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Deviance and society control in the popular media (Essay Sample)

CONTENT ANALYSIS OF DEVIANCE and / or SOCIAL CONTROL IN THE POPULAR MEDIA DEVIANCE AND SOCIETY ~ Professor Mandy Bergman This project may be individual or partnered (2 students working in collaboration). If you choose to works in partners please seek my approval before commencing. The assignment is worth 30% of your final grade and is due via Blackboard Assignments submission on or before Monday, April 2nd, 2012 @ 5pm. Late submissions won't be accepted without valid documentation. The purpose of the project is to determine how a particular kind of deviance or social control is typically portrayed in a popular media genre, and to analyze your findings using sociological research and theory. Please follow these steps: 1) Select a specific type of deviance, deviant behavior or aspect of social control, as well as a particular popular media genre. 2) Clarify the qualities, characteristics or features you are going to look for regarding your topic in the media portrayal. 3) Decide on how many examples from the media genre you are going to work with to get a “representative sample” (minimum of 10 required per person, therefore 20 samples if working as a team). 4) Create a “working form” so you can tabulate how often the qualities, characteristics or features you are focusing on appear in your examples. Then, present and describe your findings in a professional graphic table and / or chart and in written form. Compare your findings against data from StatsCanada where applicable. 5) Finally, analyze your findings in terms of relevant sociological concepts, research and theory, and refer to specific course readings that support your topic. Deviance & Society Winter 2012 Choose From the Following Topics: Young offenders in Toronto area newspapers Law enforcement agents in Canadian magazines Types of crimes reported in local Canadian TV newscasts Deviant behavior in ‘classical' children's fairy tales (this involves understanding the stories' historical period) Criminals in TV crime dramas (this includes tabulating the general types of crime they commit) War coverage on either TV news or in newspapers Illegal drugs in Canadian TV news Government ‘wrong-doing' in newspapers Sexual deviance in prime time TV Villains in Disney movies (email me if you choose this topic so I can offer you some resources) Murder in music videos Deviance in print advertising Deviant acts in "Gangsta Rap" Mental Illness in films Note: If you wish to select a topic different from the above sample topics, submit a brief statement for approval before beginning the project. This assignment should be double-spaced, about 6-8 pages in length (excluding tables, appendix listing of samples & references), and adhere to the accepted rules and conventions of English grammar and composition including the use APA reference styles. DETAILED GUIDELINES 1) Select the Topic Area: Choose a specific type of deviance or deviant (e.g., murderers, prostitutes, illegal drug activity, etc.), or aspect of social control (e.g., police, judges, prisons, psychiatric wards, etc.). Then select a particular popular media genre (e.g., newspapers, newsmagazines, newscasts, comic books, TV crime dramas, etc.). Focus on a particular topic and a specific popular media genre.  Deviance & Society Winter 2012 2) Determine the Qualities, Characteristics or Features: The next step is to begin setting yourself up to see if there are any patterns to how your topic is being presented in the selected media genre. This involves deciding on what you want to initially look for regarding the media portrayal of your topic. Let's say you want to determine how prostitutes are portrayed in newspaper reports. You need to decide what qualities, characteristics or features regarding prostitutes you'll focus on as you examine how they're being portrayed (e.g. sex, social class, race and/or ethnicity, general age category, escort/ stripper/street prostitute; etc). Besides characteristics you may also want to track themes being mentioned and/or associated with your topic (e.g., drugs, violent crime, organized crime, immigrants, etc.) as part of your study. After having set up what you're looking for be prepared to note characteristics or themes you didn't think of, or expect to find. 3) Deciding on a Representative Sample: The third step is deciding on the examples you're going to study. Let's say you want to determine how police are portrayed on TV newscasts. You'll need to decide on the number and kinds of newscasts you are going to study. As a rule of thumb, try to work with about twenty cases for a project of this kind (i.e., twenty newscasts with police in them in which there may be, say, fourteen police officers presented). And try to study newscasts from a variety of channels, not just ten newscasts from the same channel (e.g., 3 from CBC, 3 from CTV, 2 from X, 2 from Y). 4) The “Working Form”, Final Table and Written Profile: Once you've decided on the characteristics and the number of examples, you'll need to create a working form to tabulate the results of your survey. If the study was examining the kinds of crime committed on TV crime dramas, create a chart or form with a list of the different crimes so you can easily check off the number of times that a particular crime occurs in the shows (See attached example which was set up for a TV crime drama study). The working form can be rough; it's for you. Then, present your findings professionally in a final table and a written profile. For example: Let's say after watching ten TV crime dramas you observed one hundred and seven offences (N=107). Of these, 60 were violent crimes; 23 were property crimes; 12 were other offences; 8 were drug crimes; and 4 were serious motor vehicle offences. In this case you'd make a final table which graphically presented that violent crimes made up 56% (60/107), property crimes 21% (23/107), other 11% (12/107), drugs 8% (8/107), and motor vehicle offences 4% (4/107) of the total offences you saw in the ten shows. Your written profile is a descriptive overview of your consolidated findings. In addition to highlighting what's in your table, it can provide specific examples and elaborate on what you found. You should also note other observations you made but didn't necessarily tabulate (e.g., In this case, were the offenders actually Deviance & Society Winter 2012 convicted in the shows? Did the offenders and victims know each other? etc.). Pay particular attention to what kinds of explanations are being implicitly or explicitly conveyed with the information. That is, what sort of interpretive framework is being transmitted about the topic? It's also important to point out what you noticed was usually absent or systematically omitted in the portrayal even though you thought it would be relevant or important. 5) Analyzing Your Findings Using Sociological Theory and Research: Apply the following approaches when analyzing your findings: a) How does the profile that emerged from your study compare with official data and/or social scientific surveys or studies? The research might include: "official statistics"; social scientific surveys; social scientific case studies; overviews of the social scientific literature often found in government and academic reports; or general sociological discussions of the topic as those found in a sociology, deviance or criminology textbook. What is the significance of any disparity and congruence? (e.g., If you're studying the kinds of crime committed on TV crime dramas, how do your findings compare with the official statistics and/or social scientific surveys on crime in Canada (or the U.S., if that's appropriate to your topic). Also, what is the significance of the implicit or explicit explanations or interpretive framework that's being presented regarding the topic? Is it a sound explanation and/or empirically valid? Are there more compelling alternative explanations that need to be presented? b) Use you findings to illustrate relevant concepts, theory or research regarding the mass media. (e.g., How do your findings illustrate the effects of commercialization on content, how the media is involved in creating moral panic, or how the media participates in the ‘social construction' of deviance or the legitimizing of social control?) Your examination might include: The nature of mass media and its effects on content; the effects of commercialization on mass media (e.g. how many media conglomerates actually exist and what impact does that have on how the news is presented). If and how the media is involved in the creation of moral panic. If and how the media is participating in the social construction of deviance, or the legitimizing of social control. Whether or not your observations support research studies of how crime, social control, etc. are generally constructed in the mass media.  Deviance & Society Winter 2012 You might also want to discuss the social and historical construction of the phenomenon (or some aspect of it) in terms of culture and social structure. c)Use your findings to illustrate any relevant sociological concepts (e.g., labeling, anomie, neutralization techniques, etc.). Or are any concepts useful to interpret and understand your findings sociologically. Be sure to always define sociological concepts first, before interpreting them. Your discussion should explore the findings using sociological concepts and theories. From whose, or what, standpoint is the deviance/deviant group or social control being depicted? Media portrayals often link incidents/events to public issues/social problems and imply or explicitly present an explanation (which is often causal in appearance, but non social scientific). Are there any explanations being generally implied or presented in the portrayal? How do they compare with established social scientific research and theory? From the standpoint of consensus theories, notably structural functionalism, what is the social function of a particular portrayal? From the standpoint of conflict theories, which groups stand to gain and lose from the portrayal? Are any particular sociological theorists (e.g., Durkheim, Goffman, Foucault, etc.) or concepts (like labeling, social role, social class, anomie, subculture, social institution, neutralization techniques, socialization, etc.) relevant to understanding your observations? When you use sociological concepts or theories always briefly define or outline them. d) Does a particular sociological theory such as a consensus or conflict theory help us understand the portrayal? For example, structural- functionalism proposes social phenomena often have both more obvious and intended consequences as well as less obvious and often unintended consequences for a group. They often perform both more obvious, practical functions as well as often hidden social functions. (e.g. What's the practical and social function of typically portraying the authorities solving crimes in TV crime dramas when, in fact, many crimes actually remain unsolved?) Do the ideas of a particular theorist (Durkheim, Foucault, Goffman, etc.) help us to understand the portrayal or to critique the portrayal? (If you do draw on a particular theory or theorist's work always provide a brief overview of it first.) Finally, a word about discussing the effects on the audience? It is tempting to make claims about the effects a media portrayal will have on an audience, but a content analysis is not designed to study effects on the audience. Moreover,  Deviance & Society Winter 2012 research has found the audience's interpretation can vary significantly from what one might expect. At best, you can only speculate on the effects (unless you cite other research that has carefully and systematically studied the effects, and it isn't just speculative). Always be cautious about media determinism in your analysis. Your analysis should focus more on the socio-cultural significance, various layers of meaning, cultural and social structural basis, or sociological function of a portrayal. EXAMPLE OF A WORKING FORM FOR A MEDIA CONTENT ANALYSIS: TV CRIME DRAMAS WHAT KIND OF CRIMES ARE COMMITTED ON TV CRIME DRAMAS? Type of Criminal Offence: a) Violent crime Homicide Attempted murder Assault (levels 1, 2, 3 and other) Sexual assault Other sexual offences Abduction Robbery b) Property crime Breaking and entering Motor vehicle theft Theft (under and over $5000) Possession of stolen goods Fraud c) Other Criminal Code offences Mischief Counterfeiting currency Bail violations Disturbing the peace Offensive weapons Prostitution Arson Kidnapping/forcible confinement Other d) Narcotic/Drug crime Cannabis (possession and other) Cocaine Other drugs e) Motor Vehicle offenses Impaired driving Other Deviance & Society Winter 2012 Totals Note: These categories were adapted from Statistics Canada, “Crime Statistics”, The Daily, Wednesday, July 18, 2007. See “Crime rates for selected offences”. Also note that when recording crimes you will need to decide to record only those crimes people are actually charged with, or those that you believe occurred whether they were charged with them or not. And you need to explain your rationale for your choice(s). EXAMPLE OF FINAL TABLES: TV CRIME DRAMAS TABLE 1: TYPES OF CRIMES COMMITTED ON TV CRIME DRAMAS Total Number of Shows Watched:10 Total Number of Crimes Committed (N): 107 a) Violent crime 56% Homicide* 17% Attempted murder 8% Assault (levels 1, 2, 3, and other) 20% Sexual assault 2% Other sexual offences 0% Abduction 6% Robbery 4% b) Property crime 21% Breaking and entering 10% Motor vehicle theft 2% Theft (under and over $5,000) 2% Possession of stolen goods 4% Fraud 4% c) Other Criminal Code offences 11% Mischief 0% Counterfeiting currency 0% Bail violations 0% Disturbing the peace 0% Offensive weapons 3% Prostitution 0% Deviance & Society Winter 2012 Arson 1% Kidnapping/forcible confinement 0% Other 7% d) Narcotic/Drug crime 8% Cannabis (possession and other) 1% Cocaine 4% Other drugs 3% e) Motor Vehicle offences 4% Impaired driving 0% Other 4% Total : N= 107 100% [* example of a calculation: # of homicides (18) divided by total # of crimes (107) times 100 equals 17%] Note: percentages have been rounded TABLE TWO: CHARACTERISTICS OF OFFENDERS IN TV CRIME DRAMAS Total Number of Shows Watched: 10 Total Number of Offenders (N): 25 Characteristic Number Percentage Notes Sex: -Male -Female -Mixed sex -Unknown 4 20 0 1 _ N=25 16% 80% 0% 4% _ 100% ***These are for illustrative purposes only. The categories & subcategories should be tailored for each particular project / study.  Deviance & Society Winter 2012 Characteristic Number Percentage Notes Race: -Aboriginal / Native -African / Black -Asian -Caucasian -Hispanic -Middle Eastern -Unknown / Uncertain 0 6 1 13 2 1 2 _ N=25 0% 24% 4% 52% 8% 4% 8% _ 100% ***For instance racial categories might be relevant in some studies but ethic groupings might be more pertinent in others. The race categories in this example are based on those frequently used in the USA. Occupation: -Managerial / Administrative -Natural Science professions -Social Science professions -Health Science -Professions -Arts, Recreation or Sports -Sales & Service -Transportation -Manufacturing -Unemployed -Deviant careers -Unknown / Uncertain 4 0 2 3 2 6 0 0 2 4 2 _ N=25 16% 0% 8% 12% 8% 24% 0% 0% 8% 16% 8% _ 100% ***Alternatives to occupational categories may include social class (e.g. upper, middle, lower, working classes, student, uncertain. Be sure to qualify what you mean by upper, middle and lower class!). Occupation categories in this example are based on Statistics Canada, excluding the deviant & unknown categories.  Deviance & Society Winter 2012 Characteristic Number Percentage Notes General Age Category: -Juvenile (12-17) -Young Adult (18-29) -Middle-Aged (30-49) -Older Adult / Elderly -Unknown / Uncertain 3 10 9 1 2 _ N=25 12% 40% 36% 4% 8% _ 100% ***Be sure to qualify your age categories. For example the term juvenile may mean pre-teen to you but to Statistics Canada it means 12 -17. Number involved in the offence: -Individual -Duo or Trio -Multiple -Gang or Organized Crime 16 2 3 4 _ N=25 64% 8% 12% 16% _ 100%  Deviance & Society Winter 2012 Characteristic Number Percentage Notes Main Reason Indicated for the Offence: -Psychological ( greed, passion, mental disorder, emotion, character/ personality) -Sociological (socio/ economic conditions, status issue, group way of life or expectation) -Political (pursuing political power or ideas) -Moral (pursuing justice, enforcing a way of life) -Other (interpersonal conflict, business) 16 4 2 1 2 _ N=25 64% 16% 8% 4% 8% _ 100% GENERAL FORMAT FOR THE CONTENT ANALYSIS STUDY 1. INTRODUCTION State the purpose of your paper clearly and precisely in terms of the content analysis assignment (e.g., "The purpose of this paper is to do a content analysis of how ... are portrayed in ... and then sociologically analyze the results".) 2. METHODOLOGY Describe what you did; that is, how did you go about gathering your data? (e.g., "To accomplish this I ... ") Deviance & Society Winter 2012 Describe the working form you created and discuss any categories which might be open to variable interpretations or ambiguity with regard to how you applied them to your topic (e.g., "I also created a working form to record my observations. The categories included.... Some of these categories may need explanation regarding their meaning or how they were applied....") 3. RESULTS Provide a table or chart of your findings that reflects your working form and illustrates what you found in both numbers and basic percentages. (Make sure your calculations are correct!) Provide a written description of what you found which includes a statement of your statistical results as well as a discussion of any significant or unanticipated details of your findings not reflected in your table or chart. 4. SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS Apply sociological research, concepts or theories, especially those taken up in the course to interpret what you found; sometimes you may have to go beyond the sociological material presented in the course and investigate new and different resources to do a good analysis (e.g., other resources in sociology, politics, psychology, history, economics, culture studies, media studies, etc.) 5. CONCLUSION What did you learn from doing this study? NOTE: ensure you do your calculations correctly and that you present your written work using proper English grammar and spelling. I highly recommend asking a friend or family member to read your work to see if they understand your premise. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. I am happy to read your drafts and offer feedback if I receive them 7-10 days before the due date. Good Luck! source..
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Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc316332906 \h 3CHARACTERISTICS OF ILLEGAL DRUG ABUSE PAGEREF _Toc316332907 \h 4RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: PAGEREF _Toc316332908 \h 4RESULTS PAGEREF _Toc316332909 \h 5Final table-narcotics PAGEREF _Toc316332910 \h 5Final table-prescription drugs PAGEREF _Toc316332911 \h 5Written profile PAGEREF _Toc316332912 \h 6Narcotic drugs PAGEREF _Toc316332913 \h 6Prescription Drugs PAGEREF _Toc316332914 \h 6Additional information PAGEREF _Toc316332915 \h 6SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF THE FINDINGS PAGEREF _Toc316332916 \h 7FUNCTIONALISM PAGEREF _Toc316332917 \h 7INTERACTIONISM THEORY PAGEREF _Toc316332918 \h 8POST MODERNISM PAGEREF _Toc316332919 \h 8APPLICATION OF SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES RELATED TO MASS MEDIA PAGEREF _Toc316332920 \h 9LIMITED EFFECT THEORY PAGEREF _Toc316332921 \h 9CLASS DOMINANT THEORY PAGEREF _Toc316332922 \h 10CULTURIST THEORY PAGEREF _Toc316332923 \h 10CONCLUSION PAGEREF _Toc316332924 \h 11
Canada`s drug abuse as reported in web-based news
The purpose of this paper is to perform a content analysis of drug abuse in Canada as it is portrayed in online news reports. The finding shall then be subjected to a sociological analysis.
In Canada, the social problem of drug abuse is quickly gaining more attention from the media. This is because it is becoming apparent that Canada`s drug problem is getting out of hand. The average age of abusers of narcotics is becoming lower and lower. The medicinal drugs too are part and parcel of this charade. Highly controlled medications are making their way to the hands of drug peddlers too. The fact that transactions involving illegal drugs are conducted below the radar of law enforcement means that no one knows exactly how many millions or billions of dollars Canadians lose to this indulgence (Narconon n.d.).
Being an issue that touches on the economic, social and political landscape of the country, the online media stations will constantly highlight stories concerning illegal drugs. The benefit of web-based reporting of drug-related items is the opportunity and ability of the listened to respond in real-time. Another reason why it is beneficial when combatting drug abuse is the fact that such material is relatively easier to archive and access.
Characteristics of illegal drug abuse
We get to understand the dynamics of the drug trade by analyzing the way it is presented online in the websites of major news agencies. The subject of illegal drug abuse is seldom ever raised independently. Some common characteristics of illegal drugs are that they are usually trafficked in a concealed fashion. It is also known that illegal drugs whether being trafficked or consumed usually go hand in hand with violent crime. Traffickers of hard drugs are presuma...
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