Complex, emotional and difficult : deconstructing the experiences of professionals in violent crime cases

Newham, KJ 2006, Complex, emotional and difficult : deconstructing the experiences of professionals in violent crime cases , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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"Complex, emotional and difficult" encapsulates both the experiences of the professionals involved in the three research cases as well as the experience as a research student while conducting this small-scale qualitative study. The research focuses upon three British violent crime cases in the late 1980s and early 1990s, case one being that of the murder of a student, case two being the torture and murder of a woman by multiple perpetrators and case three being the case of a multiple rapist. Using in depth interviews and documentary analysis of newspaper and court transcripts, the thesis deconstructs the partially closed world of the criminal case through the eyes of the professionals involved. It focuses on the role of the researcher and the impact of their relationship with their subjects in the interview situation. The difficulty and unpredictable nature of access negotiations is also explored as well as other methodological processes. The thesis examines the interplay of notions of masculinity, truth and evil as they figure in the personal, cultural and situational properties of the police, legal professionals and media. It examines the gendering of the criminal justice system and the media. It is argued that masculinity is very important in understanding the construction of the cases. The thesis explores the constructions of criminal masculinity produced by the different professionals. The police and other professional give ample demonstration in their interviews that they operate with logics of binary opposites, contrasting their own masculinity with the deviant masculinity of the offender. Truth is seen as an essentially contested concept to be approached through the lens of particular value systems and power structures. Dominant perspectives emerge on the development of procedural truth in the construction of the cases. The research also examines the use of the idea of evil to explain violent criminality, finding it being used as a catch-all term questioning the validity of criminological explanations by those who deal with violent crime professionally. Overall the thesis seeks to help the reader understand the complex process involved in constructing criminal cases from the police investigation through to the legal trial.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Walklate, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:25

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