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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67309 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME INFORMATION IN THE MASS MEDIA - TOWARDS AN EXPLANATION OF VARYING PERCEPTIONS
Journal: MONATSSCHRIFT FUER KRIMINOLOGIE UND STRAFRECHTSREFORM  Volume:60  Issue:3  Dated:(JUNE 1977)  Pages:177-185
Author(s): W JUBELIUS; M STEIN-HILBERS
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE EFFECTS OF MASS MEDIA CRIME PORTRAYAL ON PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARD CRIME IN WEST GERMANY ARE ANALYZED.
Abstract: FACTUAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CRIME, WHICH DETERMINES THE PUBLIC REACTION TO CRIME, IS UNEVENLY DISTRIBUTED AND CLASS DEPENDENT. REALISTIC PERCEPTION OF CRIME INCREASES WITH A HIGHER EDUCATIONAL LEVEL, PROFESSIONAL STATUS, AND YOUNG AGE. LIBERALIZATION OF CRIMINAL POLICY IS THUS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC. KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CRIME IS ACQUIRED EITHER IN INDIVIDUALS' EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES OR THROUGH CONTACT WITH SUCH INSTITUTIONS AS SCHOOL, SOCIAL WORK ORGANIZATIONS, POLICE, AND ESPECIALLY THE MASS MEDIA. CLASS-SPECIFIC DIFFERENCES IN KNOWLEDGE ABOUT CRIME ARE ATTRIBUTED TO LOWER CLASS RELIANCE ON STEREOTYPES TO FACILITATE COPING WITH THEIR OWN DEPRIVED, OVERWORKED AND INSECURE CONDITIONS, AND TO THE NEED OF LOWER CLASS INDIVIDUALS TO DIFFERENTIATE THEMSELVES FROM THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EVEN LOWER STATUS, AS WELL AS FROM THE CLASSES ABOVE THEM WHOSE EASY ACCESS TO MATERIAL POSSESSIONS NEGATES WORKING CLASS VALUES. MEDIA PROGRAMMING, BEING AUDIENCE ORIENTED, IS TAILORED TO TWO DISTINCT AUDIENCES--TO THE MASSES OR TO MORE ELITIST, EDUCATED GROUPS. WHILE PRESENTATIONS FOR MASS CONSUMPTION PERPETUATE OVERSIMPLIFIED STEREOTYPES, THE MORE SOPHISTICATED PERSPECTIVES ARE BEYOND THE UNDERSTANDING OR INTERESTS OF THE LOWER CLASS PUBLIC. ANALYSIS OF TELEVISION CRIME REPRESENTATION INDICATES THAT THE CENTRAL FOCUS IS ON CRIMES AND THEIR RESOLUTION BY THE POLICE. TREATED EXCLUSIVELY FROM THE POLICE STANDPOINT, THE CRIMES SHOWN ARE PREDOMINANTLY VIOLENT AND SET IN A MIDDLE OR UPPER CLASS ENVIRONMENT. NEGATIVE OFFENDER CHARACTERISTICS DOMINATE, AND PREVENTIVE INTERVENTION, FAMILIAR INFORMAL SOCIAL CONTROLS, CONTROL AGENTS' REAL PROBLEMS, AND CAUSATIVE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF CONTINUED DELINQUENCY ARE RARELY DEPICTED. MORE REALISTIC MASS MEDIA CRIME PORTRAYAL CAN BE ACHIEVED BY POLICE INVOLVEMENT IN SUCH ACTIVITIES AS WRITING AND FILMING PROGRAMS, AND IN CONSULTING WORK FOR MASS CONSUMPTION PROGRAMS. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS SUPPLIED. --IN GERMAN. (KMD)
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Germany; Media coverage; Police community relations; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public relations programs; Social classes; Television programming
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67309

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