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CJUS 466 Midterm 1
Terms in this set (66)
Conventionally crime is a violation of the law, but this is not a unitary concept and it has been extended to incorporate social harms. Its meaning is historically and culturally relative, and depends to a large extent on the theoretical position adopted by those defining it.
The term used to describe the means of mass communication via electronic and print media made popular following the rise of the mass circulation newspaper in the 19th century and fully realized with the growth of radio in the 20th century. 'Mass media' encapsulates the notion of large number of individuals being part of a simultaneous audience, hence -in this book- it has been used sparingly. In the postmodern media environment, the plurality of media texts available and the increasing move towards 'narrowcasting' rather than 'broadcasting,' makes the notion of a 'mass' media increasingly untenable.
Effects research develops from two main sources
1. mass society
A term from sociology suggesting that in industrial/capitalist societies individuals are directly controlled by those in power, and are atomized and isolated from traditional bonds of locality of kinship, making them particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of the mass media
An empiricist approach to psychology developed by J.B. Watson in the early years of the 20th century. becoming the dominant objective study of observable behavior and represents an antithetical challenge to psychoanalysis.
ex: bobo doll
the 19th century theoretical approach that argues that social relations can be studied scientifically and measured using methods derived from the natural sciences. In criminology it draws on biological, psychological and sociological perspectives in an attempt to identify the causes of crime which are generally held to be beyond the individual's control. In media studies, positivism has also been influential in the development of experimental, especially behaviourist, research, and has been particularly central to studies of media effects.
Hypodermic Syringe Model
An unsophisticated model of media effects whereby the media are seen as injecting ideas, values and information directly into the passive receiver, thus producing a direct and unmediated effect.
The term popularized by Cohen (1972/2002) to describe an individual or group defined as a threat to society, its values and interests, who become the subjects of a media-orchestrated moral panic. Fold devils are frequently young people who are stereotyped and scapegoated in such a fashion as to epitomize them as the problem in society.
by 1960s scholars believed the positivist approach attributed too much power to the media.
A concept deriving from the work of Durkheim and developed by Merton, who suggest that anomie characterizes certain groups who experience a conflict between culturally desired goals (for example, material wealth) and legitimate means of attaining such goals. It is sometimes held that the media and culture industries are among the primary culprits in creating a desire for success, wealth and so on, which is unobtainable by means other than criminal or deviant.
A theoretical approach that proposes that the media -like all other capitalist institutions- are owned by the ruling bourgeois elite and operate in the interests of that class, denying access to oppositional or alternative views. Crime is regarded as one of the ways in which class conflicts are played out within a stratified society.
A shared set of ideas; the dominant pattern of thinking at any given time. Movements in theoretical understanding (for example, from modernity to postmodernity or from Marxism to pluralism) are often referred to as 'paradigm shifts'.
A concept derived from Gramsci that refers to the ability of the dominant classes to exercise cultural and social leadership and thus to maintain their power by a process of consent, rather than coercion. The notion of hegemony and representations (for example, to be 'tough on crime') are organized and made sense of in such a way as to render the class interests of the dominant authorities into a natural, inevitable and unarguable general interest, with a claim on everybody.
The application of the label 'criminal' to particular behaviours to groups, this term reflects the state's power -transmitted via the media, among other institutions- to regulate, control and punish selectively.
a Marxist-inspired, 'radical' school of criminology that emphasizes the relationship between routine, everyday life, and the surrounding social structure. Critical criminology has parallels with the political economy approach within media studies in their common emphasis on the connections between class, state and crime control
A sociological tradition that analyses society and social phenomena, including the media, in terms of the interplay between politics, economics and ideology.
Noam Chomsky's 'propaganda model' demonstrates how certain stories are underrepresented in the media because of powerful military-industries.
The Legacy of Marxism
Media rarely covers white collar or corporate crime. This means that 'street' crime waves tends to label a certain class of criminals, therefore perpetuating a narrow definition of crime. This is changing due to works that have sought to expose wrongdoings of governments and corporations.
An idea, deriving from sociology, suggesting that all opinions and interests should be equally represented and equally available. The promotion of a plurality of ideas has led some to criticizes pluralism as a factor in the 'dumbing down' of culture.
In general usage, to mediate is to connect, not directly, but through some other person or thing. In this book the term 'mediated' is used throughout to mean 'mediated via the media'. While semantically incorrect, this avoids using the clumsier, but perhaps less ambiguous, mediatized.
A 'radical' criminological perspective that emerged in Britain to the 1980s which views crime as a natural and inevitable outcome of class inequalities and patriarchy, and which proposes to take both crime and fear of crime seriously.
An alternative term for 'audience research' that has taken an increasingly sophisticated view of the 'receivers' of media texts. No longer are audiences conceived in terms of what the media do to them but, rather, the concern of reception analysis is 'what do audiences do with the media?'
Postmodernism embraces a rejection of claims to truth proposed by the 'grand theories' of the past and challenges us to accept that we live in a world of contradictions and inconsistencies which are not amenable to objective modes of thought. Postmodernism is arguably most prominent as cultural studies where it used to emancipate meanings from their traditional usage, and emphasize pleasure, feelings, carnival, excess and dislocation.
An approach that embraces postmodernism's concerns with the collapse of meaning, immediacy of gratification, consumption, pleasure and so on, and emphasizes the cultural construction of crime and crime control, and the role of image, style, representations and performance among deviant subcultures.
News stories about crime are ubiquitous in modern society and are invariably 'novel' and 'negative' in essence. In addition, crime news conforms to 12 news values which not only help us to understand the relationship between journalists, editors and the audience, but also tell us much about prevailing cultural and ideological assumption.
the assumed group at whom media texts are aimed. Recent media theory has reconceptualized the notion of audience from an agglomeration of individual receivers who are fragmented and passive, to one of sophisticated and active meaning-makers. In the light of developments in 'reality television', it might be argued that the lines between producers and audiences are becoming increasingly blurred.
The ways in which those who work within the media decide what is important enough to be reported and what is ignored, thus setting public agenda of debate. Crime is a particularly striking example of the agenda setting process because it is considered to be inherently newsworthy- although certain types of crimes, offenders and victims are more prominent on the news agenda than others.
The shared cultural narratives and myths that a news story conveys via recourse to visual imagery, stereotyping and other journalistic 'short-cuts'
A term that encapsulates the perceived 'public appeal' or 'public interest' of any potential news story. Newsworthiness is determined by news values; the more news values a potential story conforms to, the more newsworthy it is perceived to be.
Galtung and Ruge
(1965/1973) were the first to categorize news values.
-Incidents & events were more likely to be reported if they were: Unexpected, close to home, of a significant threshold in terms of dramatic impact and negative in essence
12 News Structures
7. Celebrity or high status persons
9. Violence or conflict.
10. Visual spectacle and graphic imagery
12. Conservative ideology and political diversion
Events have to meet a certain level of importance to be considered newsworthy.
-Burglary vs. home Invasion
- "Asylum seekers eat our donkeys" pg 50
An event that is rare or unexpected is considered newsworthy, but sometimes predictable may be deemed worthy because news agents can plan their coverage
-Vietnam coverage vs. Ferguson coverage pg 51
Events must be reducible to a minimum number of parts/themes
Individual definition of crime which highlight individual responses are preferred to complex cultural and political explanations
-Offenders are 'different' from everyone esle
Modern life characterized by risk, a story meets the risk threshold if the offender is still at large.
-We are all at risk of victimization is relatively new.
-Here's a narrative you rarely hear: Our lives are safe
-Fear of crime perceptions vs. reality
One of the more salient news values is sex. Crimes of a sexual nature are over-reported distorting the picture the public receive
-Prostitutes aren't "ordinary" or "innocent"
Celebrity or high status persons
A story is more likely to reach the news if it has a well known name attached to it.
-U.K. Jimmy Seville- U.S. Bill Cosby
-Convicted criminals can become media "celebrities"
Has both spatial and cultural dynamics. Spatial, refers to the geographical 'nearness' of an event, cultural to the 'relevance' of an event to an audience (even if it meets the threshold it can be ignored)
Violence or conflict
This value is most common to all media as it fulfills the media's desire to present dramatic events in a graphic way.
-conforms to several other news values or provides a suitable threshold to keep alive and existing set of stories.
Visual Spectacle and Graphic Imagery
TV news offers high quality 9moving) images. Potential news stories are only likely to make the news if they can be portrayed in images as well as words.
Any crime can lifted into news visibility if children are associated with it- whether as victims or offenders
Conservative Ideology and Political Diversion
All news values have in common their broadly right wind consensus. This agenda emphasis and voices support for the police, more prisons and a tougher criminal justice system.
The notion that the media (picking up on a human inclination to do the same) presents the world through polarized constructions of difference which are fixed and immutable- man/woman, black/white, good/evil, tragic victim/evil monster and so on. the media's tendency to deal largely in binary oppositions is said to further entrench biased or prejudiced public attitudes towards marginalized groups.
When a county's news organizations value their own nation over others. In a famous study originally published in 1979 by Herbert J. Gans, ethnocentrism was found to be the enduring value in american news. He describes it as coming through most explicitly in foreign news 'which judges practices and values'. The clearest expressions of ethnocentrism in all countries appears in war news which relies on unsubtle and unmitigated notions of 'the enemy'
'Populism' means an appeal to the masses; 'populist punitiveness' is a term often used interchangeable with penal populism referring to the perception that the public demands more punitive justice and punishment strategies to deter would be offenders from committing crime.
Two examples of newsworthy stories par excellence
1. The disappearance of Madeleine McCann
2. Anders Behring Breivik and the spree killing of 77 people in Norway
or UGC refers to various kinds of media content that is publicly available and is produced by end-users. in news contexts these end users are known as citizen journalists.
A social, and usually moral (as opposed to legal), concept to describe rule-breaking behavior.
Hostile and disproportional social reaction to a condition episode, person or group defined as a threat. According to some, crime has moved so emphatically to the centre of the media agenda, and has become so commercialized, that a virtual permanent state of moral panic exists.
A sociological approach to crime and deviancy made famous by Becker (1963) that refers to the social processes by which certain groups (politicians, police, the media and so on) classify and categorize others. Deviance is thus not internet in any given act, but is behavior that is so labelled.
Bearing some similarity to moral panics and the theory of broken windows, signal crimes are incidents or offenses that, when seen or experienced, may trigger a change in public beliefs or behavior. It has become a familiar concept in policing because signal crimes can have a negative disproportionate impact on public perceptions of security.
Are those that take on a significance far greater than might the case for other criminal events. They become socially, culturally, politically and historically important, brining audiences together as 'mediated witnesses' or 'virtual victims' and uniting them in an imagined community
Generally used to describe groups of young people whose appearance, norms and behavior differ from those of the mainstream or 'parent' culture.
Background to the Moral Panic Model
The concept of a moral panic emerged with the work Cohen (1972) his was the first systematic empirical study of how the media amplify deviance and public responses. The media defines a group of act as 'deviant' and focus on it to the exclusion of almost everything else.
Deviancy amplification Spiral
The moral discourse established by journalists and various other authorities, opinion leaders and moral entrepreneurs who collectively demonize a perceived wrong-doer (or group of wrong-doers) as a source of moral decline and social disintegration, thus setting off a chain of public, political and police reaction.
Cohen Disaster Analogies
-Exaggeration & Distortion (Amplification)
Moral Panic: Five Features
-Media take an ordinary event and present it as something extraordinary
-Deviance amplification occurs when 'authorities' demonise these perceived wrong-doers
-They clarify moral boundaries in society, creating consensus and concern
-They occur during periods of rapid social change
-Usually young people are targeted as they symbolise the future of society
The achievement of social unity through shared agreement. Critical criminologists suggest that, far from being conceived in terms of consensus, societies are actually characterized by conflicts between social groups and classes whose interests are opposed and incompatible. Some of these group exercise power and hold positions of advantage over others.
Problems with the Moral Panic Model
-The moral panic concept has been widely criticised but it refuses to go away
-The problem is not so much with the concept itself, but how it has been embraced by others in later years
-The model itself is open to interpretation and there are some ambiguities
A problem with 'deviance'
Deviance is sometimes used as a byword for 'irrationality' (implying mental instability) 'manipulability' (implying that those involved are passive dupes) or 'unconventionality' (implying that they are weird or alien).
Thus causes of deviance are seldom considered and frequently overshadowed by scornful commentaries about the groups involved
A problem with 'morality'
-Difficulties with the definition of 'moral'
-"Things aren't what they used to be!"
-Those who think of themselves as 'moral' take exception to immorality in deviants
-"Us" (decent, respectable, & moral) vs. "Them" (deviant, undesirable, outsiders)
-In many cases moral panics don't actually have any 'moral' element in them: health scares, health problems, diet
Problems with youth and style
Post-War 1950's saw a generation of youth seeking greater individual identities than from previous generations.
Assumption that 'deviant's are economically marginalized
Group identity emphasises through style
this term is quite negative, no longer about a generational category, rather it tends t only exist in discourses about crime and deviance
A problem of 'source '
-Concerns about deviance are much more diffuse than is suggested in many accounts of a panic
-As such, many panics don't happen out of the blue, rather they may be viewed as part of a longer term struggle
A problem with audience
-Recent cultural and media theorists reject reports that the public cannot tell when they are being manipulated
-Nowadays the demonization of those whose lifestyle and beliefs exist outside political, legal, or social norms does not guarantee public or media support
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