Victimology in Criminology for Ideology

In the diverse realm of speculative analysis in regard to human behavioral issues, criminology is the philosophical quest to study crime, criminals and crime control measures. In addition, criminology endeavors to explore and analyze the nature, causes and consequences of various forms of illicit behaviors. From many aspects, the field of study encompasses a diversity of practical and academic disciplines. Among these, criminology utilizes various perspectives from philosophies such as sociology and psychology. At this point, clashes erupt.

While many argue their point view as a “science”, others will counter with direct and immediate dissent. In criminology, for instance, there are two major schools of thought, the classical and the positivistic world views. Among an even smaller number of criminologists, typically the classical school, some assert the discipline is a “pseudoscience” and not a real science as in astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics. Scientific authenticity seriously pursues provability.

Additionally, within the framework of a tiny eccentric group of classicists, who have been real-world practitioners (i.e. law enforcement, corrections and probation officers), the assertion is often radical as to the non-science of the field. More often, reference is made to the skilled art and craft of practitioner driven capabilities, versus theoretical conjecture. To that end, this is the standpoint here in this writing, criminology like sociology and psychology, is a pseudoscience. And it maintains the non-science attribution to those studies in academic spheres.

Victimology by contrast, within the broad structure of criminology, is the investigative analysis that focuses primarily on victimization. Assessment of the offender and the society of context also come into play. As a distinct discipline for inquiry, like criminology, the exploration of human behavior utilizes a range of schools of thought. Of significant relevance is the ideological foundation that may animate and otherwise define the scope of inquiry. For criminologists, what is usually characteristic in the scheme of victimology studies are the ideological assertions.

For instance, to give “crime” an anthropomorphic attribute alerts a classicist that the point of view is leaning toward the positivistic perspective. That is to say, the diversion becomes one of the crime is at “fault”, along with society in general, and not the criminal who victimized the victim. Sometimes, this reconstruction suggests the criminal as victim. From there, a wide variety of excuses allow the criminal to eventually escape culpability. Yet, to the classical theorist, who may or may not be a practitioner, responsibility is critical to lawful enforcement.

Nonetheless, ideology underscores the essentiality of the particular school of philosophical inquiry. For example, in the classical school, free will is a major tenet of investigative assessment. In terms of criminal accountability, rational choice for the amative satiation of personal gain, versus whatever risk might be minimized, reflects the ideation of individual proclivities. Intentional harm to a targeted victim aims to gratify selfishness of the perpetrator. Gain minus risk, or even escalation of risk for the thrill of it all, depends on the thinking processes of the individual. As a “cost-benefit” assessment, the infliction of some form of victimization concerns the potential reward to the criminal. At the same time, the malefactor is selfish.

In his or her refusal to self-evolve, the world view is one of victimizing others for the pleasure of themselves. Becoming a well-differentiated, mature and productive member of society, the criminal remains satisfied with his or her status quo. This can be at any level of the political and socio-economic strata. While many often confuse “crime” with the lower levels of criminality, as in murder, rape and robbery, other more devastating forms occur. For the classicist, it would be viewed as na├»ve, ill-informed and narrow minded, to focus only on so-called street crimes. A much broader scope of what constitutes a “victim” should be analyzed.

Across globe, political, commercial and organized criminality accounts for an exceptionally higher and more damaging volume of crimes and victimizations. From a freely ideated multidimensional rationality, the criminal claims his or her advantage over others. In so doing, he or she expresses a disregard for the “rules of civility” and legal observance. Personal gain is at the core of what once was called the “hedonistic calculus”. Contemplations to inflict victimization is premeditated from a posture of malice aforethought for intentional harm.

Skill set, abilities and capability circulate within the conceptualization of the intended perpetration, depending upon the learning capacity of the criminal. While one might rob a bank, another might embezzle from the bank he or she works for. Still another may collude with others to bring down and entire economy to cover the clandestine thievery they have committed. In addition, an eco-criminal might pollute and exploit an environmental setting for profit.

At work within the thinking is the self-centeredness of the person, whereby subjective validation assumes the right to do something regardless of anyone else. Each day, across social media, often reinforced by 24/7 “news reporting”, egregious fallacies of inference perpetrate fraudulent poorly formed belief systems that do social damage. In a devolving culture, creative productivity to ensure social advancement may be in a regressive trend.

With an unevolving slant, most people do not change very much in terms of their thinking processes. There are exceptions of course, as with everything, and a few, perhaps roughly about 20% to 25%, work very diligently in terms of becoming a differentiated life form. As centuries come and go and pass from generation to another, divergent viewpoints attempted to explain why some people are victims and others are victimizers. In studying the human inclination toward criminality, as to victim versus predator for instance, theoretical constructs of one sort or another try to offer a range of possibilities. Controversies arise among the various perspectives.

As mentioned earlier, it is the position here that the typical trinity of academia, criminology, psychology and sociology are viewed as versions of pseudoscience. As such, among the dissensions with regard to investigators, at least two competing camps endeavor to gain insight into the variety of maladaptive human behaviors. Among these researchers, adherents and practitioners of the various schools of thought, ideological claims can be quite divisive.

Outside the realm of real science as indicated previously, there are those who desire for whatever personal agenda to be viewed as “scientists” doing the work of “science” and advancing the scope of “scientific knowledge”. By contrasts, typically those in the practical sphere of human behavior, consider criminology as well as the associated fields of study to be pseudoscience. That is to say, investigative efforts are directed toward developing the artistic capabilities for practical application in the real world of human interactions. Science strives for authenticity.

In the history of “victimology”, with a slight departure from the realm criminology, back around the early 1950’s, slightly post World War II, psychiatrists and psychologists sought relevancy in the complex world of crime and criminals. Alleging the need for a “scientific” study of victimization, sociologists, likewise needing justification for assorted philosophies, leaped into the vast complexity of human behavioral conflicts. Even though a long time prior, say around the late 1700’s, classical criminology asserted the rights and dignity of people to be protected from harm. Like counterparts in related pseudosciences, classical criminology claimed the efficacy of free will, individual self-reliance and rational choices for action taken.

Given the variety of psycho-socio-psychic theories, some researchers claimed the “scientific” basis for studying victims and victimizations. Doing what academicians like to do, by categorizing and labeling as many things as possible, a range of typologies emerged. Early theories of “victimology”, between 1930’s and 1940’s, could be viewed as attempts to organize defenses for the perpetrators, and otherwise mitigate excuses for court related criminal cases.

Regardless of the academician versus practitioner intrigue, flashing forward in time to post-modern America, the influence of victimology carries over into a number of areas critical to the diverse field of criminology. For instance, one of the critical investigative processes of major concern involves the abuse, abduction and exploitation of children and other underage persons. From abuse and abduction, to child pornography, sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, a significant number of children are at risk every years. One U.N. organization cites that the number of child victims has increased nearly 30% over previous years.

Estimates according to a world-wide investigative body, suggest that globally there are anywhere between 2 million and 4 million victims. That number could be more. Targeting potential victims occurs over a broader scale of victimization. Additionally, in other studies of international criminality, there is the estimation that about 150 million girls and nearly 75 million boys, under the age of 18, experienced some form of forced sexual violence. In response, vigilant enforcement of laws are vital, with serious investment in law enforcement resources.

While violence against children is one aspect, targeted victimization includes a variety of illicit inflictions. Stalking for instance affects a number of people every year. As an intentional premeditated criminal activity, stalking is sometimes referred to as a pattern of illicit behavior whereby the perpetrator persists on intruding into another person’s life. For the criminal, it is his or her unwanted repetitious actions that harm another person’s personal safety. In similar ways, bullying comes into the picture as well. To harass another, the perpetrator can be very creative, as well as deceptive, employing a variety of inflictions. Al such behavior is intentional.

Depending on the state in which the illicit act is committed, enforcement may invoke a misdemeanor or a felony. Additionally, the victim’s age could be a factor regarding the degree of punishment that could be imposed. In view of the classical school of criminology, rational choice on the part of the criminal results in the intentional infliction of harm upon the victim. It is a matter calculated premeditated perpetration in terms of cost and benefit to the victimizer. While other viewpoints may focus on biological or psychiatric perspectives, as potentially mitigating or excusatory, classical or rational choice theories centralize direction action.

In the diverse realms of victimology, confusion may complicate investigative analysis by the broad basis for by which the public understands who the victim is. Media pundits, as well as politicians, often lend their lack of expertise by rendering superficial and inexperienced opinions in areas of criminal behavior. Academicians likewise follow right behind them.

From the standpoint of classical criminology, victimology as a subset of practical inquiry relates to a criminal committing a crime against another, where the latter become the victim. In this view, it is not the reverse. When excuses are concocted or otherwise fabricated in “defense” of the perpetrator, a form of secondary victimization has been inflicted upon the real victim. Nonetheless, in a pretentious, uninformed and unevolving culture, where political correctness replaces a fact driven mode of logical reasoning, fantasy supplants the truth. Frequently, the counterproductive simplistic notions of “victimization” on the side of the criminal, degrades relevance.

Arguably, the notion of victimology theory resonates the perspective that someone is a victim of something. In mainstream news reporting, social media, selfie site sharing and so on, each day is a speculation on victimization somewhere. For the practitioner investigator, the one who has been in the fight so to speak, the issue become determining if a crime has been committed. And, if so, what law had been violated? Dealing with the hardcore everyday actual and potentially violent human exchanges, as in those of the first responder is different from other perspectives.

For instance, the armchair researcher, as in the not so hallowed halls of academia, typically and generally has a divergent view from that of the police officer. Not in all cases, but generally, those who conduct research in safe and secure realms of detachment tend to broaden the scope of victimization. Sometimes the critic, the accuser, and the dissident social activist complainer has little real-world connectivity to horrors of inflicted human depravity. As bias influences conclusions, and prejudicial inclinations come from the complexity of thinking, analytical outcomes are often tainted by the self-interests of personal subjectivity.

In terms of statutory definition, whereby an illicit violation can be deduced, some state laws assert the victim is one who has become the object of an offending act. An offense occurs and is perpetrator against another, of which a law can be identified. Otherwise, outside that spectrum, what is the allegation being made as to an alleged state of “victimhood”? Regardless, in the post-modern claim, the criminal is a criminal because of his or her own “victimization”. That assessment would not be supported by adherents to a classical view of criminology.

For the criminal, victimology theory can be used to the extent necessary to exonerate him or her. And for the advancement of personal agenda, others may rally around the criminal in support of erroneous conjecture. Assuming the “victim stance”, the offender can easily conjure a storyline to claim others are the blame, and he or she is not responsible. As rational instigators of illicit inflictions, criminality is purposeful, rational and premeditated.