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Competing constructions: a mixed methods investigation of the popular and media framing of the Antigua crime story

Matthews, Janeille (2014) Competing constructions: a mixed methods investigation of the popular and media framing of the Antigua crime story. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This study makes an argument for a constructionist understanding of crime in Antigua and Barbuda. Specifically, the study argues that the way in which members of the public and the news media talk about crime is important because understanding how crime is framed in terms of causes and remedies necessarily influences who we criminalise, what legislation we pass and how we allocate our tax dollars. As such, framing crime in ways that are tinged with hyperbole, or that run contrary to evidence is unlikely to result in effective policy responses. The way in which crime is currently framed in Antigua and Barbuda – as a relatively recent phenomenon that is spiralling out of control and is characterised by increasing violence, as a phenomenon that is perpetuated by predatory young people with individual pathologies, as a phenomenon that is increasing largely because police and politicians are corrupt and young people are being inculcated with foreign cultural values – has resulted in punitive policy and ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric that do not appear to have had a substantial effect on the country’s crime rate. However, this study finds that there might be room for more progressive crime policy – policy that is informed by an understanding of crime that does not have at its heart notions of law and order or getting ‘tough on crime’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Janeille Zorina Matthews
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Shiner, Michael and Phillips, Coretta
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3182

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