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Crime and the processes of public knowledge

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posted on 22.05.2018, 11:33 by Alan D. Beardsworth
In a large scale, complex social system, many features of the system will be, by their very nature, quite beyond the scope of individual personal experience; these are the ‘macro-social’ parameters of the society in question; the rates, proportions, tendencies and trends whose dynamics, development and manifestations inevitably must be extremely difficult for the individual to grasp and comprehend, purely in terms of the direct experience available to him. Thus, we might assume, certain agencies may be seen as intervening between the individual and the large scale complex social reality that contains him, agencies offering the kinds of information and the kinds of perspective that might allow him to conceptualize many of these macro aspects of social reality, and to formulate attitudes, opinions, and orientations in relation to them. Looming large among such agencies are the so-called ‘mass-media’, and the interest of this study will be focused largely upon the way in which the media of mass communication provide information about a particular large-scale feature of contemporary society (namely the crime rate, and the nature of crime and the criminal), as well as, explicitly and implicitly, offering a conceptual and normative framework within which the material they provide may be organised.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© A.D. Beardsworth

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.