Crime And Media And How It Socially Constructs Society - Carleton University, COMS 4800 - Essay

3036 words - 13 pages

Final Paper
Allison Kelly
Emily Hiltz
COMS 4800 F
Wednesday, April.11th 2018
Violence, murder, forcible rape, assault, robbery, theft, and vandalism are a few examples
that are all understood by society as criminal offenses. In particular, the news media are seen as a
vital part of the process by which individuals' personal and private lives with crime—whether as
an offender or victim—are transformed into the public eye. The social construction of crime that
media effects play on society could be understood as the reflection of relationships that link new
agencies to their sources, as well as the organizational restriction that structure the information
gathering process. This is significant to the ways in which news media contextualize, collect, and
sort out crime reports that help shape public consciousness to what is considered an urgent
problem in society, and, by implication, how the problems should be solved. Nevertheless, the
fact that the criminal law varies depending on the country, and consequently changes rules all the
time, it reinforces the idea that there is nothing in itself that is criminal, but the behavioural act
and societal factors are. For instance, if there is a situation where an act takes place that appears
to be against the law, police or higher authorities/justice agencies have to interpret or make an
official judgment about whether that particular act is prohibited in society. The police,
journalists, and higher authorities are news agencies sources, and also where they collect
trustworthy content to present to the public. In terms of prosecuting the offender or recording the
offense, the police and authorities have the power and ability to either do something about it or
not. Therefore, throughout my discussion I will be arguing the effects of media construction—in
particular, news media, and how it can be seen as socially constructing society—because
although an act in itself is seen as deviant and law-breaking, it also largely depends on how other
members of society interpret and define the act themselves. Through news media, the social
construction of crime is important because without laws, society would be in chaos and there
would be no social order.
In addition, crime from a theoretical perspective is definitely understood as a social construct,
as it holds the meanings of acts, behaviours, and events. Specifically, through media construction
and the effects of news media, crime is labeled and classified as a social disorder to isolate and
validate criminal behaviour, in the hopes of preventing others in society from acting in a similar
manner. The social construction of crime through the media can be seen as a key mechanism of
controlling the citizens of society to act in what would be understood as the socially acceptable
way. To support this I will be discussing how social imperative, surveillance and technology
demonstrate crime realities, and how they are symbolically constructed and ...

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