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Not Just an American Thing: Stalking as a Crime and Social Problem

  • Jenny KorkodeilouEmail author
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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)

Abstract

Stalking was initially recognised and perceived as a crime mainly affecting celebrities in the early 90s. Media and popular accounts have portrayed stalkers either as mentally disturbed obsessed fans and/or as socially inadequate suitors (weirdos, loners). These depictions shaped prevalent public perceptions about what stalking is and who can perpetrate it. Socio-cultural beliefs regarding romantic pursuit, gender roles and intimacy have also helped perpetuate commonly held assumptions about the nature of the crime. This chapter overviews the socio-cultural, legal and definitional history of stalking as a crime and social problem (USA, Europe) and focuses on the criminalisation of stalking, current landscape and policy developments in the UK. It explains the definitional framework of the research on which this book is based and assess the extent to which legal policies and risk management interventions have the power to change deeply entrenched gendered notions regarding relationships and emotional abuse.

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Law and CriminologyRoyal Holloway University of LondonEgham, Surrey, EnglandUK

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