Framing The Victim / Edition 1

Framing The Victim / Edition 1

by Nancy Berns
     
 

“Whether you are drawn to this book because of in interest in media, social problems, or domestic violence, reading it will help you better understand the impact media stories have on our perceptions of social problems." That is how Nancy Berns introduces her book. It is a work that unabashedly examines not only domestic violence, but also the larger

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Overview

“Whether you are drawn to this book because of in interest in media, social problems, or domestic violence, reading it will help you better understand the impact media stories have on our perceptions of social problems." That is how Nancy Berns introduces her book. It is a work that unabashedly examines not only domestic violence, but also the larger picture of how politics and processes shape our responses to social problems. Framing the Victim also dis­tinguishes serious research from media, which promote en­tertainment, empowerment, and drama.

This book is a must read for anyone concerned about our understanding and response to social problems. Berns shows how victims of domestic violence are molded to accord with the perspectives of the dominant media and how, as a result, they are falsely blamed for a crime committed by another. She critiques with insight the stories that emerge when so­cial problems are formed by guidelines that promote enter­tainment, victim empowerment, drama, inspiration, and a political agenda. Berns also provides suggestions for con­structing a social problem that focuses less on the victim, and more on the abuser as well as the cultural and social context within which violence is learned and tolerated.

This unique effort in communications studies indicates both the gains and the losses in understanding reality from the prism of television talk shows, women's magazines, and political magazines with a wide variety of agendas—other than scientific— and how this large panoply of media blitzes serve to frame the victim, in the sense of locating them and, more dangerously, typecasting them. Berns fully appreci­ates how this emphasis on victims may have contributed to useful outcomes for intervention and providing resources for victims; but there remain serious barriers to achieving a public awareness of the larger context of violence.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780202307411
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
08/15/2008
Series:
Social Problems and Social Issues Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Table of Contents

1Zooming in (and out) on social problems1
2The landscape of domestic violence and the public's narrow picture17
3"I get my experience from the media" : using media to understand social problems35
4Women's magazines : the victim empowerment frame55
5Social problems as inspiration, entertainment, and emotion : women's magazines and other entertainment media82
6Men's and conservative political magazines : the antifeminist frame103
7Liberal political magazines : the social justice frame129
8Framing the victim145
9In search of a new social problem about violence162

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