Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.274530
Title: From "good citizen" to "deserving client" : the relationship between victims of violent crime and the state using citizenship as the conceptualising tool
Author: Tapley, Jacqueline Denise
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2003
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Abstract:
The last two decades of the last millennium witnessed an increased condemnation of the criminal offender and heralded a significant shift in focus towards the victim of crime. Concern for crime victims has now become almost a cliche, reflected in the daily reporting of the media and in the now popular political rhetoric of 'soundbites'. The predominance of victims' issues has given rise to a controversial debate concerning their needs and rights, culminating in a plethora of reforms aimed at improving services to victims. Whilst the original intention of this thesis had been to evaluate the effectiveness of these reforms, themes emerging from the empirical data of a longitudinal, qualitative study with victims of violent crime, identified tensions existing within the relationship between the state and citizens, when citizens become victims of crime. These tensions relate in particular to contemporary notions of citizenship, central to which are the concepts of active citizenship, the ideological construction of the consumer and the subsequent emphasis on individual responsibility. This increased 'responsibilization' has revived earlier distinctions between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' victim, involving a complex process proven essential to gaining access to the criminal justice system. The research demonstrates that even once the initial transition from 'good citizen' to 'deserving client' has been achieved, the victims' status is continually redefined and challenged as their case proceeds through the criminal justice process. This thesis argues that the redefinition of victims as consumers denies victims their status as active citizens with rights, rendering them instead 'passive consumers' of criminal justice services. To ensure that a balance is achieved between the rights and obligations of the victim and those of the state, this thesis concludes that a coherent theoretical framework is required outlining the true purposes and aims of incorporating a victim perspective. Fundamentally, victims require absolute and commensurable rights which if unobserved can be challenged. This is essential to ensure that citizens who become victims of crime are sufficiently empowered to engage in a criminal justice process which acknowledges and responds to their status as valued participants, whilst continuing to acknowledge the rights of the defendant.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.274530  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Victimology
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