Introduction/Theories of Crime and the Media
Anomie. Characterises certain groups who experience a conflict
between culturally desired goals and legitimate ways of
Behaviourism. Concerned with the objective study of observable
behaviour and represents an antithetical challenge to
Crime. Violation of a law where sanction must be imposed.
Criminalisation. Application of the label ‘criminal’ to particular
Critical criminology. Emphasises relationship between routine, everyday life
and the surrounding social structures (Marxist
Cultural criminology. Embraces post modernism’s concerns with the collapse
of meaning, immediacy of gratification, consumption,
pleasure, etc and emphasises the cultural construction
of crime, crime control and role of image, style,
reputation and performance among deviant subcultures.
Effects research. Focuses on the impact/effects if media texts on audience
Folk devils. Describes an individual/group defined as a threat to
society, its values and interests, who become subjects of
media-orchestrated moral panic.
Hegemony. Refers to the ability of dominant classes to exercise
social and cultural leadership and thus to maintain their
power by a process of consent, not coercion.
Hypodermic syringe Model of media effects (media seen as injecting ideas,
model. values and info to receiver, producing direct and
Late modernity. Describes the condition/state of highly developed
present day societies which denotes their state as a
continuation/development of what went before
(modernity), rather than new state (post-modernity).
Left realism. Radical criminology perspective that views crime as a
natural and inevitable outcome of class inequalities and
Marxism. Proposes that the media (and all other capitalist
institutions) are owned by ruling bourgeois elite and
operate in their interests.
Moral panic. Hostile and disproportional social reaction to a
condition, episode, person or group defined as a threat.
Mediated. Connect through some other person or thing.
Paradigm. Shared set of ideas; dominant pattern of thinking at any
Pluralism. Idea that all opinions and interests should be equally
represented and available.
Political economy. Sociological tradition that analyses society and social phenomena (incl. media) in terms of the interplay
between politics, economics and ideology).
Positivism. Argues social relations can be studied scientifically and
measured using methods derived from the natural
Postmodernism. Embraces a rejection of claims to truth proposed by the
’grand theories’ of the past and challenges us to accept
that we live in a world of contradiction and
inconsistencies which are amenable to objective models
Psychoanalysis. Study of people’s unconscious motivations for their
Reception Sophisticated view of the receivers of media texts.
analysis/audience Concerned with what audiences do with the media,
Stereotyping. Process of reducing individuals/groups to
oversimplified or generalised characterisations
resulting in crude and usually negative categorisations.
Media as moral crusaders
- The media play a part in constructing crime problems.
- After this embark on a moral crusade against identified folk devils.
o Desired outcome is to sway public opinion and for authorities to