Biopolitics — Imagining Victimhood

  • Claire Cohen
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


In a criminological analysis, one might expect at this juncture a shift on to state institutions and statistical data in order to ascertain the ‘truth’ of victimhood — perhaps looking at recording practices and conviction rates, hospital admissions and counselling referrals, etc. Thus, if one were to examine ‘the individual’ it would most likely be in their interaction with those institutions, reporting practices and support services indicated above, or otherwise as delineated groups whose ‘truth’ might be established through interviews and surveys. My interest, however, is guided by Foucault’s caution that power is constituted ‘from below’ and ‘transactionally’, not top-down, and that people often act without understanding the consequences of their actions. Consequently, one may argue that the usual criminological focus on the state here would be effectively a misdirection; as Nadeson (2008, p. 5) cautions — governmentality scholarship must ‘look beyond the disciplines and surveillance technologies of enclosed institutional spaces’.


Sexual Violence Rape Myth Hegemonic Masculinity Male Victim Feminist Issue 
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Copyright information

© Claire Cohen 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of SociologyNottingham Trent UniversityUK

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