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Crime, Race and Media (level 5)


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor and tutor: Monish Bhatia
  • Assessment: a 3000-word essay (100%)

Module description

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to issues of race, media and crime. It examines ways in which images of crime and race are (re)produced by the media, and analyses various ways in which crime is racialised and race is criminalised. The module considers historic portrayal of crimes and victimisation of racial minorities by the media. The social impact of these media representations is also discussed, with particular attention given to the public perceptions and fear of crime and criminal behaviour, and its impact on criminal policy, race relations and treatment of minority groups. The module, while firmly rooted in criminology, cuts across sociology of race and ethnicity, and sociology of media.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Introduction: Race, media and crime in historical perspective
  • Islam and Muslims in the media
  • Media representation of asylum seekers, ‘illegal’ migrants and foreign criminals
  • Black people and crime in media
  • Special topic: Dehumanisation of Calais migrants in right-wing and tabloid press
  • Hip-hop, gangsta rap and crime
  • Representation of missing persons, victims and deaths
  • Media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • New forms of media, online platforms, racism and resistance

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of the role of mass media representation and power
  • analyse the relations between media discourses of race and media discourses of criminality
  • relate module ideas to contemporary media products and discourses of criminality
  • research, identify and critique existing and emerging forms of media and their representation of minorities with regards to crime and victimisation.