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Photo of Veronika Burcar Alm

Veronika Burcar Alm

Associate professor

Photo of Veronika Burcar Alm

Gestaltningar av offererfarenheter : Samtal med unga män som utsatts för brott

Talking about violence : Young men's victim narratives


  • Veronika Burcar Alm

Summary, in English

In this dissertation, young men's experiences of being victims of crime are analysed. Several kinds of material are considered in this study, but the primary data consist of informal, tape-recorded interviews with ten young men (17 to 21 year's old) who had been assaulted or mugged. Their accounts of their experiences are analysed using a number of constructionist, interactionist, and narrative perspectives. Identity is a central term in the dissertation, and is held to be something we do rather than something we have. The ways the young men talk about themselves, the perpetrators, the crime itself, and victimhood in general, form the core of the analysis. During the interviews, the young men managed their 'membership' of two diverse categories 'young men' and 'victims'. Male identity and victim identity can be seen as conflicting, but the young men present themselves as both by using a more subtle approach; they construe the two identities in such a way as they can co-exist in a characteristic way. The young men formulate themselves in their narratives as active, not as passive. Their own competence and drive are emphasised, while the perpetrator's influence and importance are diminished. The violent event itself is played down. By use of what may be termed 'manly' descriptions, the men defy the usual criteria for victimhood. They claim victim status, but they do not see themselves in line with the standard image of the passive, suffering, and vulnerable victim. On the contrary, this study presents us with a distinctive crime victim, one who is strong, active, and resilient.


  • Sociology

Publishing year





Lund Dissertations in Sociology



Document type



Lund University, Dept. of Sociology, P.O. Box 114 SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • Social sciences
  • young men
  • violence
  • victim status
  • victimhood
  • vagueness
  • support
  • speech as action
  • robbery
  • rhetoric
  • pronoun
  • positioning
  • police
  • play down
  • narrative
  • masculinity
  • judiciary
  • identity
  • humour
  • crime victim
  • conversation
  • constructionism
  • competence
  • assault
  • actor
  • ambivalence
  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • Social psychology
  • Samhällsvetenskaper
  • Kriminologi
  • Sociologi
  • Socialpsykologi




  • Malin Åkerström


  • ISSN: 1102-4712
  • ISBN: 91-7267-207-2

Defence date

16 December 2005

Defence time


Defence place

Kulturens auditorium


  • Karin Aronsson (Professor)