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NCJ Number: 157268 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Crime Talk: How Citizens Construct a Social Problem
Author(s): T Sasson
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 204
Sponsoring Agency: Aldine de Gruyter Publishing Co
Hawthorne, NY 10532
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: SES 9200692; 93-IJ-CX-0005
Publication Number: ISBN 0-202-30546-5
Sale Source: Aldine de Gruyter Publishing Co
Marketing Director
200 Saw Mill River Road
Hawthorne, NY 10532
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a review of media materials and peer group interviews, this study examines the various "frames" through which the public views the causes and seriousness of crime, as well as how they should be addressed.
Abstract: "Frames" on public problems typically feature a diagnostic component that identifies a condition as intolerable and attributes blame or causality, as well as a prognostic component that prescribes one or more courses of ameliorative action. This "frame analytic research" examined the public's framing of crime through a review of 58 op ed columns on the topic of street crime; these columns appeared in six metropolitan newspapers during a 12-month period between 1990 and 1991. Peer groups were established from a sample of neighborhood crime watch groups from the working and middle-class residential areas of seven Boston neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were all close to what Wilson (1987) describes as "underclass" zones. The peer group discussions were structured around six questions aimed at generating discussion of the dimensions of the crime problem, its sources, and its most promising remedies. The frames identified in the study are "faulty system," which views crime as a consequence of a flawed criminal justice system; "blocked opportunities," which depicts crime as a consequence of inequality and discrimination; "social breakdown," which views crime as a consequence of family and community disintegration; "media violence," which holds that crime is a product of violence portrayed in the popular media; and "racist system," which argues that crime results from the actions of courts and police that function as racist agents of oppression. After profiling these frames, the book examines which frames are dominant in the public discourse, which are dominant in popular discourse, why some frames are more successful than others, and the significance of the prominent place crime occupies in American public life. Appended supplementary material, 162 references, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Criminology; Media coverage; Public Opinion of Crime
Note: Social Problems and Social Issues an Aldine de Gruyter Series of Texts and Monographs
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