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Negotiating a Victim Identity: Young Men as Victims of Violence

Burcar Alm, Veronika LU and Åkerström, Malin LU (2009) In Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention 10. p.37-54
Abstract
This article is based on an interview study of how ten young male crime victims talk about violent events and actors involved. It focuses on how the young men present their identities as ‘young men’ who have been victims of violent crimes. In their narrations the men struggle with a cultural understanding that ‘masculinity’ is associated with strength and power, while ‘victim’ is associated with weakness and impotence. During the interviews the young men actualize several balancing acts in their presentation of themselves as men and victims, in a delicate manner by use of specific word choice, manner of speaking, laughter, etc. The young men are negotiating a victim identity; they portray themselves by careful positioning as both victims... (More)
This article is based on an interview study of how ten young male crime victims talk about violent events and actors involved. It focuses on how the young men present their identities as ‘young men’ who have been victims of violent crimes. In their narrations the men struggle with a cultural understanding that ‘masculinity’ is associated with strength and power, while ‘victim’ is associated with weakness and impotence. During the interviews the young men actualize several balancing acts in their presentation of themselves as men and victims, in a delicate manner by use of specific word choice, manner of speaking, laughter, etc. The young men are negotiating a victim identity; they portray themselves by careful positioning as both victims and strong, active young men. By this discursive balancing of identities the young men can be manly at the same time as are victims. Hence, they do not have to ‘choose’ between the two somewhat conflicting identities. Instead, subtle depictions that accept a victim identity are presented alongside with implicit declarations of one’s masculinity. In collaboration with the listener the participants negotiate how they want to be known; as ‘victim worthy’ young men, with associations to a ‘hegemonic manliness’. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
violence, victim, narrative, men, masculinity, balance, identity, sociology, sociologi
in
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
volume
10
pages
37 - 54
publisher
Routledge
external identifiers
  • scopus:70449627653
ISSN
1404-3858
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a38a0de6-d478-471e-aa01-a150c7349102 (old id 1516601)
date added to LUP
2009-12-18 14:31:13
date last changed
2017-08-06 03:46:23
@article{a38a0de6-d478-471e-aa01-a150c7349102,
  abstract     = {This article is based on an interview study of how ten young male crime victims talk about violent events and actors involved. It focuses on how the young men present their identities as ‘young men’ who have been victims of violent crimes. In their narrations the men struggle with a cultural understanding that ‘masculinity’ is associated with strength and power, while ‘victim’ is associated with weakness and impotence. During the interviews the young men actualize several balancing acts in their presentation of themselves as men and victims, in a delicate manner by use of specific word choice, manner of speaking, laughter, etc. The young men are negotiating a victim identity; they portray themselves by careful positioning as both victims and strong, active young men. By this discursive balancing of identities the young men can be manly at the same time as are victims. Hence, they do not have to ‘choose’ between the two somewhat conflicting identities. Instead, subtle depictions that accept a victim identity are presented alongside with implicit declarations of one’s masculinity. In collaboration with the listener the participants negotiate how they want to be known; as ‘victim worthy’ young men, with associations to a ‘hegemonic manliness’.},
  author       = {Burcar Alm, Veronika and Åkerström, Malin},
  issn         = {1404-3858},
  keyword      = {violence,victim,narrative,men,masculinity,balance,identity,sociology,sociologi},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {37--54},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  series       = {Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention},
  title        = {Negotiating a Victim Identity: Young Men as Victims of Violence},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2009},
}