Societal sensitivity regarding victims in the UK has grown in recent decades. In the UK new policies and legislation have emerged at all levels in the criminal justice system with the aim of putting the victim at the centre of the criminal justice process.
This is happening at the same time as UK governments seek to address social issues relating to 'other' victims, for example, migrants, refugees, the homeless and the unemployed. Many question the public and social support provided to these victims arguing that they are essentially 'undeserving'.
This module explores and compares the criminological research about victims, deserving and also undeserving of public compassion and support, with the social policy literature about how societies identify who is deserving of public support and who is not. It analyses how and why "victims" and "scroungers" are constructed, and how and why policies towards both evolve over time. We relate both areas to dominant political ideologies, such as neo-liberalism and social democracy.