Author(s): Slobodanka Konstantinović Vilić, Natalija Žunić
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Victimology
Published by: Правни факултет Универзитета у Нишу
Keywords: media; victimization; gender stereotypes; domestic violence against women; women trafficking

Summary/Abstract: Mass media seem to be playing the central role in our everyday life and the media impact is so overpowering nowadays that we live in a media saturated culture. Not only are mass media an inseparable part of our contemporary life but they also significantly define and shape our daily existence. In order to explain the cultural impact that the media coverage of crime and victimization has in our society, it is necessary to understand the relationship between crime, victimization and mass media. A number of researches dealing with the media impact on the commission of violent crime show a causal link between the way of presenting violence in the media and the individual criminal conduct based on the media-generated model; thus, over 70% of these studies allege that the violence presented in the media actually generates real violence. In the media coverage, the predominant forms of criminal victimization are the visible forms of victimization which take place in public places whereas the problems pertaining to family/domestic violence largely remain invisible and concealed under the veil of being part of personal and private life. Observed from the perspective of the feminist theory, the researches on crime and victimization have revealed some serious forms of women victimization “behind closed doors”, in the privacy of the family home where women spend most of their lives. Yet, there is a great deal of reluctance in media reports to designate the family home as “a life-threatening environment” which may generate real gender risk. The primary objective of this article is to provide an insight into the media coverage and attitude towards the victimization of women by focusing the analysis on two most extreme forms of women victimization: the domestic violence against women and women trafficking. Starting from the postulation that mass media communicate by using images as well as symbols, they are both the promoters and the creators of social values. On the basis of the presented images and contents, the media shape the public opinion and enable the general public to create a model of social and individual behaviour. P. Bourdieu contended that “Media exert influence on the social reality which they should only record”. This statement is clearly substantiated by the media coverage of violence against women.

  • Issue Year: LXI/2012
  • Issue No: 61
  • Page Range: 224-246
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Serbian