SOCC30H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Suicide Of Amanda Todd, Geoffrey Pearson
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Representing Youth Crime
“Fear in our Schools”: The Toronto Stars coverage of youth gangs in 1998
•A problem exaggerated? How?
•A problem racialized? How?
Geoffrey Pearson, “Hooligan” (1973) .An examination of public opinion about street crime in Britain since
the Victorian times
•Young people are constantly viewed as behaving worse than their predecessors – the past
always presented as being more crime free than the present
How does the mass media report youth crime?
•Focuses on the serious – and rare, rather than the less serious, and common
oParticularly exaggerated concerns about young people and crime are referred to as Moral
Panics (Stanley Cohen,1973)
oThe case of the Mods and Rockers
oIs the Star’s coverage of youth gangs in Toronto an example of a moral panic?
Why are crime rates decreasing?
Why doesnt evidence of declining crime rates necessarily make us feel any safer?
•Increasing crime coverage in the media
Why are crime rates decreasing? (a widespread phenomena: they are also declining in the US and
•Police initiatives: targeted policing?(‘HotSpot’Policing,TAVIS)
•Broken Windows philosophy?
•Increased access to abortion?
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