Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society / Edition 2

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Overview


Movies play a central role in shaping our understanding of crime and the world generally, helping us define what is good and bad, desirable and unworthy, lawful and illicit, strong and weak. Crime films raise controversial issues about the distribution of social power and the meanings of deviance, and they provide a safe space for fantasies of rebellion, punishment, and the restoration of order.

In this first comprehensive study of its kind, well-known criminologist Nicole Rafter examines the relationship between society and crime films from the perspectives of criminal justice, film history and technique, and sociology. Dealing with over 300 films ranging from gangster and cop to trial and prison movies, Shots in the Mirror concentrates on works in the Hollywood tradition but also identifies a darker strain of critical films that portray crime and punishment more bleakly.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[Rafter's] strategy works well to fill a gap in the literature of 'criminological issues raised by movies'"--Choice

"This book can help sociologists who want to know more about crime stories... A terrific resource book for crime movies as documents... The brief comparative accounts of scenarios and character portrayals provide a kind of cultural map about the language of justice, discourses of fear, and the significance of the criminal-as-other. Let us find ways to use such a fine resource to enliven our courses and research, to find ways to tell the right stories."--Contemporary Sociology

"One of my favorite chapters (chapter 2) is the examination of the way in which criminologists drop discredited theories over time, but movies "recycle them" because they resonate with audience expectations that are measured by box office receipts."--Contemporary Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195175066
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/31/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 651,230
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicole Hahn Rafter is Professor in the Law, Policy, and Society Program at Northeastern University.

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Table of Contents

1. The History of Crime Films, J. Andrew Todd, Jr.

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