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Racist hate crime and the mortified self: An ethnographic study of the impact of victimization

Funnell, Corinne



© The Author(s) 2014. This article provides a unique criminological examination of the social situation of victims of racist hate crime, specifically focusing on the consequences of victimization. Based on observational and interview data gathered over two and a half years and located at an agency run by victims of racist hate crime for such victims in England, the research project investigated inter alia how victims and their caseworkers defined racist hate crimes and incidents and what meanings they gave those experiences. Ethnographic research revealed how proximate relationships were perceived to generate ‘risk’ for victims and how, in response, they developed a range of behavioural modification strategies, including isolation of themselves and significant others to avoid further hate crime encounters. A comparison is made between Goffman’s ‘inmate’ and that of the racist hate crime victim in his or her home and neighbourhood. Like inmates in total institutions, many who experience racist hate crime are effectively closed to the outside world. In consequence, they undergo processes of ‘loss and mortification’ within the home and neighbourhood context, including ‘role dispossession’, and become victims.


Funnell, C. (2015). Racist hate crime and the mortified self: An ethnographic study of the impact of victimization. International Review of Victimology, 21(1), 71-83.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2014
Journal International Review of Victimology
Print ISSN 0269-7580
Electronic ISSN 2047-9433
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 71-83
Keywords impact, mortification, proximity, racism, victims
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Published online before print September 21, 2014