unacknowledged in the “culture of control” thesis. That is the shift from the determined state to the hegemonic state. Drawing on Jessop’s work, Walklate argues that only at this level of analysis can the importance of imaging the crime victim be understood.

crime victim, culture of control, hegemonic state

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 1 (2005): 89-99.

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