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Secondary victimization and the collective identity of crime victims: A qualitative analysis of Swedish crime news discourse
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4939-8569
2016 (English)In: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, ISSN 1404-3858, E-ISSN 1651-2340, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 36-52Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents an analysis of how secondary victims of murder—in this context, the parents or close family members of a primary murder victim—are represented in Swedish crime news discourse. The study is based on a discourse analysis of media coverage of secondary victims, and statements made by them, in relation to four highly publicized murder cases during the last two decades. The analysis shows that portrayals of secondary victimization reinforce the conflictual character of victim–offender relationships in the news, but also limit the conditions for talking about the significance of social support, mediation and reconciliation for crime victims. News representations of crime victims become less clearly marked by the characteristics of the ‘ideal’ victim as secondary victims, and persons who are explicitly critical toward the legal system, claim victimhood. Furthermore, the identity of the crime victims’ movement as a collective becomes destabilized when the category of the victim is widened to include individuals whose interests are framed as subjective, rather than related to the needs of other crime victims or the general public. In sum, increased media focus on secondary victims may thus undermine the legitimacy of victim claims in public discourse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 17, no 1, p. 36-52
Keywords [en]
Crime victims, victimization, secondary victims, discourse analysis, crime journalism
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-146618DOI: 10.1080/14043858.2016.1161941Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84988443622OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-146618DiVA, id: diva2:1197480
Available from: 2018-04-13 Created: 2018-04-13 Last updated: 2018-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Lundström, Ragnar

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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