Crime, Media and Community: Grief and Virtual Engagement in Late Modernity

Chris Greer, Northumbria University

As media proliferate and become more integral to social existence, so too, it might be suggested, their role becomes more complex and contested. Media forms and representations are instrumental in the creation of deviant identities and the subsequent stigmatisation and demonisation of whole groups of individual. They are a driving force behind the nostalgically reactionary discourse that rails against the so-called 'culture of permissiveness', decrying the decline in respect and the loss of community. Yet they are also an important conduit for the celebration of diversity and the articulation and advancement of alternative discourses, counter-definitions and marginalised views and interests. Finally, they present opportunities to be social in new and novel ways. They offer a source of virtual collectivism and identity in an uncertain physical world; a source of imagined community. This paper begins to explore some of the interconnections between crime, culture and community as they are played out in old and new media.

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Updated 05/20/2006