An analysis of the representation of female criminal justice workers in the media

How Qualitative Methods Came Into Criminology Within criminology as well as in most fields of social research, the usage of qualitative methods is a second choice. An important reason why quantitative methods dominate criminological research may be the expectations which are addressed in this type of research. Societal and political discussions concerning crime demand first of all "brute facts" and statistics that show how specific types of crime are distributed among the different segments of the population 1. In order to understand the role qualitative methods play in criminological research it is useful to sum up how qualitative methods came into recent empirical criminology and which perspective on crime was developed within this research tradition.

An analysis of the representation of female criminal justice workers in the media

The content exhibited by the mass media proves just how much this insatiable interest in crime by these mass socieities have become. Whether it be in our daily news reports, movies, soap operas, books, video games or music, crime and deviance have become an indispensable theme for consumption.

This has led socieities to question the role of the media and crime and has led to many debates about the effects of the media on individuals and on crimes. This essay will explore the relationship between media and crime and provide some of the major theoretical positions that focus on this relationship like the media effects theory from both a psychological and sociological perspective.

Following these theories, this essay will then illustrate the necessary elements required for a story to be newsworthy and how the media constructs criminals and their crimes depending on their age, gender, ethnicity and social class. Interest in crime and criminals is not a recent appearance.

Societies have always been enchanted by this topic whether it be during the time of the serial murders by Jack the Ripper in London in the 19th century or with a more recent case like the O. Researchers from various fields began studying the influences of the mass media in order to better understand its effect on society.

An initial step was taken in the s and s by social scientists, particularly by psychologists who developed the theory of media effects.

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Following this claim, the importance and persuasive role the media played as a propaganda instrument was brought under close scrutiny. Many incidents, which took place all over the world, started to encourage researchers to further study the direct effects of the media.

This led to studies on how the transmission of information to the public through media caused direct effects in the behaviour of the population Doob, ; Lippmann, The media effects theory was based on psychological research and was called the Hypodermic Syringe Model or Magic Bullet Theory.

In other words, it was discovered that the media as a persuasion tool, was not able to influence every single individual in the same way Kirsh, This led to the argument that individuals are social beings who have free will and form their opinions and reactions based on the influence of socialising with others Katz and Lazarsfeld, In this model, it was stated that social relationships determine how individuals respond to the media.

These same opinion leaders then pass this obtained information on to others with their own interpretations of the media presentations. As a result, this theory claimed that rather than a direct influence on controlling the minds and opinions of people, the media instead influences how decisions are made and how information provided is passed down through the personal interpretations of certain people in our social networks.

With the development of technological devices and new forms of the media, research on the effect theories continued through behavioural psychologists in laboratory based experiments.

Some forthcoming behaviourists like J.

An analysis of the representation of female criminal justice workers in the media

Watson believed that future human behaviour could be predicted, observed and measured through responses to stimuli, in this case, the media. It was believed that the mass media was one of the most powerful stimuli in modern society as people are influenced by various forces through their environments that play a role as a stimuli.

Another salient approach which also discussed the relationship between media and crime was from a sociological perspective. This change in society and transformation from a rural environment to a more urban and industrialised community is thought by social theorists like Durkheim and Tonnies to have caused a sense of lawlessness and lead to impersonal communities inevitably causing a lack of respect for law and order as a result of the influence of the media.

This theory concentrated on the social structure and the power and influence of the media on in forensic psychology served as a springboard, and this project gave me the opportunity to explore a component of criminal justice ideology in depth.


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An effective strategic planning process uses data and analysis in several important ways. The stakeholders should include widespread representation in order to build support and commitment to the effort. as a primary source of information and their integral role in forming state criminal justice policy.

CJPAs should work with the. Gifts for Probation and Community Workers. Gifts for Youth Workers.

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as a force for change at criminological, penal and everyday, practical levels. The book provides a refreshing analysis of the inherent divide between punitive and restorative approaches to questions of criminal justice. 'What is exciting about this book is that the. Text Box 2: Women in justice-related occupations.

The number of women working in the criminal justice field has seen considerable growth over the past two decades (Table 14).

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According to Census data, women accounted for 25% of judges in , almost double the proportion found in (14%). Studies on media representations of female offenders have been restricted to females that were on death row (Farr, ), violent female offenders (Barnett, ) and case studies of highly publicized female offenders (Berrington & Honkatukia, ).

Women & Criminal Justice, 18 (1–2), 1 – [Taylor & Francis Online] [Google Scholar]) found that such attitudes remain the most common barrier female officers have to overcome. These obstacles begin at the recruitment and hiring phase and may impact a hired female officer throughout her career.

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