Article

Constructing crime, framing disaster

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

This article argues that the media frames utilized in the first month after Hurricane Katrina legitimated punishment as disaster policy through lurid reports of individual crime. The application of prevailing state policies led to a quick embrace of punitive policing and incarceration, and journalistic routines ended up supporting this process. Although journalists openly expressed their disgust with state neglect, news con- ventions nonetheless criminalized much of the New Orleans population and suggested militarized policing and imprisonment as fundamental to restore order. Lacking credible sources, reporters relied on rumors and helped create a racialized 'looter class' that aided state efforts to regain control through existing policies of mass incarceration rather than mutual aid or state welfare. Even though various media outlets recanted the more extreme elements of this coverage, the tropes they employed created a lasting effect. Building off Stuart Hall et al.'s (1978) analysis of a moral panic over mugging in 1970s England, this article examines both the conventions and consequences of this crisis coverage. The result, I argue, bolstered the existing crisis of incarceration.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... In his examination of patterns of criminalization and disaster impact in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, Berger (2009) concluded that crime and public safety practices were "symbolic manifestations of power relations" within a society (pg. 491.). ...
... The poor and marginalized were subjected to higher levels of both property and 43 violent crime before and following Hurricane Katrina. The pre-disaster crime context influences the perception of post-disaster crime (Berger, 2009;Curtis & Mills, 2011.) Citizens who experienced high (or low) levels of victimization prior to an extreme event become acclimated to those conditions. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This project examines the potential for quantifying the degree of social disruption and varying paths toward system restabilization by using data routinely collected by municipalities. Social disruption was measured by studying monthly patterns of water consumption, sales tax revenue, and crime data following the 2013 EF-5 Moore, Oklahoma tornado and the July and August 2012 wildfires in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Using two similar cities experiencing different disaster agents provided an opportunity to establish important similarities and differences in the level of social disruption created and how this disruption is manifested in the different “rhythms of life” within a city. This research was grounded on previous work related to social time, social routine, and disaster (Neal, 2004, 2013). This study documents how different components of both cities re-established the rhythm of life resulting in a similar but new normal. Data collected on water consumption, sales tax revenue, and crime patterns for four fiscal years for Moore and Stillwater, Oklahoma illustrate pre-impact, impact, and initial restabilization period social patterns. Following time series analysis, preliminary findings indicate these variables are valid measures of municipal social time and demonstrate disaster-induced disruption. Comparison among different variable patterns indicates that magnitude of impact and speed of restabilization appear to follow different patterns. This project suggests that social routine may be used to establish a Degree of Disaster Index to allow direct comparisons across multiple events and the study of long-term system restabilization.
Preprint
Full-text available
El retroceso en las relaciones Cuba-Estados Unidos a partir del Memorando Presidencial sobre Seguridad Nacional (NSPM), anunciado por el Presidente Donald J. Trump en Miami el 16 de junio 2017 (Trump, 2017), y la entrada en vigor e implementación de mayores medidas punitivas económicas, comerciales y financieras en noviembre (Treasury, 2017) (Commerce Department, 2017), así como la decisión de reducir al personal diplomático de su embajada en la Habana el 28 de septiembre, bajo el pretexto de supuestos "incidentes sónicos" (Pardo, 2017), y la espiral de acontecimientos entre los cuales se encuentra la expulsión de 17 diplomáticos cubanos de la embajada cubana (Gardiner, Hirschfeld Davis and Londoño, 2017) definió un contexto, que devino no solo en un retroceso del proceso hacia la normalización de relaciones iniciado por la Administración de Barack Obama el 14 de diciembre 2014. Este fue el inicio de un enrarecimiento en las relaciones Cuba-Estados Unidos de América, en donde lo sucedido hasta el 2020, año electoral, podría definirse como un entorno muy pernicioso, caracterizado por más sanciones y presiones durante la pandemia mundial de COVID 19. En otras palabras, el escenario actual en un año electoral en Estados Unidos de América, una fuerte crisis socio-económica en la Isla y un entorno internacional marcado por una gran incertidumbre no solo es negativo, sino que probablemente se mueva hacia un nivel más nocivo, si Donald Trump resulta reelecto en noviembre 2020.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.