CRIME, LOCALITY AND MORALITY: MEMBERSHIP CATEGORISATION AND "NEWSWORTHINESS" IN LOCAL NEWSPAPERS

Fensom, Kay. 2003. CRIME, LOCALITY AND MORALITY: MEMBERSHIP CATEGORISATION AND "NEWSWORTHINESS" IN LOCAL NEWSPAPERS. Post-Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines how the social interaction of reading local newspapers is
accomplished in terms of "newsworthiness". This ethnomethodological study
draws upon Harvey Sacks' work of membership categorisation analysis in order to
demonstrate the work that members of society undertake whilst interpreting
newspaper headlines. The analysis identifies members' use of devices and rules
to understand that a crime has taken place, and that the crime has relevance to the
local area, and could therefore be understood to be locally newsworthy.
The study analyses newspaper headlines from two geographical locations; the
South-East of London and the North of Ireland. A comparative analysis of the
headlines shows that the reader is able to interpret categories in terms of breaches
of morality through the selection of juxtaposition categories, and to differentiate
between location and locality through the utilisation of local common-sense
knowledge. Co-presence operates specifically, invoking the utilisation of
common-sense geographies, local and regional common-sense knowledge(s), and
contextual resources associated with reading a newspaper.
The study focuses particularly upon the various detailed ways that locality and
morality construct and configure the representation of crime. Furthermore, the
analysis puts forward an empirically based methodology for analysing the
utilisation of local common-sense within text, and therefore contributes to our
understanding of how inference-rich locational categories (can) invoke
interpretations which represent segregation or specificity within a locality.

Item Type:

Thesis (Post-Doctoral)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Date:

2003

Item ID:

11336

Date Deposited:

23 Feb 2015 15:58

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:07

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/11336

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