Portrayals of Crime, Race, and Aggression in “Reality-Based” Police Shows: A Content Analysis

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Abstract

A content analysis of “reality-based” police shows (e.g., Cops) was conducted to explore portrayals of crime, race, and aggression. Violent crime was overrepresented in the programs as was the percentage of crimes that were portrayed as solved. White characters were more likely to be portrayed as police officers than criminal suspects, whereas black and Hispanic characters were more likely to be portrayed as criminal suspects than police officers. Police officers were generally more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors than were criminal suspects, and black and Hispanic criminal suspects were more likely than white criminal suspects to be the recipient of unarmed physical aggression by police officers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

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Crime
Law enforcement
aggression
police officer
content analysis
police
offense
violent crime
aggressive behavior
recipient

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

Cite this

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