Victims of crime: culture, politics and criminal process in the twenty-first century

  • Matthew Hall
Keywords: victims, criminal justice, culture, victims policy, ideal victims


This paper sets out to marry three areas of concern to modern victimology. In the first instance the paper will explore the ‘cultural turn’ taken in our understandings of what it means to be a victim of crime in the
twenty-first century. McGarry and Walklate (2015) characterise such ‘cultural victimology’ as comprising a wider sharing and reflection of individual and collective victimisation experiences, on the one hand, and,
on the other, the mapping of those experiences through the criminal justice process. This paper will explore the interaction between such cultural understandings of victimhood and the political and policy forces which,
since at least the late 1990s, have pledged to ‘rebalance’ the criminal justice systems of England and Wales and other jurisdictions to put victims ‘at the heart’ of those processes.