Was she bad, mad or just sad?: media perceptions of maternal filicide

Dorn, Rebekka Emily (2016) Was she bad, mad or just sad?: media perceptions of maternal filicide. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This research aims to identify the way in which the media portray women who commit maternal filicide. It reviews what exactly is meant by the term maternal filicide and provides the definitions and distinctions between neonaticide, infanticide and filicide. The literature on the subject is revised which includes Resnicks ( 1970) suggested motives of maternal filicide, altruistic filicide, acute psychotic, unwanted child filicide, accidental filicide and spousal revenge filicide. Particular attention was given to the portrayal of females in the media. The research contains six case studies of prominent examples of maternal filicide in the British press from 2009 - 2015 and identified the key themes in how the media portrays the cases within their articles. These case studies represent three different circumstances under which filicide was committed accidental filicide, partner related filicide and filicide-suicide. The women reviewed were Amanda Hutton, Rebecca Shuttleworth, Tracey Connelly Polly Chowdhury, Fiona Anderson and Fiona Pilkington. This study found that the majority of perpetrators of filicide were portrayed negatively in the media as having failed in their basic responsibilities, the only exception was the circumstance of filicide-suicide where the failures of agencies, were prominent in repo1ting. Due to the construction of the 'mad bad dynamic it is clear that the representations can be corroborated.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2016 14:52
    Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 14:52
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22409

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