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UNIT 3 - Sept 30th Visual Representation of Death.docx

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CRM 312
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM312-011: UNIT 3 th Week 5: September 30 , 2013 “I See Dead People” -> visual sociology of fatalities in the media - Cultural criminologists paid close attention to the commodification of violence and visual representation of deviance & transgressive behaviour being normalized (as well as images of dead people/death)  But, it was never about the ordinariness of death, it was about the extraordinary, spectacular deaths, or some exciting moment of death  Images of death in the media are not new, but have changed in force – that is, the kind of death we are seeing is more forceful, and even more spectacular - “In this process have emerged codes of meaning and practice that combine the barbarism of the past and the predatory relations at the heart of today’s market capitalism to produce cultural forms and identities that are closed, intolerant and violent and as such, constitute a threat to civilised life” (Hall and Winlow, 2004:277) EVOLUTION OF ‘DEATH’ - In older times, fear of death was not due to bodily deterioration or harm, but more focused on the consequences of the afterlife [image of holy man, waiting to be decapitated but looking completely at peace, seemingly because he knows he has lived a good life and will thus be rewarded] - A slight change came during the middle ages during the Enlightenment era, where there was recognition that humans are not puppets of God and demons, but have free will  This was a time period where you could be executed for almost anything, which also changed the view on death  It was becoming more about the body & pain/suffering - Rapid change with photographic technology also influenced the evolution of death  Some of the first images from photo-journalism came from the Crimean War (October 1853 – February 1856)  Scenes from the Battle of Antietam (1862) were really the first published photos people had seen of death to this extent (complete destruction and bodily harm to the human body) which horrified them *Matthew Brady’s photograph from the “The Dead of Antietam” gallery, rows of dead bodies] - For most of history, when people died, they died with their family in their homes instead of at a facility like today. If someone were to pass away on the street, it would be likely their body would lay on the street until a family member came to pick it up ERA OF “INVISIBLE DEATH” - Found that morgues would open their doors for people to claim family members, yet very few people did so -> people were just fascinated in seeing the dead - Victorian funerals (1980s) emerged during this era of “invisible death” because death was literally disappearing from the public realm for two reasons:  Public executions were found not effective  More significantly, doctors & hospitals w
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