Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.727346
Title: Dark authenticities : criminal memorabilia and consumer culture
Author: Denham, Jack
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 2586
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Thesis embargoed until 26 Oct 2022
Access from Institution:
Abstract:
This thesis investigates crime memorabilia, or ‘true crime objects’, and proposes the concept of ‘authenticity’ as a way of understanding the perceived value and imagined criminality inside of objects, artefacts, exhibitions and consumables associated with famous violent crimes. Murderabilia has enjoyed a sustained rise in interest in both news media and popular culture, but academic research has been limited. It addresses a central contradiction in the paucity of literature that has touched upon murderabilia – to what extent is murderabilia an extension of existing violent transgressive narratives in popular culture; or a will to transgress these mainstream discourses themselves; or a combination thereof? To that end, this thesis seeks to understand where the consumption of criminal transgression sits as part of the broader system of objects, and the broader popular cultural genre of true crime as well. Through a digital and traditional ethnography conducted over ten months (September 2014 – July 2015), covering museum exhibitions of murderabilia, personal murderabilia collections, and manufactured murder merchandise, murderabilia is revealed as a complicated negotiation of some of the contradicting demands of art, culture, antique – and consumerism. It is argued that the consumption of murder objects is reflective of a broader societal will to transgress banality and sameness in 21st century Western consumer capitalist marketplaces, and not as an embracement or glorification of criminal transgression itself. Consumers are positioned in pursuit of experiences of perceived authenticity, despite embracing dominant popular cultural narratives of crime in the process.
Supervisor: Penfold-Mounce, Ruth ; Beer, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.727346  DOI: Not available
Share: