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Crime has become a form of entertainment?

IanWith colleagues at MMU, I have been working on several inter-related projects that look at cultural representations of law and order. We have written about the works of David Peace, the novels and journalism of Gordon Burn as well TV cop drama. Our research uses bricolage as an approach as this allows researchers to cover a whole range of materials – newspaper articles, films, TV series, novels and music to examine the way that versions of events are produced.   We argue that crime has become a form of entertainment. One result of this process is that the brutality of high profile crimes such as sexual violence and homicide is diluted or repackaged as drama.  Recently marked the fiftieth anniversary of the sentencing of Brady and Hindley to life imprisonment.  We wrote an article https://theconversation.com/the-moors-murders-50-years-on-how-brady-and-hindley-became-an-awful-celebrity-template-58665 about the ways, in which, the reporting of their crimes and the subsequent media obsession with the case have become almost a template for the symbiotic relationship between the media and serial killing.  I was then interviewed on local radio and TV about the article and proposed book that we are writing exploring these issues.  Throughout our work, we argue that the mediatisation of crime has the indirectly results in the marginalisation of the pain and suffering of the victims and their families  – the academy plays a part in this with the obsession with motivations of perpetrators and developing typologies of killers.  . The article was published on 6th May – the media loves anniversaries, both interviews asked me questions about Brady and the death penalty. I recognise that there is something of a post-modern dilemma here using the media to argue that the focus should shift.  These areas are explored in more depth here http://www.internetjournalofcriminology.com/Cummins_Foley_King_The_Strange_Case_of_Ian_Stuart_Brady_and_the_Mental_Health_Review_Tribunal_IJC_Jan_2016.pdf

The other papers I discuss are available here http://usir.salford.ac.uk/view/authors/11079.html

Ian Cummins, Senior Lecturer in Social Work

School of Nursing Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences

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