However, this may not always be the case, as with victims of white collar crimewho may not be clearly identifiable or directly linked to crime against a particular individual.
The same behavior may be considered criminal in one society and an act of honor in another society or in the same society at a different time. The legal status of a behavior—whether it is defined as a crime—lies not in the content of the behavior itself but in the social response to the behavior or to the persons who engage in it.
Changes in the legal status of a behavior are often brought about by social movements and may entail considerable social conflict.
Examples include the recent controversies over abortion policy and assisted suicide in the United States. Finally, the social response to crime—including many social-science explanations of criminal behavior—are based not only on the qualities of the act but also on the social and moral standing of the offender and the victim.
General Overviews As a philosophical orientation, social constructionism holds that the meaning of acts, behaviors, and events is not an objective quality of those phenomena but is assigned to them by human beings in social interaction.
Meaning, in other words, is socially defined and organized and therefore is subject to social change. The major sociological statement in the constructionist tradition is Berger and Luckmann Spector and Kitsuse introduced social constructionism into the lexicon of social problems theory in the early s see also Schneider From a social constructionist perspective, a given act or behavior abortion, drunk driving, domestic violence, race or ethnic bias becomes a social problem through a process of successful claims-making by social movements or groups that advance a particular definition of a problem and seek to mobilize particular kinds of social response such as psychiatric evaluation, medical treatment, or imprisonment.
Loseke and Best provides several applications.
Conrad and Schneider considers historical changes in the definition and social response to mental illness, drug addiction, homosexuality, and other conditions accompanying the growing dominance of the institution of medicine and the rise of the medical model of deviance. The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge.
Berger and Luckmann's enormously influential argument was essential groundwork for the application of social-constructionist perspectives to the study of social problems, deviance, and crime.
Conrad, Peter, and Joseph W. From badness to sickness. Conrad and Schneider consider the implications of these shifting definitions and responses for the nature of social control and the political character of deviance.
A volume of readings on applications of the social-constructionist perspective to social problems as diverse as spanking, bullying, smoking, and reality TV. Annual Review Of Sociology Schneider considers the role of public bureaucracies and the legal system in the construction and processing of social problems, the medicalization of deviance, and social problems and the media.
Spector, Malcolm, and John I.
Deserving victims?: sexual status and the social construction of violence Diane Richardson and Hazel May Abstract Theoretical understanding of the meaning of the term violence is under-. These victims, according to Quinny (), are best described as “victims of police force, the victims of war, the victims of the correctional system, the victims of state violence, and the victims of oppression of any sort” (Marsh, ). Deserving victims?: sexual status and the social construction of violence Diane Richardson and Hazel May Abstract Theoretical understanding of the meaning of the term violence is under-.
Develops a conception of the social construction of social problems as involving four basic components: Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.This article discusses the social construction of the victim and analyses conditions for ascription of the victim role.
As a neutral point of reference a scientific construction of the victim is presented. It is agued that for the concept of victimisation to apply within the realm of victimological. ARTICLES Susan LEA and Timothy AUBURN The Social Construction of Rape in the Talk of a Convicted Rapist The study used a discursive approach to .
The media is the most powerful organisation which does a big impact on social construction of the crime.
The importance of the news media in framing the public understanding of social problems is widely recognized (McLaughlin, ). Another study focusing on the social construction of women as legitimate victims of violence in Hong Kong, mainland China, and Taiwan also has similar findings.
These victims, according to Quinny (), are best described as “victims of police force, the victims of war, the victims of the correctional system, the victims of state violence, and the victims of oppression of any sort” (Marsh, ).
Social construction is a theoretical position that cuts across a number of disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields, including sociology, psychology, psychotherapy, women's studies, queer studies.