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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

For years, many criminologists have argued that the crime genre misrepresents crime and the criminal justice system, causing misperceptions among the public. However, other scholars have suggested that despite inaccuracies, the crime genre is actually far more reflective of the workings of the criminal justice system than previously thought. This essay traces the relationship of crime genre productions such as novels, film, and television to past and present criminal justice practices and trends. Focusing on three thematic linkage areas between the crime genre and criminal justice practice—science and technology, cultural diversity, and security/insecurity—it demonstrates both opposition and synchronicity in comparisons of the crime genre to real-world crime across time periods. The essay argues that the parallels as well as the divergences between fictional constructions and the “reality” found in criminological analyses can help scholars gain significant insight into the problems in each.

Keywords: crime genre, forensic realism, technology, criminal justice diversity, narrative

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