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Murders and Their Mediations: The Reality of Death in the 'Death of Reality'

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Abstract:

This paper draws on original research following murder inquiries in the UK, tracing cases through fieldwork with the police, and following the cases as they became mediatized . Both the police inquiry and the media sensation can be read as different moments within the postmodern frame of the ‘death of reality’ in information society; and yet inscribed within the process of mediatizing death as an entertainment product is the reality of death. Within the media project deaths are remodelled : aspects are scaled up, scaled down, personalities and lives reconstructed. ‘True’ victims are valued and less worthy victims relegated. The police inquiry is a drama that concludes when a suspect is charged, leaving the aftermath unspoken about. The police themselves collude in the media project, and the complex reality of the victim recedes as the public media progressively re-sell the murder as infotainment and spectacle, moral signifier and compass. Cumulatively the cultural evasion of homicide death through its emotive and yet depthless representation empties death of content and turns murder into a reality show. The paper explores these questions critically using case studies and asks whether dignity can be restored to the murder victim in a mediatized culture.
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Association:
Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p408810_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Brown, Sheila. "Murders and Their Mediations: The Reality of Death in the 'Death of Reality'" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco, California, Nov 17, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p408810_index.html>

APA Citation:

Brown, S. , 2010-11-17 "Murders and Their Mediations: The Reality of Death in the 'Death of Reality'" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, San Francisco Marriott, San Francisco, California <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p408810_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper draws on original research following murder inquiries in the UK, tracing cases through fieldwork with the police, and following the cases as they became mediatized . Both the police inquiry and the media sensation can be read as different moments within the postmodern frame of the ‘death of reality’ in information society; and yet inscribed within the process of mediatizing death as an entertainment product is the reality of death. Within the media project deaths are remodelled : aspects are scaled up, scaled down, personalities and lives reconstructed. ‘True’ victims are valued and less worthy victims relegated. The police inquiry is a drama that concludes when a suspect is charged, leaving the aftermath unspoken about. The police themselves collude in the media project, and the complex reality of the victim recedes as the public media progressively re-sell the murder as infotainment and spectacle, moral signifier and compass. Cumulatively the cultural evasion of homicide death through its emotive and yet depthless representation empties death of content and turns murder into a reality show. The paper explores these questions critically using case studies and asks whether dignity can be restored to the murder victim in a mediatized culture.


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International Correspondence: The Endangered, Irreplaceable Mediator Between Foreign Realities, Diplomacy and the Public


 
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