Crime & Media Week 11.docx

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Monash University
General Education Studies
Danielle Tyson

Crime, Media & Culture III: Organised Crime Organised crime films  Crime films serve as a cultural resource, creating a reservoir of images and stories on which viewers draw when they think about the causes of crime.  Many crime films also endorse a particular explanation of crime as well as offer an opinion as to who is best qualified to give that explanation. o Development of the role of the expert e.g. the detective. o The expert developed in to the role of the forensic psychologist. Movies and their explanations for crime and criminality  Most offer one of three explanations of what motivates people to commit crime: o Born bad – biological theories of crime.  Criminality determined when young.  E.g. Frankenstein (1931), The Bad Seed (1956) – Criminality passed down from mother to daughter. o Made bad – environmental theories of crime.  Something happens that makes them turn out that way.  E.g. Taxi Driver (1976), Goodfellas (1990) - o Twisted psyches – abnormal psychology as a cause of crime.  Mental illness causing criminal behaviour.  E.g. Psycho (1960) – protagonist lacks moral compass. Movies, crime and ideology  Work on an ideological level, feeding our assumptions/beliefs about crime and criminality.  Crime is „explainable‟. o Message in all these films.  That certain individuals with authority and expertise are capable of figuring out both the causes and solutions to crime. o E.g. police, forensic psychologist. o Possible to think like a killer or that we can see the signs of the criminality in the environment.  Offer definitions of the “crime problem” through a distorted emphasis on violence and death.  Provide a repertoire of plausible narratives that audiences draw on to frame their emotional responses to criminal events. o Tells us how to feel in
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