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Research Essay

analytical Essay
1707 words
1707 words
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In the modern world, how people perceive and act in relation to crime and criminals is influenced and shaped by the media. The print media’s representations of certain crimes such as child sexual abuse, and the discourses used in presenting child sexual abusers “work in the background, in [the] unconscious mind” (Trend, p.63) to influence readers to “make subtle changes in [their] attitudes” (Trend, p.63) towards crime and certain criminals. Not only does the media shape the view of crimes and their committers amongst society, but it also leads to criticisms of the legal system’s ability to deal with criminals. The print media also tends to perpetrate a myth of ‘crime wave’ through the, in most cases, false representations of increase in crime and crime rates. Through this, the media gives itself the power to abnormalize and normalize certain acts by declaring offenders as ill persons requiring treatment as well as being the differing ‘others’ who do not comply with certain ‘normalized’ behaviour . Many members of society however do not recognize how media representations and influence can damage and ‘retard’ society’s embedded culture and the perception of justice (Dyer: 2000, p. 84). Through the media’s use of expert opinion on certain crimes, what they present is strongly trusted by society, making the media the most crucial body in spreading knowledge about, misrepresenting and badly deforming the character of crime and criminals (Dyer 2000, p.87).

“In the past, we received…messages in words and then applied them to the real world” (Dyer 2000, p.86). As Dyer states, when we received messages that we believed to be false or conflicted with what he called ‘observable reality’, that message was claimed of less importance. Its ‘...

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...s, D & Rua M 2008, ‘Media and Community Anxieties About Men’s Interactions with Children’, Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, Wiley InterSchience, pp. 528

• Jewkes, Y, & Letherby, G (eds) 2002, “Criminology: A Reader”, Kitzinger, J ‘the ultimate neighbor from hell? Stranger danger and the media framing of paedophiles’, Sage, London, pp. 146.

• Johnson, Hollis F. 1967, ‘Media and the Creating of Myth: The Role of Print Media in the Popularization of Stranger-Danger in Child Abduction’, Mankato State College, University of Southern Minnesota, pp. iii-14.

• Meyer, A 2010, ‘Evil Monsters and Cunning Perverts: Representing and Regulating The Dangerous Paedophile’, Popular Culture, Crime and Social Control, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bradford, pp. 198-207

• Trend, D. ‘The Myth of Media Violence A Critical Introduction’, Blackwell Publishing 61-63

In this essay, the author

  • Explains how the media influences how people perceive and act in relation to crime and criminals. the media portrays certain crimes and their committers in the background to influence readers to make subtle changes in attitudes.
  • Opines that the media has become the primary body reporting crimes and other issues. it is a beneficial tool for the community as it rapidly alerts citizens of unsafe situations and threatening criminals.
  • Analyzes how the media exaggerates pedophilia and creates a myth of 'crime wave' against children.
  • Analyzes how the media portrays the legal system's response to offenders, but it is widely reported when justice fails to prosecute them.
  • Analyzes how the evil and cunning discourse portrays pedophiles as 'evil', which makes them dangerous on the community and require more attention to be caught out for what they truly are.
  • Analyzes how the media has a great influence over how crime is observed by members of society. journalists use discourses provided by behavioural scientists to achieve the best reaction possible from their readers in relation to pedophiles and other criminals.
  • Opines that mass media and the social construction of crime: a critique and implications for the future, routledge handbook of critical criminology, london.
  • Opines that dervin, f 2011, ‘cultural identity, representation, and othering’, routledge handbook of intercultural communication, pp.
  • Cites goodman-delahunty, j, trends and issues in crime and criminology, no. 465, pp.
  • Explains harrison, k, and rainey, b, the hanbook of legal and ethical aspects of sex offender treatment and management, john wiley & sons ltd.
  • Explains hodgetts, d., and rua, m. (2008), ‘media and community anxieties about men’s interactions with children’, wiley interschience.
  • Cites jewkes, y, and letherby, g, 2002, "criminology: a reader", kitzinger, j. stranger danger and the media framing of paedophiles.
  • Cites johnson, hollis f., ‘media and the creating of myth: the role of print media in the popularization of stranger-danger in child abduction’.
  • Describes meyer's book, "evil monsters and cunning perverts: representing and regulating the dangerous paedophile", emerald group publishing limited, bradford.
  • Analyzes how meyer's discourses portray pedophiles as abnormal and constituting them as the ‘other’. the brant news article portrays james alfred as a non-humane individual.
  • Argues that the media has reinforced the belief that pedophiles are a separate species.
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