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Booing or cheering? Ambiguity in the construction of victimhood in the case of Maria Colwell


Reference:

Butler, I. and Drakeford, M., 2008. Booing or cheering? Ambiguity in the construction of victimhood in the case of Maria Colwell. Crime Media Culture, 4 (3), pp. 367-385.

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Official URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1741659008096372

Abstract

This paper presents a microanalysis of the media representation of victimhood in key public narratives. It builds on Peelo's account of the 'mediated witness' as part of the struggle for control of the crime agenda. To extend Peelo's analysis to other areas of public policy making, the paper uses the example of an iconic welfare 'scandal' (the Maria Colwell case) and focuses particularly on the role of victims themselves in the struggle to own and exploit victimhood. The paper argues that ambiguity in the ascription of victimhood can reveal points of unresolved tension in the emerging public narrative that the scandal (or crime) is meant to signify, explain and incorporate.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsButler, I.and Drakeford, M.
DOI10.1177/1741659008096372
Uncontrolled Keywordsemotionality, scandal, child abuse, mediated witness, victimhood, welfare policy
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Social & Policy Sciences
Research CentresCentre for Analysis of Social Policy (CASP)
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code16573

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