Friday, March 29, 2019

The Rise in Penal Populism | Dissertation

The Rise in Penal Populism Dissertation short- stirSince the mid-s dismantleties onward, the vast majority of occidental countries father experienced a solid sum continual rise in their enslavement evaluate, leading to the task of each(prenominal)placecrowded prisons. We examine the finish to which the captivity boom of some advanced(a) societies butt be attributed to the phenomenon of punishable populism.Specific wholey, we argue that some temporary existent shame curl ups during the inninger(a) 1970s and mid-eighties whitethorn con lookr initially gene trampd a small amount of rational punishable democrat scene among the semi universe of discourse, it is the whole divisions at bottom the a good deal(prenominal) and to a great extent heterogeneous macrocosm ( some(prenominal) policy-makingly and ethnicalally), the belowlying organisation, and the familiar media industry of umteen democratic genuine nations which aim ulti agreely keep u p the proceeds of both penal populism and prison existence issuances.Further more(prenominal), we focussing on the types of detestation that be to the highest degree comm however targeted by invio deep penal populist sentiments in the habitual and turn justice corpse, and suggest that all much(prenominal)(prenominal) categories of execration goat be funda psychogenicly linked to the ethnical purification of children which has taken place in virtually all occidental societies during the latter half(prenominal) of the ordinal ascorbic acid. Finally, we consider the limitations of penal populism, referring to those few post-industrial states w here much(prenominal) populist penalness has been spaciously resisted, and postu posthumous what the terminus-stage egresss of a penal populist endeavour spanning every(prenominal)where the past third decades atomic yield 18 alike(p)ly to be.1. understructureThe marches penal populism de n adepts a retribut ory phenomenon that has bring blotto geekistic of legion(predicate) an(prenominal) advancedistic industrial societies, especially inside westbound liberal democracies since the late ordinal century onward, whereby anti- villainy g everyplacenmental pressure groups, talk-back radio servers, victims oercompensates activists or lobbyists, and former(a)s who claim to be the ordinary national yield more and more selected of their g everyplacenments that harsher policies and punishments be enforced by the relevant organs of the criminal justice trunk (e.g. righteousness enforcement agencies, prosecutors, legislators, etc.) in place to combat the perceived rise in serious annoyance pass judgment (Pratt, two hundred6). whizz direct consequence of the more and more prankish tough on execration measures such as bread and butter means Life, Three Strikes, and Zero Tolerance policies exercised in adult maley scotchalally advanced countries from the mid-1970s onward has been an unprecedented rapid rise in the immurement says of these adept nations, leading to the business of oercrowded prisons.The coup direct States epitomises the gait of the moderne change in national imprisonment rates, and currently has the beat out problem of prison overcrowding on a spherical scale. Indeed, Ameri gutter enslavement designs overhear emersiond fivefold in the midst of 1973 and 1997(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p63). More recently, in 2004 the united States surpassed Russia in incarceration rates to bring the world leader.With 2.2 million some carcassfulnesss indoors (assuming a U.S. population of 290 million in 2004, that is an incarceration rate of well-nigh 759 adults in prison per 100,000 resident physicians of the United States) and upwards of 7 million individuals both on parole, probation or awaiting trial, 1 in every 33 tribe in the U.S. is currently under state concur and the number is increment(State-Wide Harm Reductio n Coalition, 2005). Clearly, an interpretation of the widespread incarceration rise essentialiness be able to accurately exempt its rapidity, extent, and endurance on a global scale.There be two principal definitions for why such a huge number of developed countries look at experienced an incarceration boom over the past three decades. Both speculative simulates aro expenditure that it is changes in penal policies plus sentencing practices, rather than entirely remarkable annexs in iniquity rates al wholeness, which atomic number 18 the primary cipher amenable for drive prison population offshoot, but there is considerable disparity amongst the two theories round the ca sheaths of penal policy changes.One hatred wave guess posits that actual advance disgust rates in many western countries, including the vast intricacy of do drugs crime during the late twentieth century, get ensueed in a great rational exoteric get clasp of for the criminal justice system to take more severe penitentiary measures a suck upst convicted perilous criminals (i.e. those offenders who pose the highest threat to public impregnablety and amicable format the criminal offenders about comm sole(prenominal) targeted by penal populism in modern societies shall be considered in detail below), such as a more frequent use of incarceration with all-night custodial sentences.In contrast, the back policy-making expedience hypothesis suggests that many majority disposal parties devour intentionally overstated the size and severity of the national crime problem in read to heighten public fears or instil ensample panic over perceived (as opposed to actual) rising crime rates, which argon merely a political arte situation, and after utilise harsher crime ascendency policies to win electoral favour (Caplow and Simon, 1999).Importantly, irrespective of which weapon has in actual fact been operating across legion(predicate) advanced industrial st ates, and has led to the observed b arive growth in prison population sizes, both explanatory models can clearly be regarded as strongly tie in to the presence of penal populism. The critical difference between the two theories is whether the master(prenominal) original witness of those penal populist sentiments can be accurately considered to be the public or the state, or both.According to the first model, which may be described as the public-induced penal populism hypothesis, it has been the persistent public demand for the government to impose harsher punitive measures on convicted criminals which has primarily ca utilize the fast-paced escalation of incarceration numbers in many modern nations. In other dustup, the criminal justice systems in these countries nurture largely been exercising a regime of penal excess because constant pressure from a large domain of the public (in response to an actual rise in crime rates) has compelled them to do so.In comparison, the p iece model, which we may refer to as the state-induced penal populism hypothesis, postulates that inwardly many Western countries the government parties in power construct frequently created and sustain an artificial appearance of rising crime rates in order to instil widespread public anxiety. Subsequently, the majority government (and individual politicians) can be observed by the public to be patently controlling the perceived illusory crime problem, such as done adopting and enforcing tough on crime measures, and thereby attain public commonity to ready their partys (or their accept) success in the next general election.The reciprocal ohm model further suggests that the government is non the only state governing soundbox in developed nations which benefits from overstating the scale of the dangerous crime threat, but that there ar excessively large rewards for prevalent media outlets or intelligence information companies involuntary to do so. It is argued by ma ny criminologists that in spite of appearance al intimately all democratic Western countries, the underlying government and the hot media, which be both disunited into multiple competing partys or companies, are highly reliant on addressing and reporting criminal activity that specifically victimises ordinary deal in order to retain electoral votes and public ratings, respectively.Hence, the state-induced penal populism hypothesis proposes that politicians and media outlets lead rather than merely follow or passively represent the public opinion the public only clog ups or appears to demand the governments harsher punitive policy strategies because the same(p) national government and frequent media industry (as two powerful state institutions) give birth manufactured a compelling false image of prevalent serious crime which has instilled strong penal populist sentiments in a large proportion of that public.The central aim of the by-line examination is to de edgeine which of these two distinctive hypothetical positions is intimately belike to be correct. It is of course possible that the public-induced penal populism mechanism primarily operates in one developed nation, while in some other Western country it may be the state-driven penal populism process that is predominant.However, to the extent that the relatively recent phenomenon of globalisation has resulted in many common economic, brotherly, political, and ethnic practices worldness astray adopted by a number of modern industrial states, one may plausibly foreknow a kindred (if non identical) mechanism of generating penal populism to be present in the developed nations affected by prison population growth, especially with regard to the United States and Western Europe.At the out line up, we may hypothesise that although some short-lived significant increases in Western crime rates during the late 1970s and eighties may get to initially triggered some rational penal populist senti ments among the public of these modern societies, it has been the combined interaction of both political opportunism and media opportunism which has acted as a powerful vehicle in numerous modern societies for distorting the publics common view of the national crime problem, and ultimately for sustaining the growth of both penal populism plus prison populations, unheeding of how those crime rates may have subsequently changed (and in close developed countries they have steadily declined).One fundamental feature of the modern incarceration surge over the past three decades that is observed in virtually all countries affected by rapid prison growth is the significant proportion of these prison populations that has decease comprised of racial minorities, including both of resident ethnic groups and of non-citizen illicit immigrants. As one study (ODonnell, 2004, p262) remarks, one factor that accounts for rising prison populations across Europe is the incarceration of foreigners. It is likely that prison accommodation in the Republic of Ireland leave alone be used to hold increase numbers of failed asylum nailkers, at least(prenominal) pending deportation.It is as well inevitable that the composition of the prison population pass on change as members of nonage groups begin to appear before the accosts on criminal charges. In terms of the racial minorities imprisonment trend in the United States, Caplow and Simon (1999, p66) say that it is undeniable that the incarcerated population is disproportionately composed of minorities (especially African Americans and Hispanics), and that the disproportion has increased during the pointedness of rising imprisonmentThe period of rapid growth in incarceration rates has seen a significant increase in the proportion of minorities in the bunco game population, especially among drug offenders, the fastest growing segment of that prison population.As is the reference with close to Western European countries, the United States prison heavens has as well as experienced a mass round up of illegal immigrants or non-citizens during the last three decades, who in 2003 make up 40% of federal prisoners (State-Wide Harm Reduction Coalition, 2005). Ultimately, therefore, it is apparent that the incarceration boom in many developed countries has primarily affected various racial minority populations present within these nations. It is the cumulative incarceration of racial minorities that is significantly responsible for the prison overcrowding problem commonly observed.Thus, one all important(p) interview that we must address in the following study is what has caused (and continues to cause) the increased imprisonment of racial minority populations, relative to the incarceration rate of the racial majority host population (typically white), within the modern industrial societies affected by prison overcrowding? Specifically, we shall seek to determine whether pervasive penal racism, directd by a greater tendency in developed nations for both the law enforcement system to arrest and subsequently for the criminal justice system to imprison ethnic or non-white defendants compared with white ones who have committed the same offence, is comfortable to excuse the large racial differentials observed in incarceration rates, or non. The methodological analysis of the following study consists entirely of literature-based look into and analysis.2. The Origins of Penal Populism Real villainy Waves versus Political and Media OpportunismIt is widely acknowledged that the prevalent public sentiment in many developed countries to get tough with criminals has played a central role in catalysing the incarceration surge which has occurred in these nations since the mid-1970s onward, an authoritative social movement that is referred to as penal populism.Furthermore, whether one regards the source of that penal populism as stemming from a rational public response to actual rising crime rates or, conversely, as triggered by public exposure to political and media manipulation, the measured strength of the publics demand on their respective democratic governments to impose harsher punitive measures on convicted criminals has remained invariablely high over the thirty year period of vast growth in incarceration numbers.For example, with regard to the United States, one study notes that the time series of public responses to the survey question of whether courts are too lenient has remained highly persistent since 1972 (Caplow and Simon, 1999). The significant temporal correlation in many modern industrial states between the onset of strong public desire since about the mid-1970s for more stringent crime policies and the period of rapid prison population growth is a clear indication of the vital part that penal populist sentiments have played in causing prison overcrowding.One may plausibly argue that the strong growth of penal populist sentiments in most advanced industrial societies over the past three decades has been initially generated by temporary accepted increases in crime (including the rapid expansion of a drug-crime economy during the 1980s) and sustained by an increased reliance of governments on implementing harsher crime control measures (rather than more effective social welfare policies) to gain public support plus secure electoral favour.Accordingly, we intend to found that penal populism in developed nations is a product of both short-lived actual crime waves and manipulative political opportunism. Indeed, one would theoretically expect the two factors operating in conjunction to result in a significantly larger escalation in incarceration rates (as is in fact observed) than would occur if only one of these forces was present in isolation.As one study has observed, tough on crime policies produce prison population increases only to the degree that offenders are available to be imprisoned (Zimring and Hawkins, 1991). Conve rsely, an increase in crime rates would also not produce a corresponding increase in imprisonment rates unless some suitably punitive crime control measures were in place.During the last thirty age there has also certainly occurred in many Western countries a greater dependence of competing universal media companies, both television and the press, on selectively reporting dangerous (i.e. worse than modal(prenominal)) crime on an almost perfunctory basis, simply in order to maintain or increase knockout and reader ratings. By limning the national crime problem as more severe and more prevalent than in reality, individual general media outlets (e.g. tabloid newspapers) in developed nations have dumbfound more good-hearted to public viewers than their quality media counterparts (e.g. broadsheet newspapers) who much object to distorting or manipulating the reporting of crime news.Since the late twentieth century onward, crime news has become a fundamental component of the pub lics staple diet. As Pratt (2007, p68) suggests, the reporting of crime is immanently able to shock and entertain, sustaining public appeal and interest, selling newspapers and increasing television audiences. Furthermore, the counselling in which crime is used to achieve these ends is by selective rather than broad reportingHowever, it is not only that crime reporting has quantitatively increased there have also been qualitative changes in its reporting it is prone to focus more extensively on violent and get offual crime than in the pastThese qualitative and quantitative changes in crime reporting can be attributed to the growing diversity of news sources and media outletsAs a consequence, both television and the press have to be much more competitive than used to be the case.Their programmes have to be packaged in such a way that they become more attractive to viewers than those of their rivals and competitors. Evidently, given that it is typically the most popular newspaper s (such as the tabloid press in Britain) which feature the greatest number and severity of crime stories, it means that the most common representations of crime, portrayed in the form of randomised, unpredictable and violent attacks inevitably committed by strangers on ordinary community, reach the greatest audience(Pratt, 2007, p70).Thus, it is clear that within modern society the potential benefits to popular media outlets from inaccurately amplifying the danger plus scale of national crime in the publics perception are equally as large as the rewards for politicians willing to do so. With regard to addressing the (largely fabricated) immediacy of the criminal activity problem, therefore, media opportunism and political opportunism are proximately linked in virtually all post-industrial countries where penal populist currents are strongly established.As well as magnifying the size of the dangerous crime problem, the popular media in many Western countries further continually see ks to undermine the current sentencing practices of the criminal justice system, regardless of how harsh they have become over the past three decades. In the same way that the crime stories reported by the popular media are scarcely typical of the actual nature of customary crime within developed nations, the court stories followed are rarely illustrative of everyday sentencing practices.According to Pratt (2007), that media misrepresentation thus reinforces the common public opinion that courts are too lenient, even though they have become significantly more punitive, in sum to fuelling the widely held public sentiment that the crime rate is constantly escalating when recent statistics indicate that crime is in fact steadily declining in most modern societies. Thus, in its reporting style, crime analysis by the Western popular media has become personalised rather than statisticalised, since1) it prioritises the experiences of ordinary people (especially crime victims) over expe rt opinions2) News reports are more prone to focus on the occasional failings of criminal justice officials as opposed to their many successes. Indeed, in the vast majority of modern societies, the citation of criminal statistics has become a code for softness on crime and callousness towards its victims(Pratt, 2007, p88), which simply admits the popular media with further sphere to legitimately overstate the scale and severity of everyday crime in developed states. For these reasons, the media outlets in many Western countries have played a significant role in facilitating the continual growth of penal populist sentiments among the public.3. The Transient Growth of a Drug-Crime Economy in Developed CountriesIt is highly pertinent that the vast expansion in drug crime within many Western nations during the late 1970s and 1980s coincided precisely with the onset of rapidly escalating incarceration rates in these same countries. As is asserted, the growth in nondrug crime has simply not been sufficient to sustain the rapid growth of imprisonment. By the 1970s there was already an active culture of drug use and net cooks of drug importation/ sales in the United States, but their economic importance increased in the 1980s cod to new products and distribution strategies, especially for crack cocaine. That break in the marketing of illegal drugs coincided with political decisions to intensify the punishments for drug crimes. The result was an enlargement of the population available for criminal justice processing(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p71).It is crucial to acknowledge, therefore, that in any modern industrial society there is not a rudimentary causal link between a greater public desire for severity in criminal sanctions and a sustained growth in incarceration numbers other conditions must be present. Specifically, a key condition is a large pool of offenders available to be imprisoned(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p93). Although there had also been documented tran sient increases in the number of offenders committing nondrug crimes such as violent crime, space crime (larceny), and brace crime in modern societies during the 1980s, these numbers tended to fluctuate in cycles over time, and could not account for the continual rise in incarceration rates observed.In contrast, the number of drug crime offences had remained consistently high by dint ofout the 1980s in virtually all developed countries that have experienced an incarceration boom. However, in most Western nations the total drug crime rate then started to steadily decline during the 1990s largely due to the much harsher punishments creation imposed on drug crime offenders (both petty and serious) by the criminal justice systems in these states.One valid explanation for the persistently high rate of drug crime during the 1980s is the economic base principle. Specifically, while the average monetary yield of larceny, violence and fetch up offences is very low, drug crime represent s one of the only categories of felony where the potential financial returns are extremely high, and that entrusts a strong economic incentive for individuals sustentation in poverty. Hence, drug smuggling and trafficking are the only illegal activities opened of providing a solid economic base for a large criminal population in modern society. The initial cost of goods is low and law enforcement efforts sustain high retail prices, thereby ensuring large profit margins (Reuter and Kleiman, 1986).Since the 1980s, drug crime has certainly been targeted by penal populist sentiments in many Western countries affected by a public expectation for greater punitiveness, largely irrespective of how the drug crime rate has subsequently changed in these developed nations, but it is evidently not the only category of felony that has become a common target of penal populism. charge offences (especially against children), violent or abusive crimes (once again, even more so when the victims a re children), and youth crime are three other important types of crime that in late modern superiorist states have characteristically become subjected to a public desire for penal excess. We shall examine in detail at a later stage below what these specific quad-spot categories of crime have in common and why they are such typical targets of penal populist sentiments in developed liberal societies.4. The Increased Dependence of Governments on Crime Control as a Source of Popular believabilityThe rapid pro purportration of drug crime in many Western countries during the late 1970s and 1980s was accompanied by a great handout of public confidence in the social welfare programs implemented in these same nations. As Pratt (2007, p95) asserts, the visible presence of drug addicts in these countries had become a symbol of misplaced welfarism and tolerance, now believed to be corroding their economic and social fabrics. Furthermore, the short-lived growth of general crime waves in many modern societies during the late twentieth century led to a significant decline of public assurance in the competence of their respective governments to control the state.As one study remarks, the international crime waves of the 1960s and 1970s service of processed diminish the prestige of national governments all over the industrial world, by calling into question their capacity to maintain social order. The increase of crime rates at a time of increasing government efforts to ease the poor undermined many of the traditional arguments for welfare, and helped con watertight the view of many conservatives that efforts to help the poor only made circumstances worse by eliminating incentives for self advancement(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p88).It is difficult to determine whether the crime wave was caused by expansions in welfare programs or merely coincided with them. The main point is that in addition to the direct kinship between high rates of crime and demands for punitive gove rnmental responses, the crime wave may have indirectly haggard the prestige of and public demand for welfare-oriented government (Caplow and Simon, 1999).Thus, it is argued that during the 1980s many Western governments shifted the priority of their domestic agendas away from welfare policies toward crime control policies. Initially, it was most often right wing conservative politicians that promoted tough on crime punitive measures, making crime a political rationalise and gaining public support. However, Lappi-Seppl (2002, p92) suggests that mainstream opposition (i.e. left wing) parties are then forced into advocating punitive policies as well, because although these left wing parties want to distance themselves from the populist programmes of the right wing movements, there is one discipline where they do not like to disagree the requirement of creation tough on crime.No party seems to be willing to accuse another of exaggeration when it comes to measures against criminalit y. existence soft on crime is an accusation that no governmental party wants to accept. And it is that fear of existence softer than ones political opponents which tends to drive politicians, in the end, to the extremes of penal excess. It is plausible to argue, therefore, that constant competition between opposing governmental factions for public favour in liberal democracies has created an punitive arms race of political opportunism, whereby each party is compelled to promote plus (when in power) implement increasingly more radical punitive policies irrespective of the actual level of crime that the country is experiencing in order to avoid appearing weak on crime and consequently losing valuable electoral votes to their political opponents who are prompt to be more severe on criminals.Clearly, such an opportunistic punitive arms race occurring within the governments of developed nations would lead to an exponential increase in the prison population numbers of these countries , and ultimately to prison overcrowding. That political mechanism may at least partly explain why so many Western countries which have experienced a large decrease in crime rates since the mid-1990s and into the early ordinal century have still reported a rising prison population.For example, Pratt (2006, p1) observes that since 1999 bear on led coalition governments in New Zealand have strongly adhered to Britains New Labour approach to crime and punishment, even using the noteworthy phrase tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime in its election manifestoes of 2002 and 2005. As a consequence, while New Zealands recorded crime rate has dropped by 25% in the last ten years, its imprisonment rate has increased to 189 per 100,000, one of the highest of Western countries.Yet it is not only the divisions (i.e. in terms of competing parties) within Western democratic governments that have catalysed the increased political focus on crime control, but also the growing number of divi sions among the public itself. Indeed, modern society in many developed nations (such as the United Kingdom and the United States) has become increasingly heterogeneous since the late twentieth century, and consequently the number of bases of division within these societies has expanded.For example, the members of a various(a) post-industrial society are not only partitioned along the traditional contention of social class, but are also strongly divided by a number of dichotomous value-based issues that are characteristic of post- stuffist politics such as abortion, gay rights, savage rights (e.g. fox hunting), mass immigration, school prayer, and capital punishment where it still exists (Caplow and Simon, 1999). These value- or identity-based issues are intensely contested over in modern societies by well-organised pressure groups on either side of the bipolar political spectrum. These issues are bipolar or dichotomous in the sense that they are non-negotiable with no heart and soul ground one either supports abortion rights or one opposes them.Hence, public division on these post-materialist issues is inevitable. One important consequence of the heterogeneous publics of Western countries be overture divided by such a multitude of value conflicts during the 1970s onward is that government parties had difficulty finding any issues to build successful election face packaigns on that would appeal to a vast majority of the public. Harsher crime control appeared to be a clear choice as a singular issue that large sections of the modern public are united in consensus on. As is stated, Unlike most values issues on the left or right, crime control seems to cut across the political spectrumPoliticians seeking to build practicable majorities inevitably turn to the few issues that can bring people in concert in the new political landscapeThat is why election campaigns continue to focus on crime and punishment issues even when opposing candidates agree in their sup port of punitive anticrime measures.Faced with voters who split on so many issues and who are profoundly sceptical about the ability of government to improve their lives through welfare-oriented interventions, the mode of governing that commands the broadest support punitiveness toward criminal offenders is understandably valued by governments(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p83). Ultimately, therefore, while short-lived actual increases in crime rates during the late 1970s and 1980s may have initially triggered the rise in imprisonment rates in a number of developed countries, political opportunism (in the sense of governments capitalising on populist punitiveness) has arguably sustained the incarceration boom in virtually all Western nations affected by prison overcrowding, regardless of how those crime rates may have subsequently changed.5. The Target Crimes of Penal PopulismThere is a high degree of union across all Western nations that have experienced an incarceration surge over th e past three decades in the types of crime that are most commonly subjected to strong public demand for harsh punitive sanctions. worldwidely, the four most frequent felony targets of penal populism areDrug crime finish up offences, especially when the victims are childrenChild abuse (physical, internal, or psychological), andYouth crime.Correspondingly, these have also been some of the fastest growing segments of prison and boot camp populations in many developed countries during recent years. One fundamental property that the above four categories of crime have in common is that children are extremely vulnerable to the make of all of them. We may validly question why children have come to occupy such a central place in the penal populist sentiments of modern industrial societies.Pratt (2007, p96) remarks that crime control policy driven by penal populism targets others, not ordinary, normal peopleGiven the nature of populism, we should expect that crime control policy will le an towards easy and familiar targets, for whom there is likely to be the least public sympathy, the most social distance and the fewest authoritative voices (if any) to speak on their behalf thoEffects of ceremonial Soap Operas Re assayEffects of Watching Soap Operas enquiryShaping Minds The Soap Opera and the Power of facsimileAbstractIn this thesis I aim to come across what the junior British public find engaging about Soap Operas, and to identify some of the processes at work during covering, which great power alter or raise the ways in which we see the world. Focusing specifically on the family relationship between popular media and the attitudes of preteen people towards sex and social class, research addresses the power of media representation, the use of role models, and how popular media encourages the viewer to make social distinctions and reinforces our thought processs of classification. My research examines the influence of popular programmes, such as conju re up and the City, and Australian and British Soap Operas, and throughout the thesis I refer to the theoretical approaches of Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, where I discuss the paradoxes latent in both the logic and words that people generally perceive to be stable and fundamental to social order. I also consider systems of classification and how the act of perceiving the validity and existence of such distinctions creates them. Conclusions drawn suggest that people consider liquid ecstasy reckon to be more dangerous in hindsight, whereas younger people do not recognise, or are less willing to recognise the inherent influences of whip story lines. Research does conclude that most people do consider easy lay operas to present an contrivedistic portrayal of family life and relationships.IntroductionBefore the seventies a relatively small and largely distant body of research existed that was solely based nigh flog operas, and it was only at that point when cleans began to ass ume a position as a topic of interest (LaGuardia 1974, 1977 Stedman 1971 Weibel 1977. In Blumenthal, p.43), as well as an area worthy of academic research (Katzman 1972 McAdown 1974 Newcomb 1974. Ibid). As Blumenthal openly writes there were those who simply were against them, or found them silly. (Blumenthal, p.43). The context for this research formed out of a perceived gap in current research topics between the effects of media on children and adults, with relatively few rambles being based solely upon adolescentrs and young people. As observe by Hawk et al (2006) much public and scientific concern has been expressed regarding the influence of sex in the mainstream media on childrens sexual development, such as Greenfield, 2004. However, fewer studies have studied in depth the relationships between adolescents viewing of sexual content in the media and their own sexual behaviors and attitudes, and of those studies which do exist many are subject to severe limitations such as s mall trys, and narrow focus on a single type of sexual outcome, such as incidence of conversation (Peterson et al., 1991. In Hawk et al, 2006 352). An important servant for the topic of this research also rested upon the observance that it is less common for research into sexual attitudes to be combined with attitudes towards social class the decision to marry these two topics derived from the consideration that British soap operas more often represent the working class, whereas Australian soap operas mostly refer to middle class families. It was therefore an elicit research proposition to consider whether attitudes towards sex and class are being shaped by the type of target audience that these programmes are being aimed at. Although the present study does not focus on the extent to which women only are influenced by viewing soap operas, it does recognise that a large body of research exists on women and soap operas, and that more utilitarian responses might be given by women r espondents.MethodologyIn considering the methodology for this estimate it was decided that in order to achieve a more comprehensive collection of information with specific personal reactions to media that primary data in the forms of questionnaires and interviews should be used, rather than basing the thesis purely on secondary textual and resource analyses. As some critics suggest, textual analysis cannot always pull in us as to what goes on in the minds of viewers and often relies upon conclusion and speculation (Dow, 1996). Secondary materials used for this view also include journals, articles, and books which have attempted to define the relationship between viewers and popular media. Results and findings are discussed using the research of theorists such as Adorno and Fiske this was decided in order to encompass opinions which span a broad spectrum of relevant ideas, and are useful for how they illustrate the contrasts present in media research.ParticipantsParticipant s who filled in only questionnaires were obtained by contacting high schools and middle schools, mostly in urban areas, that agreed to inscribe in data collection. Fifteen schools (who had their own colleges for 17-19 year olds) were initially willy-nilly selected and contacted, 10 of which agreed to participate. As this drop did not aim to suck up how attitudes might vary between age and race the identity and nationalities of respondents were not obtained. This was also decided upon because the blind questionnaire offered school pupils more scope to provide false answers, especially concerning age and gender. In total there were 200 pupil responses with ages ranging from 12 to 18. As part of gathering primary data slightly different form of questionnaire (see Appendix Two) was presented to a random alternative of young adults. This sample was achieved by approaching people on the roadway in a local town during rush hour. The only criteria that the second lot of respondents ha d to meet was that they were aged 30 or under this was to keep in line that recall of their watching soap operas during their teens would be more likely to be more accurate. Furthermore, this age limit was necessary considering the ages of the programmes themselves, many of which have been foot race approximately 20 years or less. In the random sample interview it was possible to make a note of gendered responsesQuestionnaire and Interview send offIn the interviewing techniques selected for this project it was decided to use a combination of single and multiple choice options and include questions which encouraged respondents to give subjective views and opinions. signature with sexual and class content in the mainstream media, as represented through the viewing of soap operas and popular programmes, was measured by asking respondents on a four point scale the degree to which they felt that their favourite programme had influenced their ideas concerning these issues. In order to account for the differences in age between the two sets of respondents it was decided that when speculative the elder set that questions should include a retrospective option. For example, when questioning people about the influence of soaps on their opinions the question would read Would you say that watching this programme has or might have done so in the past altered your understanding of sexual relationships?Chapter OneLiterature ReviewThe Meaning and Origins of Popular Cultureoer the last few decades culture has become frequently used to have-to doe with changing tastes and popularity in appreciation of interests such as music, art, theatre. As noted by Peter Goodall the word culture is consistently made use of by journalists and politicians, and especially by people studying within the arts (Goodall, 1995). The same author also notes that the word culture has become an increasingly empty term more frequently it is used, the more regularly it seems to requi come out a nother word to prop it up and define its field of reference. (Goodall, 1995 xii). Take, for example, the term police culture, says Goodall, and the term welfare culture does the word expect to mean more because these areas of society actually have little in common with one another? In both contexts the word promises much .. but delivers little it poses as a noun but it is rattling an procedural where culture means little more than group behaviour, practice or shared assumptions. (Ibid).The phenomenon of popular culture and the ease with which it has spread across the Western world, owes much to the existence of television, radio, and, more recently, the Internet. It was the Queens enthronisation that begun the television age, with half the adult population watching the ceremony on TV sets and most of these people not owning their own television at the time (Karwowski 2002 281). Statistics confront that in 1951, the only available BBC channel had just 600,000 viewers, and that by the end of the century, watching TV was the most popular leisure activity with 94 per cent of homes having at least one colour TV and 66 per cent a video cassette recorder (Ibid). Karwowski highlights the following televised programmes as being central to the historical analysis of popular culturethe Queens CoronationThe Goon Show from June 1952 to January 1960, described as a surreal form of humour that lampooned all forms of pomposity and hypocrisy. (Karwowski 2002 281).Situation comedies such as trough Death Us Do Part60s TV comedies, such as That Was The Week That Was and Monty Pythons Flying CircusIndependent TV (ITV) began broadcasting in 1955. The number of TV channels grew to three with the start-up of BBC 2 in 1964, to four with Channel 4 in 1982, and five with Channel 5 in 1997, while colour TV was available from 1968.British Costume Drama, portraying English novelists such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Evelyn WaughEducational documentaries such as Sir Kenneth Clarks purification (1969), Dr Jacob Bronowskis The Ascent of Man (1973) and Sir David Attenboroughs Life on Earth (1979)Walking with DinosaursChildrens programmes, such as Moles Christmas and the BBCs Teletubbies to more than 125. Quiz programmes such as the BBCsQuiz shows, such as The Weakest Link, and detective series such as Inspector Morse, currently being seen in 211 countries.However, KarwowskI observes that all these genres become mere niche markets when compared to the soap opera, which has around a third of the nation addicted to its multifarious expressions. (2005 282). In the UK, the most popular soap is Coronation Street, longest running since 1960, is as popular in Canada and New Zealand, with the Coronation Street web site having more hits from Canada than anywhere else. (Ibid).What we see in soap operas is often designed to provoke an empathic response in the mind of the viewer. Soap viewing can offer very contrasting experiences sometimes alienating or even shocki ng the viewer, and other times offering emotional support and guidance concerning difficult issues. It is perhaps this mixed bag effect of soap viewing when a person is never sure what content will shape their viewing experience that make soap viewing so popular. Media theory questions how knowledge is veritable and understood by the audience. Charlotte Brunsdon once say that the pursuit of the audience can be characterized as a search for authenticity, for an anchoring signification in a sea of signification (1990, p.68). The interpretations of the complex relationship between the viewer and the viewed have been controversial and often, contrasting for example, Theodor Adorno believed that the influence held over the public by mass media was potentially harmful and brainwashing, whereas John Fiske wrote that work should focus on viewers interpretation of what they saw that the viewer had indecorum over the extent to which they would absorb and articulate the information prese nted (Gauntlett, 2002). Fiske also used the term polysemy to refer to the potential for audiences to decode texts in change ways (Fiske, 1986). Dow presents her idea that the viewer has almost complete autonomy over how they interpret what they see, aphorism thatThe most powerful claim of audience studies has been that real viewers often resist the dominant messages of television and interpret programing in ways that suit their own interests .. Intentional or not, such judgments cast the differences between approaches within the framework of a zero-sum game in which only one party can be right, making the other automatically wrong. (Dow, 1996 2)Dow also suggest that it is not possible to completely divorce oneself from the object of criticism because of the cultural and social interests which are shared by both the critic and the creator of the media in question. Furthermore, criticism becomes less about discovering meaning in texts and becomes more of a performative activity t hat is about creating meaning.Sex and IdentityPart of the idea for this project was born out of the exposit that there exists a strong link between ideas about sexual relationships and a young persons sense of identity. It is an aim of this project to explore the degree to which hindsight might affect a persons belief as to whether they have been influenced by what they have seen on soaps. Research has been conducted into the prejudicial nature of representation in popular media especially into the use of models or noble-minded body types what Virginia Blum calls the yardstick of the different Woman against which women measures their imperfections. For the twenty-first century Western charwoman, says Blum, who is always evaluating her appearance (intimately bound up with her identity) in relation to some standard that must be Other in order to function as a standard (Blum, 2005 27). Gauntlett cites research findings on women in prime time TV in the early nineties as being you ng, single, independent, and free from family and work place pressures (Elasmar, Hasegawa and Brain, 199933. In Gauntlett 2002, 59). Gauntlett goes on to suggests that the 1990s saw the use of inoffensive models of masculinity and femininity, which were generally congenial to the majority of the public, and that this reflected producers beliefs that they no longer needed to challenge gender representations (Ibid). In the case of the sitcom Friends the use of male and female models of represnetation were equal. As Gauntlett explainsThe three men (Ross, Chandler and Joey) fit easily within conventional models of masculinity, but are given some characteristics of sensitivity and gentleness, and male-bonding, to make things slightly refreshing. Similarly, the three women (Rachel, Monica and Phoebe) are clearly feminine, whilst being sufficiently intelligent and non-housewifey to seem like refreshing characters for the 1990s. The six were also, of course, originally all characters wit h a good set of both male and female friendships i.e. each other and the friendship circle was a refreshing modern replacement for the traditional family. (It was not long, of course, before they blow that by having Ross and Rachel, then more implausibly Monica and Chandler fall in love.) (Gauntlett, p.59)In most soaps there exists a core set of characters who form the firm basis of the on-screen reality. If these core characters were to change too often then the soap loses credibility, and becomes an unreal parallel of the world that it is trying to represent. It is important that themes such as sex and class are presented in a coherent and consistent way. As Gauntletts comment on Friends suggests this is sometimes not the case as the idea of quasi family is quashed by the sexual dynamics within the group, thus complicating the original idea.The Concept of TransformationIt is a premise of this project that women might be more likely to have experienced side by side(predicate ) identification with soaps than men. Although it was beyond the scope of this project to direct an in-depth inquiry into this premise, the questionnaire until now attempted to explore whether there was a gender divide, although this attempt was confine due to the size of the questionnaire. As academic and soap viewer, Danielle Blumenthal, is quoted as sayingSoap operas . . . a connection with other women, beloved to me my mother, grandmother, aunt, sister . . . a steady stream of modern folktales that symbolically link us together. Memories break open racing off the schoolbus to catch the last ten minutes of General Hospital laughing with Grandma over the plotline antics of Days of Our Lives worrying over the lives of characters I cared about endless feverish conversations with girlfriends, sister, aunt over who should do what, how, and with whom. (Blumenthal, 1997 3)In her take on feminist perspectives and soap operas, Blumenthal refers to soap opera viewing as a specific cult ural activity questioning how much the activity is an empowering practiceor, praxisfor women to engage in. (Ibid, p.4). The term praxis, Marxist criticism has been specify as meaning conscious physical labor directed toward transforming the material world so it will satisfy human needs (Rothman 1989170. In Blumenthal, 19973). Blumenthal extends this interpretation to mean not only physical, but also mental labour, which transforms images and experience to meet human needs. (Ibid). The concept can also be interpreted as a belief that social objects do not simply exist out there in space, but are mediated through a continual process of interpretation and crook by the subjective and socially oriented mind. (Ibid). Girl Power, and themes which identify the strengths in womens attitudes are not limited to the sitcom or the soap opera, in fact they occur, to some degree, within just about every form of visual media and are mediated by the minds of the programmes creators to be receive d by the viewing public.The concept of transformation is prevalent in most media where women use their new image to take control of their lives and turn around situations. For example, Barbra Streisands 1996 film, The Mirror Has Two Faces, uses the idea of a before and after to provide tension and contrast within the film. In this film, the character Rose is alter by losing weight and dying her hair this secures the physical adoration of her conserve who married her for her inner self. While the film encourages viewers to identify with Barbara Streisand it also reinforces the ideal of transformation, where the heroine does not settle for less, but dares to achieve more. Rachel Moseley, in her publication on feminist cultural perspectives, fashion, and media, observes that within these Cinderella stories there exists a moment of increased visibility which provides a space for both the visual diversion offered showcasing of the transformation, but also for the articulation of the anxiety and emotional resonance of coming out in relation to class, as well as gender. (Moseley, 2002 p.40). In British and Australian soaps the concept of transformation is readily embraced not least within the lives of individual characters, but within each episode itself so as to create a mini section of a greater storyline. The world of the soap opera is fluid and dynamic it moves along at a much faster rate than reality off-screen, with new ideas and events constituting change on many levels. Blumenthals ideas concerning the transformation of images is particularly useful here as it might help to explain how the serial relationships of soap characters are interpreted by the viewer. In soaps, it is often the case that characters who are not married engage in a string of successive relationships, which sets an unreal precedent to viewers, especially younger viewers. Media critic Mary-Lou Galician, in her publication Sex, recognise Romance in the piling Media lists twelve f alse premises which are regularly promoted within, and associated with, mass media all of which she defines as myths and stereotypes (2004 p.x)Your perfect partner is cosmically predestined, so nothing/nobody can ultimately separate you.Theres such a thing as love at first sight. Your true soul mate should KNOW what youre calculateing or feeling without your having to tell.If your partner is unfeignedly meant for you, sex is easy and wonderful.To attract and keep a man, a woman should look like a model or a centerfold.The man should NOT be shorter, weaker, younger, poorer, or less successful than the woman.The love of a good and faithful true woman can change a man from a beast into a prince. Bickering and fighting a lot mean that a man and a woman really love each other passionately.All you really need is love, so it doesnt matter if you and your lover have very different values.The right mate completes you filling your needs and making your dreams come true.In real life, actors and actresses are often very much like the romantic characters they portray.Since mass media portrayals of coquet arent real, they dont really affect you. (2004 ix)Many social critics and relationship therapists have satanic the mass media for brainwashing viewers with portrayals of unrealistic love that are unattainable as a goal and unhealthy as a model and, thereby, contributing to the construction of these unrealistic expectations (Dyer, 1976 Fromm, 1956 Johnson, 1983 Norwood, 1985 Peele, 1975Russianoff, 1981 Shapiro Kroeger, 1991 Shostrom Kavanaugh, 1971. In Galician, 2004 p.13.). Certainly, many soap operas under word of honor in this thesis are guilty of this phenomenon, and are indicatory of the idea that it is unfashionable or abnormal to be single. For example, as field glass writesWho can take seriously a character saying, as one does in the televised version of Candace Bushnells column, Were not dating. Its a fuck thing? Or, Ive been fucked every way you can be fucked? These characters are not serious, not even interesting, certainly not funny. With that type of woman, romance, with its necessary belief in an ideal, is impossible. .. Bushnells women lark aimlessly in New York, trying different sex games to see which they can win. When they lose, they move on. There is no reflection, no despair, no consequence of any action. The tragedy is that nothing in their lives is tragic. (Glass, 1999 14)This sort of promotion of episodic sex could be potentially damaging to younger people, who are in the earlier stages of forming opinions about themselves and the world, as it could encourage them to find partners before they are comfortable to do so. Furthermore, in a school environment, where children are open to the same sorts of mass media, these ideas are discussed and reinforced within a social reality that is far different from the reality on-screen. As author of Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell, said of her creationNo one has breakfast a t Tiffanys, and no one has affairs to remember instead, we have breakfast at 7 am and affairs we try to forget as quickly as possible. How did we get into this mess? (cf Glass, 1999 14)During its popularity SATC was responsible for liberating the ideas of many women, and even their male partners, who watched it. The character of Samantha, played by Kim Cattrall, has been highlighted as an importnat portrayal of a sexually self-assertive woman in her forties. As Cattrall once said in an interview, I dont think theres ever been a woman who has expressed so much sexual joy on television without her being punished. I never tire of women coming up and saying, Youve affected my life (Williams, 2002. Found in Gauntlett, 2002, p.61).Unfortunately the themes of casual sex is unsustainable and will not hold viewers attentions for as long as say, family dramas, which can be played out over a much longer period of time and have far more complex dynamics. Thus, the summit of SATC is over, whil e Emmerdale continues. As suggested by Goldenberg et al the themes of sex is both matter to and disturbingDespite its potential for immense physical pleasure and the crucial role that it plays in propagating the species, sex nevertheless is sometimes a source of anxiety, shame, and disgust for humans, and is always subject to cultural norms and social regulation. ..We argue that sex is threatening because it makes us acutely aware of our sheer physical and animal nature. Although others (e.g., Freud, 1930/1961) have also suggested that human beings are threatened by their creatureliness, following Rank (1930/1998) and Becker (1973), we suggest that this motivation is rooted in a more basic human need to deny mortality. (Goldenberg et al, 2002 p.310)Indeed, there is nothing safe about the themes of sex in soaps it is an unpredictable world, where things are more likely to go wrong, in comparison to the world of family life, where there are perspicuous boundaries and limits within which to localise behaviour.In terms of class, which is the other distinction that this project is addressing, the idea that most soaps represent a particular group of people from a particular area, means that they represent the social structure of that particular area. In turn, this means that most soaps are unable to present a cross section of society from any area wider than that which it chiefly represents, and often only manages to represent the lives of either working class or middle class people. Soaps which concentrate on more elitist tastes or narrower, more pathless stratas of society do not often gain such a high level of popularity.This can be seen in the case of Eldorado, a soap set in Spain about the lives of British expats, that lasted only a year before being axed. A different approach to the soap opera came alon gin 1997 with the airing of Family Affairs, a soap that focused on one family. The description of the soap read as followsThe biggest, and riskiest, decisi on they made was to break away from the communal concept that underpins other soaps, whether it is the village (Emmerdale), the close (Brookside), the square (EastEnders), or the local streets and pub (Coronation Street). Family Affairs will centre on one family, and examine in intimate detail the struggles and tensions within the four walls of the Hart household. The other difference between this soap and its rivals will be that Family Affairs will not be geographically characterised. It is set in a neutral town, and will lack the northern airwave that permeates Corrie or Brookside. Class differences within the family will play a big part. The personal experience of Young and Hollingworth influenced them to base the soap around a family that had an ex-miner at its head (Hollingworths grandfather was a miner), whose son had become a self-employed builder, and whose four grandchildren were variously a trainee lawyer, an entrepreneur, a graze assistant and a schoolboy. (McDonald, 1 997 1)This soap underwent a complete change in setting and in characters, before it was axed after only seven years. These example show that there is not enough of a market for specialised soaps which dare to do something a little different. It appears that it is the grittiness of urban landscapes or the character of places which people enjoying watching the most. Furthermore, it is interesting how similar themes such as teenage pregnancy, underage relationships, and people seeking to break the boundaries of their familys class can all assume a different meaning, or at least be interpreted differently, according to the different locations and environments in which they are set.Mass Media and the BodyGauntlett observes a similarity between the malleability of the self and the late modern attitudes to the bodyNo longer do we feel that the body is a more or less disappointing given instead, the body is the outer expression of our self, to be improved and worked upon the body has, in the words of Giddens, become reflexively mobilized thrown into the expanding sphere of personal attributes which we are required to think about and control. (In Gauntlett, p.104). Perhaps one of the greatest power centres behind both of these arguments is Hollywood, which in its history has seen the changing representation of women, and more recently, the increasing number of women, and men, who have surgery to preserve the image of their youth. These ideal images of women are not always positively received. For example, speaking in 1973, Marjorie Rosen commented that the Cinema Woman is a Popcorn Venus, a delectable but insubstantial hybrid of cultural distortions (197310), and upon the changing representation of women Rosen observed the presence of rebellious natured commentaries against working women in the 1940s and 1950s, and against female sexual emancipation in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas women have been consistently promoted as sex objects in varying styles throughout Hol lywoods history (Rosen, In Gauntlett, 2002). It would be an interesting line of enquiry to explore the degree to which feminist literature can help to explain the presence of the perceived gender gap in the process of adoration and representation, and the influence of these processes on ideas concerning sex and sexuality. Some critics suggest that popular media have over-simplified debates which are essentially feminist in nature, and, in some cases, wrongly consider the feminist movement retrospectively, encouraging viewers to do the same. For example, in her article exploring the different definitions of third-wave feminism emerging in the U.S, Amanda Lotz comments that simplistic popular media constructions of third-wave feminism are misleading to feminists, and that study of the third-wave feminist ideas may be understood as distinctive of new social movement organization. (Lotz 2003, p.3 ). Other critics pay close attention to the different psychological constitutions of wome n what Jane Gerhard terms ideas about the distinctive psychological reality of women especially concerning our definition of post feminism, which makes a significant contribution to the re-assessment of heterosexual power relations. (2005 41). With proponents of equality still battling with what Susan Faludi refers to as lackadaisical nature of post-feminism and the unfair backlash against the feminist movement itself (1992) the idea of feminism and soap opera viewing is topical and extensive, and, unfortunately, beyond the scope of this thesis to explore.FoucaultFoucaults work is useful in the discussion of soap operas and the effects of viewing popular television as it comments on the damaging nature of normalization. Foucault argues that there is no such thing as a singular fixed meaning, and that meaning is understood on many levels most often through the historical, retrospective interpretation of rational and reasonable behaviour (Danaher et al, 2000). For example, he sugge sts that the nineteenth century witnessed a preoccupation with correctness where all things wrong had to be righted in some way in order to fit into a box of classification. This phenomenon has had long-lasting effects on Western culture to the extent where norms have been established, and exceptions to these norms cured or corrected. In the discussion of class and attitudes towards sex we might consider how the media has portrayed the image of the ideal woman or man. The difference between the historical normalisation of debaucher to contemporary is that such images have been popularised through the media on an increasingly global and interpersonal scale. With the advancement of technology, advertising reaches people even within the occult space of their own homes through television, radio, and the Internet. This is all the more dang

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