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DNA detectives : a look at DNA in four prime time television crime dramas

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DNA detectives : a look at DNA in four prime time television crime dramas

Mathieu, Sarah Jane (2006) DNA detectives : a look at DNA in four prime time television crime dramas. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the ways that DNA is represented within the content of fictional prime-time law enforcement dramas, relating to issues of surveillance, identity, technology, expertise and risk. By analysing and coding the dialogue of four fictional law enforcement dramas (CSI, CSI Miami, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU) this study was able to distinguish ten different categories of DNA representation. Further analysis reveals that out of the four series studied, both the CSI and CSI Miami series have higher episode proportions that refer to DNA; the more popular categories of DNA representation present DNA as the truth, as an indicator of guilt or innocence and the utilisation of genetics as a method of interrogation and identity. Across all four shows, DNA was most commonly represented as an identity and revealing one's guilt and innocence. The manner in which DNA is represented to a mass media viewing public in such a mainstream method of entertainment exposes society to such advances in technology and promotes a system of law enforcement that is based on methods of surveillance and risk theory. In a society that has become aware of a growing risk mentality surrounding surveillance and technological applications, a study such as this sheds light on the popular culture that assists in presenting these surveillant techniques to a population that may become increasingly comfortable with its invasiveness.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mathieu, Sarah Jane
Pagination:iv, 122 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Simon, Bart
ID Code:9229
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:47
Last Modified:30 Nov 2011 17:37
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