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Negotiating a victim identity: young men as victims of violence                 

Author(s)Burcar, Veronika and Malin Akerstrom
Title Negotiating a victim identity: young men as victims of violence
Source Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 2009, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp 37-54
Date 2009
Document type Journal article
Coverage Sweden
Summary This study explores how young men who have been victims of crime present their identities as 'young men'. Participants in the study were ten young Swedish men, aged between 17 and 21 years who had been assaulted by men about their own age. Informal interviews were conducted covering five themes: violence, 'victim-hood', support, emotion, and experiences with the police and judiciary. There was not a simple answer to the question of whether the young men saw themselves as victims of crime. Some of the young men explained that even if in theory they could be regarded as victims of crime, they did not feel like a victim. Talking about the trial process, however, they positioned themselves as a victim. It was found, for example, that when the young men were positioning themselves as victims that emphasised that they were not responsible for what happened. Laughter in the study was commonly used to downplay things that had already been said. The study also showed that by letting witnesses report victim narratives and by resisting expressions of sympathy the young men can 'be manly' at the same time as 'being victims'.
Keywords Male victims; victim identity; narratives

Male victims