Crime and Law in Media Culture

Crime and Law in Media Culture

Crime and Law in Media Culture

Crime and Law in Media Culture


• Can we any longer 'separate out' crime, the law, and the media?

• What does contemporary media culture do to our understanding of crime and the law?

• What is the impact of cyberculture on crime and the law?

This book explores the situating of law and crime within the vast range and scope of contemporary media forms. It begins from the premise that the whole of society, including crime and criminal justice, is embraced by media culture. 'The media' are viewed not as a set of institutions, but as a myriad of communicative forms or expressive techniques ranging from soaps to cyberworlds. Sheila Brown shows how crime and the law, or our understanding of them, are produced, reproduced, disturbed, and challenged in and through media culture.

A lively and engaging text, this book contains a wide range of topical examples and provides a theoretically coherent examination of the field, providing an accessible critique of cultural theory along the way. It opens up the boundaries between the more traditional aspects of law and criminology, and the broader concerns of sociology and cultural studies. The result will be essential reading for students and a key reference for researchers as well as those with a wider interest in crime and the media.


Approaching media, crime and culture

Almost every aspect of social life in western late modern societies is filtered through the ‘media experience’. You can check the news and send a fax or email from your mobile phone, shop through your TV, videocam your most private moments ‘up close and personal’, and you may daily star (perhaps without your knowledge), on the CCTV screens of your nearest shopping mall. You can animate disasters on interactive news sites, watch TV news 24 hours a day and do nothing else (using your Internet facility in the TV to order dinner). As I write this, you cannot even have a road accident and be sure that a crew will not turn up from something called ‘Road Crashes from Hell’ (or similar) to expose your foolishness to about 75 million other people. Emotional problems? Take them to Trisha or a similar TV agony aunt. Money problems? Ring ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ and win your money on a game show. Health problems? will answer your questions anonymously over the Internet. Criminally-minded but don’t know how to plan a burglary? There will be an Internet chat room for you. Who did not know a millisecond after the sordid details were revealed about ex-President Bill Clinton’s penchant for cigars and buxom young White House interns? And who, by the time this book appears in print . . .

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