sociology media and crime article

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Criminal offenses

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Press give a altered image of crime

Over-representation of chaotic and sex crimes – Ditton and Duffy – 46% of media information were about violent/sexual criminal offenses but just made up 3% of all criminal activity recorded by police Multimedia coverage exaggerates police success

The police can be a major method to obtain crime reports and want to present themselves in a very good light Press exaggerates the chance of victimisation,  Especially to girls, white people and higher status people Crime is definitely reported as a series of individual events

Without composition and the study of underlying causes

Press overplay extraordinary crimes

Underplay ordinary crimes

Felson – ‘dramatic fallacy’

Press images business lead us to believe that to commit and solve criminal activity, one needs to be daring and clever Schlesinger and Tumber – in the 1960s the focus had been on murders and petty crime; in the 1990s tough and petty crime had been of significantly less interest to the media; modify due to the cessation of the death penalty for murder also because rising criminal offenses meant that a crime had to be ‘special’ to attract coverage Increasing preoccupation with sexual intercourse crimes

Soothill and Walby – newspaper reporting of rape crases increased via under a 1 / 4 in 1951 to over another in 1985; coverage consistently focuses on determining a ‘sex fiend/beast’ simply by use of labeling

News beliefs and offense coverage

Unbalanced picture of crime decorated by the press reflects the simple fact that media is a sociable construction – the outcome of any social method in which potential stories are selected yet others are declined Cohen and Young – news is definitely manufactured

A central element of the news is the idea of ‘news values’ – criteria in which journalists and editors determine whether a account is newsworthy to be in newspapers and also the news message.


Dramatisation – action and excitement

Personalisation – human curiosity stories regarding individuals Higher-status – for instance celebrities


Information give so much coverage to crime as it focuses on the unusual and extraordinary – makes deviance newsworthy since it is irregular behaviour Fictional representations of crime

Mandel – estimates that from 1945 to 1984, over twelve billion criminal offense thrillers were sold globally Fictional rendering from TELEVISION SET, cinema and novels are crucial sources of the knowledge of crime as so much of their end result is crime-related

The press as a reason for crime

Concern that the multimedia have a negative effect on attitudes, values and behaviour pertaining to vulnerable and influential teams e.

g. young, reduced classes and uneducated Ways that the multimedia might cause crime and deviance

Desensitisation – repeated browsing of physical violence

Transmitting knowledge of criminal techniques

Target to get crime – theft of plasma Tv sets

Revitalizing desires to get unaffordable merchandise – through advertising Representing the police while incompetent

Glamorising problem

Research tend to realize that exposure to multimedia violence provides at most a tiny and limited negative impact on audience Livingstone – irrespective of such findings, people continue to be preoccupied with the effects of the media about children as a result of our desire as a world to consider childhood as being a time of uncontaminated innocence in the private world (the family)

Fear of criminal offenses

Concern the media might be distorting the public’s impression of criminal offenses and leading to an impractical fear of criminal offense Evidence at some level supports the lovely view that there is a link between mass media use and fear of criminal offenses Gerbner ainsi que al (USA) – weighty users of television (over 4 hours a day) got higher numbers of fear of criminal offense Schlesinger and Tumber – found a correlation among media intake and fear of crime – tabloid viewers and weighty users of TV conveying greater anxiety about becoming a sufferer – especially physical assault and mugging Existence of such correlations doesn’t prove that media observing causes fear. It may be those who are already afraid of going out at night watch more TELEVISION because that they stay in even more Sparks – media effects research ignores the symbolism that audiences give to media violence – may give diverse meanings to violence in cartoons, scary films and news bulletins (interpretivist view that if we like to understand the possible effects of the multimedia, we must look at the meanings persons give to the actual see and read)

Multimedia, relative deprivation and crime

How far media portrayals of ‘normal’ rather than criminal life styles might also inspire people to make crime Left realists believe the advertising help to increase the sense of relative deprival amongst poor and marginalised social groupings In today’s contemporary society, the mass media present everybody with photos of a materialistic ‘good life’ of amusement, fun and consumer goods as well as the norm to which they should adapt. The result is to stimulate the sense of relative deprivation and sociable exclusion experienced marginalised groups who cannot afford these items Merton – pressure to conform can cause deviant conduct when the chance to achieve by legitimate means is blacklisted (ie the media happen to be instrumental in setting the norm and thus to promote crime)

Meaning panics

Press can cause crime and deviance through labelling

Meaning entrepreneurs who also disapprove of some particular behaviour might use the multimedia to put stresses on the regulators. If successful, their advertising will result in the negative labelling of the conduct and perhaps a big change in the legislation E. g. the Cannabis Tax Rules – labelled marijuana cigarette smoking as felony; media helped to trigger crime Creating of a moral panic – an high over-reaction by society to a perceived trouble – usually driven or perhaps inspired by media – where the reaction enlarges the problem out of most proportion to its true seriousness. In a moral anxiety: The multimedia identify an organization as a persons devil or a threat to societal beliefs The media present the group in a negative, unoriginal fashion and exaggerate the scale of the problem Moral business people, editors, politicians, police chiefs, bishops and other ‘respectable’ people condemn the group as well as its behaviour This may lead to calls for a ‘crackdown’ around the group – may make a SFP that amplifies the situation that triggered the panic in the first place

Mods and Rockers

Cohen – examines the media’s response to disturbances among two groups of largely working-class teenagers Mods – smart dress and rode scooters; Rockers – leather jackets and rode moterbikes Initial confrontations started with scuffles, natural stone throwing, busted windows and wrecked beach front huts Mass media over-rated the confrontations that was minor. Cohen uses the analogy of your disaster where media develop and inventory of what happened containing: Exaggeration and contortion – mass media exaggerated amounts involved as well as the extent with the violence Conjecture – multimedia assumed and predicted additional conflict and this violence might result Symbolisation – signs of mods and rockers were every negatively branded and associated with deviance – medias use of the signs allowed these to link unconnected events Cohen argues the media’s portrayal of incidents produced a deviance exorbitance spiral by making it seem as if the situation was dispersing and getting out of hand. Lead to requires an increased control response from the police and courts.

Developed further marginalisation and stigmatisation of the mods and rockers as deviants and less tolerance of them Press further increased the deviance by determining the two groups and their subcultural styles – youths adopting the styles – media crystallised two distinctive identities, stimulating polarisation, making a SFP of escalating turmoil Cohen paperwork that media definitions in the situation are very important in making a moral worry as most people have no immediate experience of the poker site seizures themselves and so have to depend on the multimedia.

This allowed the media to show them while folk demons – main threats to public buy and sociable values Cohen argues that moral panics often happen at times of social transform, reflecting the anxieties persons feel once accepted principles are eroded; moral panic was a consequence of a border crisis – uncertainty about where the boundary lay between acceptable and unacceptable actions Functionalist perspective – meaning panics viewed as ways of addressing the sense of anomie created by simply change. By simply dramatising the threat to society, the media boosts the collective consciousness and reasserts sociable controls when ever central beliefs are insecure. Hall – neo Marxist approach locating the role of moral panics inside the context of capitalism (distracted attention in the crisis or capitalism) CRITICISMS – Assumes the fact that societal effect is a extraordinary over reaction (relates to left realist view that peoples fear or offense is rational) McRobbie and Thornton – moral panics are now schedule and have less impact; in late modern society there is certainly little general opinion about what is definitely deviant

Global cyber-crime

Internet has been accused of undermining public values and corrupting the young due to the velocity with which is has developed as well as its scale – almost fifty percent the world’s population is on the net Thomas and Loader – arrival with the internet has resulted in fears of cyber-crime defined as computer-mediated activities – either illegitimate or illicit Jewkes – internet produced opportunities to commit conventional offences – scams – and new criminal activity using fresh tools – software piracy Wall – four categories of cybercrime

Cyber-trespass – traversing boundaries in to others internet property which includes hacking, skade and dispersing viruses Cyber-deception and theft – identification theft; 95% of music is downloaded illegally (Swash) Cyber-pornography –

which includes minors and opportunities for children to access porn Cyber-violence – psychological damage and inciting physical injury including cyber-stalking Policing cyber-crime is challenging partly because of the scale in the internet and the limited methods – globalised nature posing problems of jurisdiction Law enforcement officials culture offers cyber-crime a minimal priority since it is seen as lacking the enjoyment of more conventional policing D


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