Analysing the discursive psychology used within digital media to influence public opinions concerning female child-killers

Journal article


Harris, Kessia, Adhikari, Joanna and Wallace, Louise 2022. Analysing the discursive psychology used within digital media to influence public opinions concerning female child-killers. Journal of Concurrent Disorders.
AuthorsHarris, Kessia, Adhikari, Joanna and Wallace, Louise
Abstract

Discursive psychology is used to invoke emotion and social action within receivers, and widespread media is notorious for utilizing these linguistic features to negatively skew the public opinion of an individual or group. This study aims to investigate through discursive thematic analysis the ways in which digitised media articles utilise linguistic features and discursive devices to invoke emotion within readers, and in turn influence their opinions concerning female child-killers. The data gathered for this piece of research were 9 digital newspaper articles published between 2017 and 2021 by any of the top 10 most-read titles according to YouGov (2021) and were sourced using Google Chrome. The key terms used to locate these articles were the names “Rachel Henry”, “Tracey Connelly” and “Louise Porton” followed by the names of the top 10 most-read titles (e.g., “Rachel Henry Daily Mail”). The themes identified suggest a consistent aim within the media to negatively influence the public opinion of the offenders in question by using discursive devices and psychological categories to attack and invalidate these offenders and portray them as being evil, inhuman, delusional individuals who are inherently different from “normal” members of society. The findings produced within this research may have implications regarding the future of mainstream media reporting, as they suggest an excessive use of strategically influential linguistic features within digital newspapers to create extreme negative representations of women who offend, which may prove detrimental to their future access to, and experience of reformation and rehabilitation.

KeywordsDiscourse Analysis; Digital Media; Female Offenders; Child-killer; Media Representation
Year2022
JournalJournal of Concurrent Disorders
PublisherCDS Press
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/626350
http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
hdl:10545/626350
Publication dates05 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Mar 2022, 15:36
Accepted07 Dec 2021
Rights

CC0 1.0 Universal

ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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File Access Level
Open
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Open
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