Crime Victims and Identity

Wayne Leng has a very good post over at Missing Women on victims and identity.  A University of Alberta PhD student, Amber Dean is studying the lives and deaths of women involved in prostitution, drugs and other high-risk, vulnerable lifestyles to see ‘‘what they can tell us about the way our society is organized.’’.

Dean’s focus is the missing women of  Vancouver’s East-side, the victims of serial killer Robert Pickton.  

Dean’s thesis is looking at the pictorial representations of the Vancouver women by a group of forensic artists on the website of Project EDAN and how those depictions changed through media and public perception. 

Frankly I am surprised that there is not more research in this area of victims and identity. My own experience saw my sister, Theresa’s reputation dragged through the mud, and we continue to see the dismantling of identities in the cases of the Missing Women from Rocky Mount, North Carolina .  The cultural Zeitgeist of crime victims appears to equally vacillate between the extremes of idyllic angel and low-life crack-whore. The field of research is ripe for all manner of sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists. 

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