The Harms of Crime Media

Essays on the Perpetuation of Racism, Sexism and Class Stereotypes

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About the Book

A scan of today’s television programming reveals numerous media stories, factual and fictional, featuring some aspect of crime. These depictions can stray far from reality, with the effect of creating and reinforcing distorted impressions. This collection offers a sociological analysis of race, class, and gender stereotypes within crime media. Essays discuss particular examples of inequalities and stereotypes, consider the implications of such portrayals, and demonstrate how they influence the public’s expectations and beliefs about real-world crime.

About the Author(s)

Denise L. Bissler is an associate professor of sociology at Randolph-Macon College. Her work has been published in Teaching Sociology; Innovative Techniques for Teaching Sociological Concepts and Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology.
Joan L. Conners is an associate professor of communication studies at Randolph-Macon College. Her work has been published in American Behavioral Scientist, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Harvard International Journal of Press and Politics.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Denise L. Bissler and Joan L. Conners
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6380-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9135-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction: Media, Crime and Hegemony

GARY W. POTTER and VICTOR E. KAPPELER      3

Constructing and Reconstructing Female Sexual Assault Victims Within the Media

VENESSA GARCIA18

The Social Construction of Serial Murder Victims: A Multivariate Level Analysis

JANELLE M. ELIASSON- NANNINI and DEIRDRE SOMMERLAD- ROGERS      38

“These kids are killing each other”: Gender- Neutral vs. Gender-Specific Framing in the School Shooting Media Discourse

BRIAN KNOP      53

The Social Construction of Methamphetamine in the Print Media

TERESA ROACH      64

Media vs. Reality: Who Is the Real Female Sex Offender?

BRIDGET A. HEPNER-WILLIAMSON      78

Monstrous, Demonic and Evil: Media Constructs of Women Who Kill

KATE WHITELEY      91

Gangs, Politics and Media: Lessons from the New York Chapter of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation

LOUIS KONTOS      111

Inequalities in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Stereotypes in the CSI Investigators

DENISE L. BISSLER and JOAN L. CONNERS       127

“Who are you?” Shared Responsibility and the Victims of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

KATHERINE FOSS      151

Macho Cops, Corner Boys and Soldiers: The Construction of Race and Masculinity on HBO’s The Wire

LINDA WALDRON and CHERYL CHAMBERS      171

Fictionalized Women in Trouble: An Exploration of the Television Crime Drama CSI: Miami

SARAH RIZUN      190

Ripped from the Headlines: The Depiction of Sexual Orientation– Based Hate Crimes in Television Crime Dramas

NICHOLAS GUITTAR      208

Crime News Sources and Crime Views: The Relationship Between News Media Exposure Patterns and Whites’ Opinions about Criminal Justice Issues

ALICIA D. SIMMONS      224

Conclusion: Cultivating Bias in the Media

JACK LEVIN and ERIC MADFIS      239

About the Contributors      249

Index      253

Book Reviews & Awards

“Highly recommended”—Choice; “scholarly essays on the media portrayal of crime, and the problems therein”—Reference & Research Book News.