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Legal narratives as significant news sources about mental illness and violent crime

Legal narratives as significant news sources about mental illness and violent crime
Legal narratives as significant news sources about mental illness and violent crime
Media coverage about people affected by mental illness is an area of research that is extensively examined. Many scholars argue that the media depicts people with mental illness as inherently violent and dangerous within sensational narratives. These depictions are criticized for reinforcing the social stigma and disadvantages many of the mentally ill face. The media does, however, require news sources and, in the context of crime and mental illness, the courts are a significant source. Through qualitative content analysis of Australian newspaper articles, this research examines an under-researched and incompletely theorized area. In doing so, it demonstrates that media depictions of some mentally ill offenders reflect and heavily draw upon legal narratives and what is argued in court about these offenders in the context of criminal responsibility and legal insanity.
mental illness, violence, crime, media, courts
0192-4036
343-372
Wondemaghen, Meron
ffb7f092-1b45-4e9d-94d5-52484047961f
Wondemaghen, Meron
ffb7f092-1b45-4e9d-94d5-52484047961f

Wondemaghen, Meron (2014) Legal narratives as significant news sources about mental illness and violent crime. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 38 (4), 343-372. (doi:10.1080/01924036.2013.848219).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Media coverage about people affected by mental illness is an area of research that is extensively examined. Many scholars argue that the media depicts people with mental illness as inherently violent and dangerous within sensational narratives. These depictions are criticized for reinforcing the social stigma and disadvantages many of the mentally ill face. The media does, however, require news sources and, in the context of crime and mental illness, the courts are a significant source. Through qualitative content analysis of Australian newspaper articles, this research examines an under-researched and incompletely theorized area. In doing so, it demonstrates that media depictions of some mentally ill offenders reflect and heavily draw upon legal narratives and what is argued in court about these offenders in the context of criminal responsibility and legal insanity.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 18 October 2013
Published date: 2014
Keywords: mental illness, violence, crime, media, courts
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 380253
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/380253
ISSN: 0192-4036
PURE UUID: 4c8b54d7-f287-48f2-b4a2-0af2107974f0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Sep 2015 13:54
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:09

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