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The Karla Homolka case : framing female criminality

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The Karla Homolka case : framing female criminality

Labelle, Joseé (2003) The Karla Homolka case : framing female criminality. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis is a qualitative textual analysis of the mass media and popular culture sources emphasizing an in-depth reading of stories about the Karla Leanne Homolka case. Unveiling patterns of coverage proved useful in establishing which ideas about women and crime the mass media and popular culture promote in an attempt at producing a particular understanding of female criminality. This study has shown that the mass media and popular culture produce a dichotomous understanding of female criminality. On the one hand, the media encourages us to recognize that women who find themselves in extraordinarily violent circumstances feel generally helpless and compelled to adopt violent behaviors and engage in criminal activities. But at the same time, the media encourages us to understand that women who commit crimes are inherently evil, callous and remorseless. In the end, this study has successfully shown that the understanding of female criminality produced by the media can result in having us perceive women in trouble with the law as either innocent victims or as contemptuous outlaws.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Labelle, Joseé
Pagination:vii, 96 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gerlach, Neil
ID Code:1950
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:23
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:23
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