Critically analyse the way in which the media represents individuals with mental disorders as dangerous

Thompson, Gemma (2013) Critically analyse the way in which the media represents individuals with mental disorders as dangerous. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation aims to identify whether the media portrayal of individuals with a mental disorder as dangerous is supported by research in the subject area. This will be achieved by reviewing evidence from previous literature into this research area and also looking at the actual statistics of it. It will then go on to carry out a thematic analysis into three cases; Michael Stone, Robert Napper and Peter Bryan, all who committed a violent offence and were all found guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Recent developments in reducing stigma will also be reviewed.
    By looking at the literature, there is a vast amount of evidence showing that the print media do portray individuals with mental disorders as dangerous. This is contrasted with the actual statistics which show that only a small minority of individuals with mental disorders are dangerous and violent. However, the newspapers portray a dangerous label, showing the stigma that individuals with mental disorders face.
    A thematic analysis was carried out on the three cases and it showed that in general, there was negative reporting with the articles being sensationalised with the use of emotive words. There was a big difference in reporting in The Sun and The Guardian, as The Guardian talked more about the mental disorders and had some more positive reporting, whereas The Sun used short headlines and used lots of emotive words to grab the reader’s attention. This highlights the stigma that individuals with mental disorders face. However, there has shown to be some improvements and recent literature and developments have found that the stigma is slowly being lifted.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2013 15:30
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:26
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/12670

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