Dramaturgical Perspective Analysis

The dramaturgical perspective involves the use of symbols and how the symbols are used to create an impression to the audience. The article selected from The Star online newspaper about a Black Canadian, Jermaine Carby, who was shot and killed by a police officer clearly demonstrates that the symbols can frame public discussion of police. Nonetheless, the police themselves are also dramatic, which influences how the media creates an imagining of the police. Using the dramaturgical perspective, it is evident that the media and the police have a symbiotic relationship, whereby each institution influences the other. With that said, both police duties and the image of police within the media reinforce enduring features of police culture including …show more content…
The use of force within the article is depicted as a necessary evil. Including repeated story elements such as Carby’s criminal record, and using quotes referring to Carby as a street enforcer frames the public’s discussion of police by focusing society’s attention on the police’s role as necessary crime fighters that patrol the streets and tackle problems. The crime control tactics also reemphasize the source of crime as less powerful minorities. By disclosing Carby’s criminal record within the article, the public may not sympathize with the victim. Instead, the media is encouraging the stereotypes and perceptions that African Canadians engage in more crime and should be subjected to policing tactics. The killing of Jermaine Carby becomes a trade-off, whereby field stops are a necessary crime fighting tactic that can justify confrontational interactions. In essence, depicting police officers as crime fighters reaffirms their legitimacy by encouraging the image that police must ensure order through the use of force and crime control policies such as field stops. Thus, the victim’s criminal record removes tensions that occurs during these rare and singular cases and eliminates the context associated with why the individual is being policed (Bittner 1970). The image of police as …show more content…
The way police officers act represents the image they perceive of themselves. Their actions and duties influence the media’s image of the police. In the case of the article, the victim of the police shooting becomes depicted as a criminal, who refused comply with police authority; thus, leading to his death. The public discussion of the police is framed by the roles performed by the police and the consensus surrounding how the media depicts the police. The enduring features of policing guide the public’s perception of the police. With that said, the media can scorn the police by criticizing their use of coercion during violent cases, which can produce public scrutiny and alter the image of policing. Thus, the dramaturgical perspective is an important sociological perspective that can be applied to cases to produce

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