Crime & Media Week 5.docx

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Monash University
General Education Studies
Danielle Tyson

Cultural Criminology Recap: the theoretical contexts guiding research on crime and the media  Media „effects‟ – posits a causal relationship between media and crime.  Critical criminology – pessimistic view of relationship between crime and media. o Posits idea that media is an institution that represents the interests of the dominant groups in society. o Conservative ideological framework is imposed on lower class. o Derived through Marxism.  Left realists – criticise the Marxist inspired approaches. o Saw them as romanticising the views/ways in which the working class is seen as kicking against power/institutions.  Reception analysis – idea that audiences are passive recipients. o Contest that and say that they‟re more dynamic than that.  Cultural criminology – about what people do with the media. o Develops in response to post modernity.  Defining features of behaviourism and positivism: o Behaviourism – human is a direct product of their environment. o Positivism – idea that it‟s possible to measure objective reality and then understand it through the method of science (criminals can be spotted physically).  Defining features of Marxism: o Not about measuring crimes on people‟s body, but looking at the relationship between the power and powerless.  Defining features of postmodernism: o Crime has become a form of entertainment, society has become obsessed. o Consumers need immediate gratification and everything has to be in the moment. o Society becomes less concerned with the relationship between groups and says there‟s a collapse of meaning.  More about constructing meaning – no fixed identity – ongoing, dynamic process.  Most interested in things that are more ambiguous and social change. Cultural criminology  An approach that embraces postmodernism‟s concerns with the collapse of meaning, immediacy of gratification, consumption, pleasure and so on, and emphasises the cultural construction of crime and crime control, and the role of image, style, representation and performance among deviant subcultures. o Supports the early Marxist-influenced, critical criminological view that criminal acts are acts of resistance to authority. o Emphasises the externalisation of excitement and ecstasy involved in resistance. o Crime is not about acquisition, materialism or economic need, but presence, status and sneaky thrill. o Crime is a participatory performance. o Celebrates postmodern notions of difference, discontinuity and diversity, and breaks down restrictive and negative stereotypes. o Recognise that postmodern media (e.g. BB, American Idol) merge fun and hate, cruelty and playfulness, celebrity and nobody, inclusive and exploitative and accessible and extremist. Questions that guide crime and media research  Does the media cause crime? o Media effects research.  Does the media distort crime? o Marxism – moral panic research.  Does the media stereotype certain groups? o Marxism – moral panic research.  Does the media cause people to be fearful?  Does the media construct crime? o Postmodernism. Postmodern accounts of crime and the media  We are living in a „society of the spectacle‟. o Media and other cultural institutions have blurred.  A „hyperreality‟ in which media has blurred any distinction between image and reality. o Can‟t work out what is actually true because everything is mediated. o Encounters with crime is what we see and read. o Becomes less important to figure out what is fact/fiction and instead see that in order to understand crime we n
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