• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12

Does the media heighten fear of crime?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

ASSc 322. Crime & the Media. Does the media heighten fear of crime? Fear of crime refers to the fear of being a victim of a crime as opposed to the actual probability of being a victim of crime. This fear of criminal victimisation can be fundamentally disturbing. In fact, in recent years policy debates have identified fear of crime as an issue potentially as serious as crime itself. (Ditton and Farrell 2000; Hope and Sparks 2000; Jackson 2004, Ditton et al. 2004; Chadee and Ditton 2005 cited in Maguire, Morgan & Reiner, 2007:321). Countless criminologists would agree that masses of people are haunted by the thought that a stranger could 'pounce' at any moment. This stranger lays no boundaries upon the place and type of their offence: One could be victimised in the home or on the street for the pursuit of robbery, assault, rape and so on. (Box, Hale and Andrews, 1988). Though, as Box et al (1988) discuss, this personal anxiety is not the outstanding reason why fear of crime over the last forty years has become regarded as a major social problem: This essay will explore both the contributory ingredients in the concoction for a crime fearing state of mind, and also the consequences of one's fear of crime. Put together, this model will demonstrate fear of crime as a process: Ultimately, to assess whether this 'process' is significantly affected by the media. Fear of crime itself is suggested to have an asymmetry with actual risk. (Ito, 1993). For instance, research by Kiyonaga, Inoue and Oda (1990) found that 54% of their respondents expressed a fear of being burgled, though in reality the actual risk was 0.9%. (Howitt, 1998). Another point they raise is that an even larger proportion feared assault despite the fact there was minimal objective risk of this sort of victimisation. (Howitt, 1998) Much research, particularly the early psychologically based media research produces an assumption that forms of the media, such at television and movies possess a violent and antisocial affect. ...read more.

Middle

Chandler argues that such factors all contribute to shape the ways in which television is interpreted by individual. 'When the viewer has some direct lived experience of the subject matter this may tend to reduce any cultivation effect'. There also appears to be evidence that the lower socio-economic groups have a tendency to use television as a source of information more so than other groups. Having said this, Chandler highlights that the viewer's framing of television 'reality' also must be considered. For it is often argued that it is possible that cultivation is enhanced when the person viewing interprets the content as reality. Another social variable to consider is ethnic minorities. Chandler stated that ethnic minorities exhibit more sophistication in 'perceived reality' than others do (This is a subject van Evra 1990 expands much more thoroughly upon). In addition, evidence suggests that working class mothers are more likely to acquire a perceived reality of programmes which offer a negative depictions of undesirable behaviour so as to discourage such behaviour. Chandler collated some very relevant points in considering the affects of the media and the actual fear of crime. Hirsch (1980) also argued that the noticed relationship between the viewing of violence on television and fear of crime may be explained by the particular demographics of an individual. For instance, Hirschi highlights that people living within areas of high crime rate may be more likely spend more time indoors at their own home watching television. Furthermore this combines with the geographically specific notion that they have a greater chance of being a victim of crime compared to people living in a lower crime area. It is argued that Gerbner's theory of cultivation brings not enough attention to the point that the frequent and less frequent television viewers do vary in other ways than said viewing habbits. For example, age, gender and social class. (Hirschi (1980) ...read more.

Conclusion

It seems unfortunate that despite copious amounts of literature on media effects on crime, little material has been produced regarding how representations of crime circulate within society. There is little material on how these representations are transmitted and perhaps manipulated by the media. Limited discussion on such effects which in certain theory produces personal fear of crime. It seems the individual's fear of crime resides somewhere along a 'production line', which ofcouse is different for every person: Where one individuals fear has been produces through knowledge of a friend's victimisation, another's may have come through the same but also some form of media knowledge. In other words, there are many ways to bake a cake! Our attitudes are likely to be influenced not just by TV, but also through other forms of media, through direct experience, through the word-of-mouth, and so on: It is not accurate to pin point a specific formula for the production of a crime fearing individual since it happens in all different ways: And so, as with most criminological issues one cannot really specialise a concrete yes or no in consindering whether the media does heightens fear of crime. Rather, and to adapt those useful words of Heath and Gordon (1996), the title to this question would have a more specific answer had it been worded 'Does some of the media affect some people some of the time?' I would say yes, 3,500 times. Evidence of a theoretical or statistical basis thus far will not suffice to make a more accute summary. It remains possible that study in the future may take account of the production lines through which representations, beliefs and attitudes about fear of crime are propagated in different social and cultural contexts. Only then would it be valid to make a sharper generalisation. As it stands, Heath and Gordon got the right sentence. Some people, some of the time. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Asses the arguments and evidence which suggest women commit much less crime than men

    4 star(s)

    men saw it as a crime and 39 per cent of women did. This shows that female crime is increasing in the family. In 1999, 60 per cent women were found guilty for theft and handling and 48 per cent of men which may have lead writers such as Pollack to believe that Criminal Justice System is lenient towards women.

  2. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Kinsey, Lea and Young (1986) argue police clear up rates are too low to act as a deterrent to crime and that police spend too little time actually investigating crime. They argue that the public must become more involved in determining the police's priorities and style of policing.

  1. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    According to Muncie and McLaughlin (1996:52), "The media create moral panics to create good copy". The public get their information about crime from the media. According to Hall et al (1978:120-121), the media focused their attention on "mugging" during the 1970's.

  2. Drawing on examples from your reading, explore the medias impact on the fear of ...

    It principally 'views deviance as the creation of social groups and not the quality of some act or behaviour' (Howard Becker's Labelling theory, http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/becker.htm, accessed: 5/12/2010) The media will always have an influence on the majority of the population's lives, whether its BBC news or Sky Sports.

  1. What are the uses of both qualitative and quantitative research methods for the criminological ...

    Therefore although we are equipped with statistics it fails to explain why this behaviour existed regarding the understanding of trends and patterns of crime and victimisation. Added to this a questionnaire can be seen a callous when asking about trends and patterns of crime and victimisation as it is a

  2. Assess the view that cults and sects are fringe organisations that are inevitably short ...

    Aldridge rejects the ideas that all cults and sects have a 'charismatic leader' and that over time they often conform to less world-rejecting views. He states that there are many cults that exclude members if they view their behaviour to be below the group's high standards, therefore they are still able to maintain their principles.

  1. The argument regarding guns on campus has been a hot topic ever since the ...

    This leads some to believe that the idea that allowing guns campus would turn them into potential warzones may be greatly exaggerated. Another major criticism gun carrying provisions say that the amount of issues that could arise from it outweigh the prevention possibilities suggested by supporters and would cause more gun related incidents to occur as a result.

  2. Outline and assess the view that media professionals are responsible for constructing the content ...

    However Harcup and O?Neill who are coming from a Marxist perspective still see a value in Galtung and Ruge?s work but believe that their list must be updated to reflect contemporary trend in the news. Other media professionals such as editors also have a part to play for constructing the content of the news.

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