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NCJ Number: 186385 Find in a Library
Title: Cops and Crooks: Images of Minorities on Primetime Television
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:28  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2000  Pages:385-396
Author(s): Dana E. Mastro; Amanda L. Robinson
Editor(s): Kent B. Joscelyn
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Research on portrayals of minority groups on television has repeatedly indicated these depictions emphasize negative and stereotypical images, and the potential impact of such depictions is of major concern when they focus on issues related to crime and violence.
Abstract: To assess the prevalence of negative depictions of minorities on television, a 2-week sample of prime time television was constructed for the Fall 1997 season. Police officers and perpetrators of crime who appeared on fictional television programs were examined, with specific attention paid to the race of the character and the aggression involved in the interaction. Multinomial regression analyses were performed to determine which variables significantly predicted televised police use of force. Results showed police officers were significantly more likely to use excessive force when perpetrators were young racial minorities. Police officer demographic variables were not important predictors of the use of force, with one exception; minority police officers were less likely than their white counterparts to use moderate force. Perpetrator age and race were the most powerful demographic predictors of police force. Given the impact of exposure to television on social reality, the authors conclude watching fictional television programs may contribute to associating minorities with crime, victimization, and criminal justice themes. 49 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Criminal justice research; Lawful use of force; Media coverage; Minorities; Minority police; Police-minority relations; Public Opinion of the Police; Racial discrimination; Television programming
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