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Crime, Media and Culture (Level 5)

Overview

  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor and tutor: Tanya Serisier
  • Assessment: a 1000-word media analysis (40%) and 2000-word essay (60%)

Module description

Crime is a part of everyday life. Yet the overwhelming majority of people experience crime and criminal justice at a distance: by way of a social media platform, other screen media such as a computer, tablet, television or cinema screen, or what is now being called 'legacy media', such as newspapers, novels, comics. The daily diet of representations of crime and criminal justice that are produced in and through this media feed into the wider culture and provide a means through which messages about crime and the criminal justice system are communicated.

Through a selection of specialised topics, the course offers an introduction to some of the major debates about the nature and role of image, representation and meaning the formation and operation of the criminal justice system. It will enable you to critically examine the role of a range of media forms (including traditional media, new and alternative media, and surveillance technologies) on image making, image management and image consumption of, and in, the criminal justice process, the culture of the criminal justice process and the nature and cultural role of crime and criminal justice in society.

The module will enable you to explore the complex interface between culture crime and criminal justice and its impact on scholarly debates, policy development and practice.

Indicative module content

  • History and evolution of crime in the media
  • Moral panics
  • The media and crimes of the powerful
  • Crime narratives and representation
  • Reporting crime
  • Media and the police
  • Media and the courts
  • Public inquiries
  • Alternative sources in crime journalism
  • Crime and citizen journalism

Learning objectives

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

  • demonstrate a broad understanding of key concepts in the study of crime, media and culture
  • critically examine and analyse a range of media forms (including traditional ‘legacy’ media, social media and related technologies) upon criminal justice image making, image management and image consumption
  • critically examine the interface between the culture of the criminal justice process and the nature and cultural role of crime and criminal justice in society
  • critically examine practices of image making, image management and image consumption in the context of criminal justice institutions.