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Title: Constructing the experience of crime : victims, state and society
Author: Wilson, Rosemary Isobel
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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Previous research concerning criminal victimisation is characterised by adherence to the positivist paradigm. This thesis will seek to show how this contributes to a limited understanding of the experience of crime. This study represents a shift from the positivistic nature of previous research through an emphasis upon the construction of crime. This shift may be viewed as contributing to an increased understanding of the experience of crime. The first half of the thesis seeks to show how the experience of crime has been constructed in academic debate and by agencies with an interest in victims of crime. The thesis will demonstrate how these constructions are unsophisticated and incomplete principally because of neglect concerning the experience of crime as constructed by the victims of crime themselves. In response to this, the second half of the thesis proposes an alternative methodology for the study of the victim's experience of victimhood. This involves an application of an interactive computer programme designed for the elicitation of repertory grids. This technique is employed in relation to understanding the personal experiences of rape and housebreaking. The rationale for the examination of these experiences is grounded in agency classification of these experiences as discrete and quantitatively different in terms of seriousness. The experience of rape is classified as violent crime and inherently more serious than the experience of housebreaking which is classified as a property crime. The study seeks to show how the experiences of rape and housebreaking are qualitatively, as opposed to quantitatively, similar through the perceived 'violation' of self. The thesis concludes by proposing an approach based upon the constructivist paradigm which may be viewed as contributing to a more informed and sophisticated understanding of the experience of victimhood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available