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Extremes of Otherness: Media Images of Social Exclusion

Greer, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-8623-702X & Jewkes, Y. (2005). Extremes of Otherness: Media Images of Social Exclusion. Social Justice, 32(1), pp. 20-31.


This article explores mediated extremes of otherness, and the fluid relationships between different categories of deviant. It considers the role of popular media discourses as sites of ‘inclusion and exclusion’, and conceptualises the demonisation of ‘others’ as existing along a spectrum of deviance. At one end of the spectrum are ‘stigmatised others’; those less serious offenders who are portrayed as being of society but not in it. At the other end of the spectrum are ‘absolute others’; the most serious offenders portrayed as being in society but not of it. While our analysis is informed by a range of classic theories and concepts, it seeks to refract existing research approaches through a lens which focuses on alternative aspects of the crime-media nexus. In particular, we aim to develop a more reflexive level of explanation by using psychoanalytic theory to problematise public fear of loathing, and propose that large sections of society may share more in common with certain categories of deviant than they care outwardly to acknowledge. We suggest that the repulsion expressed through the popular media to particular forms of offending facilitates the continued public denial of the fact that that those who commit crimes are not ‘others’. They are ‘us’, and are of our making.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: media, representation, otherness, inclusion and exclusion, stigmatization, psychosocial, vindictiveness, guilt
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
Text - Accepted Version
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