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7 Crime Media Culture 3 (2011)

handle is hein.journals/cmctre7 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                                                                            Crime Media Culture
                                                                                     7(1) 3-4
Into the Future, Darkly                                                    © The Author(s) 2011
                                                                          Reprints and permission
                                                                sagepub.co, uk/journalsPermissions. nav
                                                                  DOI 10.1177/1741659011407053
Mark Hamm and Chris Greer                                                         OSAGE

As Volume 7 Issue 1 of Crime, Media, Culture leaves for our presses from New Delhi, winds carry-
ing radioactive iodine from Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are headed for Tokyo.
With hundreds already dead and tens of thousands homeless in Japan's greatest environmental
catastrophe, government officials stand accused of massive incompetence and systemic institu-
tional failure in dealing with the crisis. While experiments in indigenous populism have recently
cracked opened new democratic vistas in Egypt and Tunisia, in Libya government snipers are
shooting protesters from artillery helicopter gunships as thugs armed with hammers and swords
attack families in their homes - all of this in an attempt to weaken opposition from students, intel-
lectuals and the middle class through the wholesale destruction of urban culture. Confronted with
challenges never before encountered, and social institutions no longer a viable frame of reference
for human action, people the world over are seeking alternative ways to organize their lives. Faced
with ecological disaster, government corruption, police repression, torture and economic dead
ends, millions leave their homes each year for promised lands abroad. Others remain and organize
themselves into resistance movements. Today, these activists are turning more and more to social
media to bring attention to their growing discontent. Facebook is used to schedule protests,
Twitter to coordinate events, and the world is simultaneously informed, enthralled and scandal-
ized through YouTube and Wikileaks.
   It comes as no surprise, then, that scholars of crime and justice are also being pulled by the
dark prospects of liquid modernity. CMC Volume 7 Issue 1 is a testament to those risks. We begin
with a topic familiar to readers of this journal. In 'Images of Torture', Eamonn Carrabine moves
beyond traditional explanations of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal -typically lodged in American
visions of popular culture - by arguing that the visual power of the Abu Ghraib photographs is
consistent with a European classical art tradition. Through this unique framing, Carrabine irradi-
ates the complex ways that moral relations between strangers are mediated in the modern world.
The relationship between media consumption and punitive criminal justice policies has long inter-
ested criminologists. Yet this work has been limited primarily to media consumers in the United
States and Britain. Ray Surette and colleagues provide a corrective to this shortcoming in 'Preventive
and Punitive Criminal Justice Policy Support in Trinidad'. Through a national telephone survey of
residents in Trinidad and Tobago, the researchers find that crime dramas are perceived as reality
while crime news is typically perceived as accurate - yet neither finding is an especially strong
predictor of support for the punishment of criminal transgressors.
   An estimated 200 million people are migrants around the world today. About 9 million of them
are Mexican citizens who have entered the United States as undocumented workers. This highly
contentious policy issue is addressed by Hille Koskela in 'Don't Mess with Texas!' Koskela exam-
ines the government-funded Texas Virtual Watch Program through the lens of contemporary

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