• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How influential is the media in shaping public understanding of crime?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How influential is the media in shaping public understanding of crime? With the rise of the mass media throughout the world, predominantly the Western world, the issue of media influence has become a serious one. Due to media's primary obsession with crime and violence, it definitely has a negative influence on shaping peoples understanding of crime by exaggerating it. A branch of media which always exaggerates on some crime e.g. terrorist attacks then other crimes is TV news this is basically an oxymoron; giving us the skin of the truth stuffed with a lie. TV news broadcasts use dramatic, usually violent stories and images to capture and maintain an audience, under the pretence of keeping it informed. What we see and hear on the news affects us both consciously and subconsciously, and sends us about our lives unnecessarily fearing the remote dangers that we see excessively portrayed on the evening news. This fact is especially true for children, who are defenceless against this onslaught of malevolence being brought into our very living rooms in the guise of informative reporting. So how much crime is there on our TV? In November 10th to 16th 2001 BBC 1 had 14 hours, BBC 2 had 5 hours, ITV had 9 hours, C4 had 5 hours and C5 had 15 hours, which is a total of 48 hours of crime on our TV within 6 days. ...read more.

Middle

The term "moral" implies that the perceived threat is not something mundane, but is a threat to the social order itself or an idealised conception of it. "The threat and its perpetrators are regarded as evil "folk devils" and excite feelings of righteousness. The dangers posed by moral panics are continuously exaggerated and distorted by the media with the result that public concern is heightened. The response is likely to be a demand for greater social regulation or control and a demand for a return to traditional values." (Cohen 1972) The term 'moral panic' suggests a dramatic and rapid overreaction to forms of deviance or wrongdoing believed to be a direct threat to society. They tend to occur at times of social upheaval when people are struggling to adjust; there is a general feeling of lack of control and declining standards. At these times people tend to group into a kind of social collective, further defined by identify victims on which all that is wrong of society may be blamed. This helps them feel better and more assured. They have someone to blame for everything that is wrong, a scapegoat or 'folk devil' as describe by Stanley Cohen. According to Jones S (2001) Moral Panic was first used by Jock Young (1971) ...read more.

Conclusion

The stimulus is the identification of the deviant act by the police, a politician or the media." Typically, the attention given to deviance by the media and moral entrepreneurs serves to attract new recruits and provides them with a definition of what the public expects, thus amplifying the amount of deviance in society. Therefore he stated the two types of amplification is "The amplification of deviant behavior" and "The amplification in the number of people arrested for such behavior". In conclusion media has a very big influence of peoples understanding of crime (refer back to essay). The majority of the time it has a negative influence over peoples understanding. The moral panic theory tries to prove that. Moral panics are not a new phenomenon; they tend to arise in periods of social upheaval and change. The path of a panic can take one of two directions; it can quickly die down and is more or less forgotten to a great degree or can have more serious and lasting implications such as new legislation and changes in social policy. Society plays their part, encouraged by the press - people who are in the midst of a moral panic clamour for any available news and basically believe anything they are told. Moral panics feed off guilt that is spread by contagion to make people feel more comfortable by blaming another group for their deviances. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    Taylor et al believes that social arrangements need to change so social factors do not have the power to criminalize. Howard Parker (1974:126) conducted research on juvenile theft in Liverpool. Parker spent three years 'hanging out' with the lads of 'Round house' (the most delinquent area of Liverpool).

  2. Free essay

    Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    So they believe that people commit crime is because society is structured in a way which forces them to do so. Interactionists in the other hand focus on the interaction between people and society. They tend to use a micro approach to society by intending to understanding a person's behaviour

  1. Evaluate the importance of the mass media in the amplification of deviance

    And as a result in society demands that something must be done about the 'young of today' are made so as to seem act socially desirable and 'active' the police target certain groups. This concern is described by Interactionist as a moral panic about whoever is the folk devil of the day.

  2. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    post mortem had been made from any cause by students or dissecting room porter." The basic facts surrounding the kidney are well known, but in the following discussion, they allow a concise recapitulation. At the time, the technology available to the police force was not as modern as of today, but it was advancing because of the ripper case.

  1. To what extent is Robert Merton's theory of 'anomie' helpful in understanding crime in ...

    In his theory, which, is an adaptation of Durkheim's earlier theory of anomie, Merton suggests that for most, deviance and criminality does not stem from 'pathological personalities' but from the culture and structure of society itself2. Merton's strain theory is an adaptation of Durkheims earlier theory of 'anomie', which described

  2. Does the media heighten fear of crime?

    Ultlimately causing a misunderstanding of crime and offending behaviour. (Maguire, Morgan & Reiner, 2007). It is evident that at times the media are aware, and do not deny that their representations of crime can be somewhat abstract. For instance, shortly after the 2002 British Crime Survey figures, the BBC contemplates the question 'Do tabloids feed on crime fear?'

  1. Describe the concept of a 'Moral Panic' and explain how this may impact on ...

    The research was based upon a group of working-class youths; there were two groups of people who fought on the Clacton beach leaving many beach huts vandalised. Therefore this became front page news within the media, the press claiming that 'Clacton had been terrorised by rampaging groups of 'Mods' and 'Rockers'' (Jones, 2001; 84).

  2. Literature Review: The Impact of Heroin Prices on Robbery Trends

    Secondly, a significant number of robberies are not reported to the police; and furthermore, not all of these are recorded.29 A third problem, as noted by Chilvers and Weatherburn, is the difficulty in obtaining the exact price of heroin during a particular period.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work