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Difficulties in defining hate crime victimization

Garland, J (2012) Difficulties in defining hate crime victimization International Review of Victimology, 18 (1). pp. 25-37.

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This article analyses the issues involved with deciding which identity groups are categorized as specific hate crime victim groups and which are not. It assesses whether theories of hate crime based around hierarchical notions of group dominance and subordination are helpful in determining which groups should be included under the hate crime 'umbrella'. Through a discussion of the victimization of disabled people, the elderly and the homeless, the article outlines key concepts - relating to community, risk, harm and vulnerability - that are central to comprehending the nature of the abuse that they suffer. It also notes the common misreading of 'low-level' targeted harassment as anti-social behaviour, and assesses the impact this has upon the development of a more in-depth understanding of the circumstances of victims. The article also highlights the problems with using collective terms like 'communities' or 'groups' in this context, as such entities can be very diverse - indeed 'separate' groups often intersect with each other. As an alternative, it is suggested that moving the debate away from collective terminology towards an understanding of the risk of targeted victimization that individuals face would be helpful when trying to assess the circumstances of disabled people, the elderly and the homeless, who currently are still at the margins of the hate debate. © The Author(s) 2011.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Garland, J
Date : January 2012
DOI : 10.1177/0269758011422473
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Published in International Review of Victimology, 18(1), 2012. Copyright 2012 Sage Publications.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 10 Jul 2013 17:00
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:07

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