This useful text provides a comprehensive introductory overview of the study of victims and victimization. Victimization is here considered as a reflection of American society. Taking a broad perspective, Elias argues that the study of victimology requires more than merely analyzing criminal justice; it requires linking it to much wider social, political and economic relations--especially to the American political economy. This study rejects the official definition of crime and victimization and establishes a relationship between victimology and human rights, thus advocating a "new" victimology which embraces victims of both crime and repression. Elias proposes that since much crime arises in response to various forms of oppression, a society unconcerned with human rights violations and its victims can likewise provide little help for crime victims.