Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews what is known about victim selection—that is, the question of why offenders select some people, but not others, to be victims of crime. It first addresses theoretical perspectives on victim selection, namely the structural–choice model of victim selection, social interactionism, and target congruence. It then describes three data sources that have been used in prior research to study victim selection: police reports, victimization surveys, and offender interviews. Subsequently, empirical findings on victim selection are reviewed and organized into nine subsections: victims’ demographic characteristics, psychological characteristics, physical characteristics, behavior, biological characteristics, prior victimization, relationship to the offender, behavior during the offense, and the role of randomness. The final section discusses research gaps and potential future directions in the field, including an emphasis on theoretical explanations and mediators, cross-cultural studies, methodological innovation and diversity, interactions between victim and offender characteristics, and generality across crime types and subpopulations.

Keywords: victimization, target selection, decision making, opportunity theory, social interactionism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.