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Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere, Assess Sociological Views of the Relationship Between Crime and the Mass Media.

In: Social Issues

Submitted By LexiStar
Words 825
Pages 4
Item A
In late modern society, the mass media are at the centre of culture, and the media are obsessed with crime. As a result, they are our main source of knowledge about crime.
However, the media present us with a distorted picture. For example, crime fiction, whether TV 'cop shows' or the individual genius of a Sherlock Holmes, offers a false image of policing. Similarly, many sociologists accuse the news media of creating folk devils and of promoting unrealistic fears of crime.

Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess sociological views of the relationship between crime and the mass media.

Item A refers to a late modern society of which we are surrounded by the mass media, the media consists of any way in which a message can be delivered to a large population for example TV, Newspapers, Magazines etc. Crime and deviance take up a large percentage of news coverage as found in Williams and Dickinson's study which highlighted how British newspapers devoted 30% of news space to crime. This coverage may then give members of society a distorted image of the amount of crime, the types of crime and how crime is overcome within a society. This then creates a dramatic fallacy of crimes such as violent crime such as rape and drug crime within gang culture.

Stanley Cohen developed the idea that the media creates moral panics, whereby a story is exaggerated and a targeted group is labelled as a folk devil. The exaggerated story-often shown in a negative light- then creates an over-reaction from the public. Moral entrepreneurs the approach the 'problem' through attacking the targeted group and forcing a 'crackdown' on the group. This labelling and attack may then cause the group to carry out the acts of which they are penalised for, this is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Cohen published 'Folk Devil's and Moral Panics' in which he is critical of the…...

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