Deviance In Serial Killers

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Deviance Stephanie M. Hewitt University of Great Falls Abstract The media has a way of portraying serial killers in both the past and the present. Each media report shows a concept of deviance. Deviance is a violation of social norms however, deviance and social norms may vary from reporter to reporter, viewer to viewer or killer to killer. The portrayal of serial killers over time has changed in some ways, yet other areas of media representations of the killers have remained the same. The concept of deviance in media reports of both historical and contemporary serial killers will be explored and explained. Contrasts and comparisons will be made and discussed about the differences in the media reports. Keywords: deviance, social…show more content…
Norms, social or cultural, are beliefs, behavior or standards that are considered to be acceptable by a given group. Norms likely vary between society, groups or individuals, therefore deviance truly does lay in the eyes of the beholder. For example, eye contact among Americans is a norm that we follow yet some Asian cultures believe eye contact is a sign of disrespect. Self-mutilation is another norm in some cultures, yet an abnormality amongst other culture. These examples are proof that norms and deviance fluctuate throughout society. Is killing ever considered a norm? No, killing is never, nor will it ever be consider a norm at least that is my opinion. We can look at the controversial topic of abortion, which in my mind is murder but others believe it is ok thus making it a social norm for certain groups. Deviance, in the media’s depictions of killers, varies between historical and contemporary…show more content…
The information release by the media in more current serial killing cases seem to show bias, judgment and/or prejudice. Look at the all the recent cases of public shooting such as the school shootings and shooting at the theater in Aurora. The reporters most always report some sort of oddity such as the person who is bullied or a diagnosis of mental illness which apparently, make a person deviant. The killers are always labeled as some sort of outcast in society which would be included as deviant because he/she does not fit into the societal norms. The deviant characteristic of the shooter, more often than not, come across as an excuse for their behavior in the mass media coverage of crime. With media exposure of more recent serial killers, the writer's journey is not followed as closely as it could be. In my opinion, there is more speculation and bias surrounding the events which leads to reporting for only bits and pieces of a story as opposed to reporting the facts without personal opinion. This can also leads to the creation of a story that ends up causing more confusion around the

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