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Content Analysis

Satisfactory Essays
Law and Order: SVU (Special Victims Unit) and Bones were the two shows I decided to watch for analyzing content. The reason more than one show was picked was because I wanted a little variety in the information and data I was receiving. Different shows are going to provide different information and provide different data. These two shows covered a wide spectrum of crime shows and would be helpful in providing variety in the data collection process. My topic of choice was gender and how gender roles are portrayed in these television shows. I chose Law and Order: SVU and Bones because they portray two very different versions of crime shows. Law and Order: SVU is a crime show that shows the police side of the crime process. This show deals specifically with the arrest, fact-finding process, and trial process of a crime. It does not deal with the scientific aspect of determining how victims were killed or hurt. Bones in contrast, is not entirely focused on the arrest and trial process but more specifically focuses on the scientific and anthropological aspect of determining facts in a crime scenario. Although the show does have some of the police actions involved, its main focus is on science. In conjunction with this idea, I find these two shows the most enjoyable to watch and was curious about how they portrayed gender roles. The question was whether they would be similar or not.
For Law and Order: SVU, I chose to watch two very different episodes. I had seen these episodes in the past and knew that the stories presented different representations of victims and perpetrators. The first episode "Twenty-Five Acts," had an almost equal representation of men and women with the episode having eight women (53% of the total) and 7 men (47% ...

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...e different manner in which the deceased (or victim) was represented. I realize not every episode is similar, but in comparison to the other two, male and female victims are portrayed very differently. Only women were portrayed as victims of crimes.
These crime shows reinforced the notions that women are victims and men are perpetrators. In the one episode where a man was the deceased, he was not a victim of a crime but rather an unfortunate accident. Both Law and Order episodes reinforced the stereotype of male aggression and that women are victims of sex crimes. Both episodes did show the strength of female victims of sex crimes but still overly sexualized them as objects due to the types of books they published and because they were impoverished or considered low class. In terms of power-positions, men and women were represented relatively evenly in both shows.
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