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Title: Crime from below : an examination of the role of popular cultural representations of crime in criminology
Author: Bretherick, Diana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 2360
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis seeks to discover the extent to which popular cultural representations of crime and criminals or ‘crime from below’ is a legitimate concern for academic criminological study. In order to answer these questions the study explores the forms these representations take, their origins and development, the messages they convey, the ways in which they are mediated and how they might enhance our understanding of crime in all its forms. Also considered is the inter relationship between popular and academic criminology and the efficacy of using theoretical frameworks deployed in the analysis of cultural artefacts in criminological research. The study begins by examining the nature and origins of crime from below followed by a consideration of the role of the ‘new media’ - film, television and the Internet. It then turns its attention to the nature of the relationship between crime from below and academic criminology. This is achieved by considering the characteristics and popularity of crime as popular culture and the reasons for the discipline’s wariness of its study. The second part of the study comprises five case studies in which popular cultural representations of crime and criminals in their various forms, including images, press coverage, television documentaries and true crime literature are analysed, applying theoretical frameworks used in the study of media and popular culture. These examine the ways in which analyses using such material might add to criminological knowledge. The final conclusion of the thesis is that although we should be aware of its limitations, the study of ‘crime from below’ considerably enhances our understanding of crime, capturing in particular the extent to which representations give us a valuable alternative viewpoint. It is therefore not merely legitimate but crucial.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Criminology