Communication And Culture | Media Genres
C392 | 1163 | Anderson


Topic: Crime and punishment

Popular culture always has been filled with tales of crime and
punishment -- from the earliest days of the printing press to the world
of interactive computer games. This course will examine the public
fascination with crime in the media by exploring the relationship
between crime in society and its depiction in movies and television.
The media's role in shaping the public understanding of crime is
complicated and hotly debated. Are movies and television programs
responsible for making society more violent? Or are they responsible
for making us paranoid and fearful by misrepresenting the level of
social violence? Or does popular culture merely provide an opportunity
for us to imagine the causes and consequences of crime, the
responsibilities of the legal system, moral obligations, and the limits
of justice? Most importantly, why are we drawn to stories about cops,
lawyers, criminals, and victims? Our goal will be to understand the
lasting appeal of crime in popular culture by exploring the many ways
in which crime and punishment are represented in movies and in various
forms of television programming -- police and detective series, soap
operas, courtroom dramas, local and national news coverage, "reality"
shows, talk shows, Court TV, etc.