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Six On Construction of High/Low Social Status in Crime Reports Renata JancarIkovA

Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic


Apart from providing the public with information, newspapers also have the power to set the social agenda and the norms of socially acceptable/ unacceptable behaviour. By choosing to report on events with high social potential and by reporting on them in a particular way they may help to shape and reinforce the values and attitudes of the target community on crucial social issues. Besides other types of news it is crime news that enables newspapers to communicate to the public what kind of behaviour violates the norms of the community/society and thus act as its moral guardians. The present study[1] tries to demonstrate how modern British newspapers, both serious and popular, construct and convey to their readers a high or low social status of victims and killers, who are contrasted and portrayed as “good” and “evil” in the society, and therefore personify particular social and cultural values.

  • [1] This article is part of the grant project 405/08/0866 Coherence and Cohesion inEnglish Discourse, which is supported by the Czech Science Foundation.
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