O. J. Simpson Facts and Fictions: News Rituals in the Construction of Reality

Overview

Abundant popular discourses surround the O. J. Simpson double murder case. By contrast, Darnell Hunt scrutinizes these very discourses in order to further our understanding of the interests underlying them. Exploring the relationships between O. J.'s trial, the social location of television viewers (their race, gender and class) and everyday consciousness of social issues, his textual and audience analyses consider the incredible allure of the trial as "media event." Looking beyond the obvious explanations of ...
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Overview

Abundant popular discourses surround the O. J. Simpson double murder case. By contrast, Darnell Hunt scrutinizes these very discourses in order to further our understanding of the interests underlying them. Exploring the relationships between O. J.'s trial, the social location of television viewers (their race, gender and class) and everyday consciousness of social issues, his textual and audience analyses consider the incredible allure of the trial as "media event." Looking beyond the obvious explanations of celebrity, scandal and voyeurism, Dr. Hunt asks: Why was America so obsessed by this case? Why did so many people invest in particular outcomes? And what are we to make of the apparent racial divide in attitudes about the case, as shown in the opinion polls?
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...illuminates the cultural media event with clarity, freshness, rigorous scholarship, and with insights that inform both black and white readers." Choice

"A superb book, Hunt writes with a passionate clarity about one of the most significant cultural events of our time. His multi-dimensional analysis, his persuasive arguments and his insightful conclusions show us not only the importance of the O.J. affair itself, but also how an avowedly non-racist society keeps its racism alive and kicking. Anyone who wants to understand how race is made to operate in America, and anyone who wishes to intervene in its operations, will need to read this book and to refer to it frequently." John Fiske, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"...an important scholarly examination of the various discourses related to this case." CSMC Bookends

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521624565
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Knowing O. J. 1
Pt. I Theory 15
1 O. J. and ritual 17
2 O. J. and politics 49
Pt. II News construction 85
3 Press rites and O. J. wrongs: behind the scenes at "Camp O. J." 87
4 Celebrating the process: O. J. and KTLA-TV 107
5 (Re)affirming official sources: O. J. and the Los Angeles Times 133
6 (Il)legitimate transgressions: O. J. and the Los Angeles Sentinel 156
Pt. III Audience reception 179
7 Raced ways of seeing O. J. 181
8 Raced ways of seeing O. J. - revisited 216
Pt. IV Conclusions 247
9 O. J. and reality 249
App. 1 Page-one O. J. narratives, Los Angeles Times, January 25-October 4, 1995 275
App. 2 Page-one O. J. narratives, Los Angeles Sentinel, January 25-October 5, 1995 279
App. 3 Emerging discussion themes, by group, March 30, 1995 282
App. 4 Emerging discussion themes, by group, August 1, 1995 289
App. 5 Transcript of Primetime text 294
App. 6 Transcript of KTLA text 301
App. 7 Logistic regression of perceptions about Simpson's innocence or guilt on race, gender, education, family income, interviewer race, and perceptions of criminal justice system bias 308
Notes 309
References 334
Index 344
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