LW380: The Criminal Justice System Ignores The Victims Of The Most Powerful People In Society: Victimology Essay, MU, Ireland

Global environmental problems are often the aggregated effect of behavior by individuals, but is persuading people individually to change their behavior useful for addressing these problems? Understanding why it is that people behave individually in ways that have collectively problematic environmental effects is key to understanding what works—and doesn’t work—to change this individual behavior. This article argues that because of the problem characteristics and social structures that underpin largescale environmental problems, a focus on trying to persuade people to behave in ways that are less environmentally problematic is ineffective at best and possibly even counterproductive. Instead we should focus on changing systems and structures to provide incentives, routines, and contexts in which we can simultaneously change the behavior of large groups of people, whether or not their behavior change is undertaken intentionally for environmental benefit.

Environmental activists concerned about global problems like climate change,
ozone depletion, or deforestation often try to persuade individuals to change
their behavior. That focus may seem misguided: any one person has an almost
unimaginably small effect on a global environmental problem. The global climate system will not even notice your decision to take public transportation
instead of driving, nor your effort to turn down your thermostat and wear an
extra sweater, to decrease your greenhouse gas emissions. Michael Maniates
(2001) argues that “individualization” of environmental problems incorrectly
places the responsibility for the causes of environmental problems onto individual behavior, when individual choices are powerless to prevent or address environmental problems.Essay options (answer ONE question only)

  • ‘The criminal justice system ignores the victims of the most powerful people in society.’

Please critically assess this statement, using examples and evidence from victimology research to support your arguments.

  • Why is it important to think critically about how society understands and uses the label of “victim”?

Please use examples and evidence from victimology research to support your arguments.

  • If you could conduct a piece of research that explored how society perceived and treated certain victims in Ireland:
  1. What would you aim to find out and why is it important?
  2. Which research methods would you use and why?
  3. How would your study fit in with the existing victimological literature?

FAQ – Victimology assessments

Finding and using resources

Q – How many academic sources, such as library books and academic journal articles, should I use?

A – At least 12 academic sources per 1500 word essay would be useful, but the more the better. Read some journal articles and look at how and when they use academic sources and cite other work.

Q – Is there any support available to help me work out how to find the best sources?

A – Yes – watch the Researching for Assessments video that Ian very kindly made us on this topic!

Q – Should I read widely to give me more knowledge of the field and ideas for what to write?

A – Yes, this would be a very good idea.

Q – Should I use Google Scholar and the Maynooth University Library to find academic sources?

A – Yes. Definitely do this! Google Scholar is much better than Google!

Q – Should I reference random, non-academic websites, like or whatever the websites are that people end up citing sometimes, but are not reliable?

A – Nah. Use academic and official (i.e. government policies and reports) sources.


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Q – Can I cite newspaper articles?

A – You should cite newspaper articles only if the information is not available from an academic or official source. For example, if you see government statistics in a newspaper article, you should try to find, read and cite the original source of the statistics.

Q – Can I make reference to policies or research from other countries?

A – Yes, in fact this would be a very good thing to do.

Writing the essay

Q – As I am reading widely, should I start to plan my essay, writing down what I am going to argue and in what order and considering how each part of my plan will help me answer the question?

A – In a word: yes.

Q – Should I read the question extremely carefully and repeatedly to ensure I know what it is asking of me, and so that I answer the question directly and fully?

A – I am obviously just writing some of these questions just to give an answer of ‘yes’, aren’t I?

Q – Should I use empirical research, statistics and other evidence to support my arguments?

A – Yes! Whenever you make an assertion, ensure that you are supporting that with evidence.

Q – Hmmmmmmmm the deadline isn’t for a while, should I wait to start thinking about this?

A – Definitely no, if you aim to do as well as possible. The earlier you start thinking about assessments, and the earlier you can start reading and get your thoughts organised (on paper), the better!

Q – Should I proof read my essay or just hand it in without looking back over it?

A – Proof read your essay, ideally several times – otherwise, it is guaranteed to be full of type-os and other errors. Proof reading will also help you to identify where you have repeated yourself and where you have been descriptive, and so you can then go back and revise your paper accordingly to improve your marks. I recommend reading your essay back out loud to help you revise it.

Q – Should I check if I’m using Harvard referencing correctly by reading the Harvard guide here?

A – YES!

Q – Should I include a clear introduction of approximately 5-10% of the word count that outlines what the essay is about and why it is important, gives some context about the subject, and tells the reader the structure and argument of the essay?

A – Yes, and you should also include a conclusion that summarises your argument and brings the essay to a close (also around 5-10% of the word count). If you are unsure what to include in an introduction and conclusion, you can find advice online about academic essay writing. You can also read academic articles to see what to include in introductions and conclusions.

Q – Can I go over the word count, which is 1500 words? Please? I kind of wanna though?

A – No! Just submit 1500 words, no 10% over, no 7.3% over, no 31.6% over. The essay for this module must be a maximum of 1500 words (not including the bibliography). You also should not submit essays that are too far below the word count, if you want to do as well as you can.

Q – Can I use subheadings?

A – You can if you want, but you don’t have to. If you want to use subheadings, read plenty of academic journal articles to see how these can and should be used.

Q – What font and formatting should I use for the essay?

A – You should use Times New Roman (or another normal font), size 12, with 1.5 line spacing.

Q – Should I hand my essay in on time? Can I just hand it in 63 hours later with no explanation?

A – It is important to hand your work in on time and avoid a chaotic submission process – especially if you want me to be in a good mood when I am marking them!

Q – What should I do if I am stuck and I don’t know what to write next?

A – Keep reading, keep thinking and keep working on it – this is bound to happen at some point to everyone. You need to persevere, keep going, and you will definitely get there in the end!

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