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25 Cards in this Set

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How much does the media devote to crime and deviance?


Williams and Dickson found British newspapers devote 30% oftheir news space to crime.

Williams and Dickson

How does the media give a distorted view of crime? 6 ways

The media over represent violent and sexual crime

The media portrays criminals and victims as older and moremiddle class than those typically found in the CJS.

Media coverages exaggerate the police success in cleaning upcases – partly due to the police being the source of crime stories and wouldlike to portray themselves in good light.

The media exaggerate the risk of victimisation, especiallyto women, white people and higher status individuals.

Crime is reported a series of separate events withoutstructure and underlying causes.

The media overplays extraordinary crime and underplayordinary crimes

How does Ditton and Duffy support the media over representing violent and sexual crimes?

they found that 46% of media reports were about violent or sexual crimes, yet this only makes up 3% of all crimes reported by police.

Is news socially constructed? study?

The distorted picture of news media reflects the fact thatnews is a social construction – Stan Cohen and Jock Young (1973) notes thatnews is not discovered by manufactured.

Cohen and Young

Fictional representation - Ernest Mandel

Fictional representation from movies, TV and novels are alsoan important source of our knowledge of crime because so much of their outputis crime related. Ernest Mandel (1984) estimates that from 1945 to 1984, over10 billion crime thrillers were sold worldwide.

What does Surette argue?

Surette (1998) calls fictional representation the law of opposites as the fictionalrepresentation display the opposite to what the official statistics show.

law of opposites

Three recent trends worth noting with fictional representation?

New genre of reality shows ted to feature young, non whiteunderclass offenders

Increasing tendency to show police as corrupt and brutal

Victims have become more central.

The media as a cause of crime?

Concern that the media has a negative effect on the attitudes, values and behaviour, especially those more susceptible to influence.

1920 and 30s, cinema was blamed for corrupting the youth

More recently, rap lyrics and computer games such as Grandtheft auto have been criticised for encouraging violence and criminality.

Numerous ways; imitation, arousal, targeting goods, glamorising offending etc.

Criticism of media as a cause of crime?

Most studies have tended to find that exposure to mediaviolence has at most a small and limited negative effect on audiences.

Schramm et al says that crime for some children is harmful but for some children it can be beneficial and for most, it is neither beneficial or harmful.


Media causing a fear of crime

The media’s distorted view of crime has given the public adistorted impression of crime and causing an unrealistic fear of crime. Exaggerate the risks to certain groups of people becoming victims of crime.

Research evidence to some extent supports theview that there is a link between media use and fear of crime.

How does Gerbner et al support media causing fear of crime?

in the USA, Gerbner et al found that heavy users oftelevision over 4 hours a day had higher levels of fear of crime.

Criticism of media causing a fear of crime?

Gerbner can be criticised; such correlation does not prove the media causes fear as it may be those who are already afraid of going out at night, watch more TV because they stay in more.

What does Lea and Young argue?

Left realists argue that the mass media helps to create asense of relative deprivation – the feeling of being deprived relative toothers – among poor and marginalised social groups.

Relative deprivation

What does Merton argue?

Presents to everyone images of a materialistic good life ofleisure, fun and consumer goods as to the norms which they should conform. He argues, pressure to conform to the norm can cause deviant behaviour whenthe opportunity to achieve by legitimate means is blocked.

Relative deprivation

How does Moral panics causes crimes and deviance through labelling?

Moral entrepreneurs who disapprove of some particularbehaviour may use to media to pressurise the authorities to do something aboutthe alleged problem.

Ifsuccessful, their campaigning will result in labelling of the behaviour andperhaps a change in law.

A moral panic can be then created which leads to a crackdown on the group.

it can create a self fullfiling prophecy thatamplifies the problem – deviance amplification

Mods and Rockers moral panics according to Cohen

It started off with a few scuffles, some stone throwing andwindows being broken but escalated due to the media.

Exaggeration and distortion, Prediction, Symbolisation

This created a deviance amplification spiral.

Why does Cohen note media definition of situations was crucial to creating a moral panic?

Because in large scale societies, most people have no direct experience with the events themselves and so rely on the media for the information.

Why was the Moral Panic created according to Cohen?

Social change:

Reflectingthe anxieties many people feel when accepted values seemed to be undermined.

He argues that the moral panic was a result of the boundarycrisis where there was uncertainty about where the boundary lay betweenacceptable and unacceptable behaviour in a time of change.

What is the functionalist perspective of Moral Panics?

moral panics can be seen as a way of responding to the senseof anomie or normlessness created by change.

By dramatising the threat tosociety in the form of a folk devil, the media raises the collective conscienceand reasserts social controls when central values are threatened.

What is the Neo Marxist perspective of Moral Panics?

moral panic over mugging in the British media in the 1970s served to distract attention from thecrisis of capitalism. 7

Criticisms of the idea of Moral Panics

It assumes that the societal reaction is a disproportionateover reaction – but who is to decide what is a proportionate reaction and whatis a panicky one? This relates to the left realists view that peoples fear ofcrime is rational.

Why are the media able to amplify some problems into panicbut not others?

Also in late modern society, there is little consensus aboutwhat is deviant and so it is harder for the media to create panics about them.

How does McRobbie and Thornton criticise the idea of Moral Panics?

McRobbie and Thornton (1995) argue that moral panics are now routine and have less impact.

What does Yvone Jewkes argue?

The arrival of the internet has led to fears of cyber crime.

Notes the internet createsopportunities to commit both conventional crimes such as fraud and new crimesusing new tools such as software piracy.

What four categories of Cyber crime does Wall identify?

1. Cyber trespass- Hacking and viruses

2. Cyber deception and theft - Phishing and fraud

3. Cyber pornography - Porn including minors and minors watching porn.

4. Cyber Violence - Stalking

Why is policing Cyber Crime difficult

Because of the large scaleof the internet and the limited resources of the police.

Also because of itsglobalised nature; possess problems of jurisdiction.

Also give it a lowpriority since it lacks the excitement of more controversial policing.