MA Research Paper


Stopping the Blame Game: An Intersectional Approach to Minority Victimization in Canada


Master of Arts




Dr. Sean Waite

Delay of Publication



Minority groups, such as Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and people who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), are more likely to experience victimization. To date, most scholars have drawn on the lifestyles and routine activities frameworks to explain victimization patterns. A key issue with these approaches is that they tend to explain victimization through the behaviours and lifestyles of victims, thus taking the motivation of offenders for granted and contributing to an ideology of victim-blaming. This study explores whether minority groups are at an elevated risk of victimization, regardless of their lifestyles or routine activities. This paper also investigates intersectional disadvantage by analyzing the interaction effects of gender and other minority identities on the risk of victimization. Using data from the 2014 Victimization cycle of the General Social Survey, this paper finds that Indigenous peoples and those with disabilities are more likely to be victims of crime, net of lifestyle and routine activities factors, like education, income, employment, marital status, area of residence, alcohol and drug consumption, childhood maltreatment, and evenings spent outside the home. These findings bring the lifestyles and routine activities frameworks into question, suggesting that these minority groups are suitable targets because of their marginalized identities rather than their lifestyles.

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