Publication Date

4-15-2009

Advisor(s)

Carney, Sarah

Major

Psychology

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

The purpose of the present research is to look at popular media as a way to interpret cultural understandings of the relationship between crime and the family. An understanding of the complex and dynamic interplay between crime and family in primetime media is predicated upon recognition of the massive impact that the media in general has on American society. To learn about the ways in which American culture explains and understands crime, I looked at 39 of the most popular crime series ranging from the 1950's until today. In all, this study explored depictions of deviance in 167 television episodes. I used both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the ways that family was used as a method of contextualizing criminal behavior. The study yielded four areas in which crime and family intersected to create an image of deviance: appearance of criminals' families, family responses to deviant behavior, family as an explanation of deviance, and family violence in television.

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Psychology Commons

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