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Chapter 1

CRM312 (Textbook//Yvonne Jewkes) MEDIA AND CRIME (Chapter 1).docx

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Ryerson University
CRM 312
Stephen Muzzatti

MEDIA AND CRIME Yvonne Jewkes Chapter ONE: Theorizing Media and Crime - Purpose of chapter: introduce cross-disciplinary scholarship and to develop a theoretical context for what follows in the remainder of this book - It is not just the interface between crime and media that we find similarities between the two disciplines; parallels between criminology and media studies are evident even when we consider some of the most fundamental questions that have concerned academics in each field  Example: “what makes a criminal?” & “why does mass media matter?” - Media “effects” -> concerns about the extent to which media can be said to cause anti-social, deviant or criminal behaviour (to what degree do media images bring about negative effects in their viewers?) this research has become known as “effects research” developed from mass society and behaviourism  explores how mass society theory and psychological behaviourism gives rise to the notion that media images are responsible for eroding moral standards, corrupting young minds  as significant advancements were made throughout the course of the 20 century, in photography, cinema, popular press, television, and later on, mobile communication technologies, the Internet, it was believed there was a passing of a literate culture that required a high degree of critical thinking, and replacing it was a visual popular culture which was believed to plug directly into the mind of masses without need for ration thought or interpretation - Mass society theory ->established as a sociological theory after WWII, usually carrying negative connotations referring to the “masses” or the “common people” who are characterized by their lack of individuality, their alienation from the moral and ethical values to be gained from work and religion, their political apathy, and their taste for “low culture”  this may come off as making the mass seem uneducated, ignorant, and prone to violence th th  period of turbulence and uncertainty (late 19 – early 20 centuries) and mass society theorist held that social upheavals associated with industrialization, urbanization and the Great War had made people feel increasingly vulnerable. Two important strands of thought emerged:  first, it was believed that as communities fragmented and traditional social ties were dismantled, society became a mass of isolated individuals cut off from kinship and organic ties, lacking moral cohesion, therefore an increase of crime and anti-social behaviour seemed inevitable  media were seen as both an aid to people’s well-being under difficult circumstances and as a powerful force for controlling people’ thoughts and diverting them from political action - Behaviourism and positivism -> behaviourism derived from positivism, which emerged from natural sciences and regards the world as fixed and quantifiable  Behaviourism challenged the more dominant view of psychoanalysis by shifting research focus away from the realm of the mind to emphasis on int
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