The Need for a Critical Victimology

  • Ezzat A. Fattah


In her penetrating analysis of the emergence of child abuse as a social issue and its rapid placement on the policy agenda, Barbara Nelson (1984) borrowed from electoral research a distinction between ‘valence issues’ and ‘position issues’. A valence issue, she explains, is one that elicits a single, strong, fairly uniform emotional response and does not have an adversarial quality. Position issues, on the other hand, do not elicit a single response but instead engender alternative and sometimes highly conflictual responses. In other words, valence issues are consensual issues whereas position issues are largely conflictual and confrontational ones.


Sexual Abuse Child Abuse Child Sexual Abuse Criminal Justice System Corporal Punishment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Amernic, J. (1984) Victims: The Orphans of Justice. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart-Bantam Limited.Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous (1988) The Texas Rape-Shield Law: Texas Rule of Criminal Evidence 412. American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 14, pp. 281–306.Google Scholar
  3. Christie, N. (1977) Conflicts as property. British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  4. Cook, F.L. and Skogan, W.G. (1990) Agenda setting and the rise and fall of policy issues: the case of criminal victimization of the elderly. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 8, pp. 395–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cose, E. (1990) Turning victims into saints — journalists cannot resist recasting crime into a shopworn morality tale. Time Magazine, 22 January, p. 29.Google Scholar
  6. Davis, E.M. (1984) Rape shield statutes: legislative responses to probative dangers. Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law, Vol. 27, pp. 271–94.Google Scholar
  7. Dershowitz, A. (1988) Taking Liberties: A Decade of Hard Cases, Bad Laws, and Bum Raps. Chicago: Contemporary Books.Google Scholar
  8. Dolliver, J.M. (1987) Victims’ rights constitutional amendment: a bad idea whose time should not come. The Wayne Law Review, Vol. 34, pp. 87–93.Google Scholar
  9. Elshtain, J.B. (1985) Invasion of the child savers: how we succumb to hype and hysteria. The Progressive (September), pp. 23–6.Google Scholar
  10. Fattah, E.A. (1979) Some recent theoretical developments in victimology. Victimology, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 198–213.Google Scholar
  11. Fattah, E.A. (1986) From Crime Policy to Victim Policy — Reorienting the Justice System. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Fattah, E.A. (1989) The Plight of Crime Victims in Modern Society. London: MacmillanCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fattah, E.A. (1990) Victims and victimology–the facts and the rhetoric. International Review of Victimology, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 43–66.Google Scholar
  14. Fattah, E.A. (1991) Understanding Criminal Victimization. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  15. Fattah, E.A. (1991b) Research on Fear of Crime: A Methodological Critique. Paper presented at a workshop on Victimization and Fear of Crime. Hannover, Germany, April 1991.Google Scholar
  16. Feher, T.L. (1988) The alleged molestation victim, the rules of evidence, and the constitution: should children really be seen and not heard? American Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 14, pp. 227–55.Google Scholar
  17. Fletcher, G. (1988) Bernhard Goetz and the Law on Trial. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  18. Garofalo, R. (1988) Criminologie. Paris: Felix Alcan.Google Scholar
  19. Geis, G. (1990) Crime victims — practices and prospects. In Lurigio, A.J., Skogan, W.G. and Davis, R.C. (eds), Victims of Crime—Problems, Policies, and Programs. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Herman, L. (1976/77) What’s wrong with the rape reform laws? The Civil Liberties Review (December/January), pp. 60–73.Google Scholar
  21. Johnson, M.L. (1978) That was your life: a biographical approach to later life. In Carver, V. and Liddiard, P. (eds), An Aging Population. Hodder and Stoughton in association with the Open University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Karmen, A. (1990) Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Pacific Grove, Calif.: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  23. Korpilahti, M. (1989) Child abuse and the courts: Finnish and Swedish experiences. In Fattah, E.A. (ed.), The Plight of Crime Victims in Modern Society. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  24. Maguire, M. and Pointing, J. (1988) Victims of Crime—A New Deal? Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Mawby, R.I. and Gill, M.L. (1987) Crime Victims: Needs, Services and the Voluntary Sector. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  26. Mawby, R.I. (1988) Victims’ needs or victims’ rights: alternative approaches to policy-making. In Maguire, M. and Pointing, J. (eds) Victims of Crime—A New Deal. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Nelson, B. (1984) Making an Issue of Child Abuse—Political Agenda Setting for Social Problems. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Phipps, A. (1988) Ideologies, political parties, and victims of crime. In Maguire, M. and Pointing, J. (eds), Victims of Crime—A New Deal. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Putnam, F.W. (1991) The Satanic ritual abuse controversy. Child Abuse & Neglect, Vol. 15, pp. 175–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rock, P. (1986a) A View from the Shadows. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Rock, P. (1986b) Victims and policy in Canada: the emergence of the justice for victims of crime initiative. In Fattah, E.A. (ed.), From Crime Policy to Victim Policy. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  32. Rock, P. (1988) Governments, victims and policies in two countries. British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 44–60.Google Scholar
  33. Rock, P. (1990) Helping Victims of Crime: The Home Office and the Rise of Victim Support in England and Wales. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  34. Smith, G. (1989) Missionary zeal and the scholarly stance: policy and commitment in research on old age. Ageing and Society, Vol. 9, pp. 105–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Smith, S.R. and Freinkel, S. (1988) Adjusting the Balance — Federal Policy and Victim Services. New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  36. Spiegel, L. (1987) A Question of Innocence. Morris Plains, NJ: Unicorn.Google Scholar
  37. United States (1982) Final report. President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  38. Walker, S. (1985) Sense and Nonsense About Crime — A Policy Guide. Monterey, Calif.: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  39. Walklate, S. (1989) Victimology: The Victim and the Criminal Justice Process. London: Unw in Hyman.Google Scholar
  40. Wexler, R. (1985) Invasion of the child savers — no one is safe in the war against abuse. The Progressive (September), pp. 19–22.Google Scholar
  41. Wilson, P. (1981) The Man They Called a Monster. Sydney: Cassell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ezzat A. Fattah

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations