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Film at Eleven: Recent Developments in the Commodification of Crime
Sociological Spectrum (1992)
  • Kenneth D. Tunnell, Eastern Kentucky University

Recent increases in the number of crime-related commodities (e.g., burglar alarms, security systems, private security forces, and crime-related television news programs) are critically examined in relation to mildly fluctuating national crime rates. Increasing sales of crime-related and target-hardening products during the time when crime oscillated only slightly are explained as capitalism's ability to create commodities from both social problems and unfounded needs. Using secondary data, I describe these crime trends and the consumption of crime-prevention goods. Although the media apparently contributed to increasing concerns about victimization while crime was fairly stable, the process of commodity exchange for crime goods is far from simply a media-induced phenomenon. This article relies on a critical and dialectical approach as a way of analyzing these contradictory developments.

  • CRIME prevention,
  • SECURITY systems,
  • BURGLARY protection,
  • BURGLAR alarms,
  • PRIVATE security services
Publication Date
Citation Information
Kenneth D. Tunnell. "Film at Eleven: Recent Developments in the Commodification of Crime" Sociological Spectrum Vol. 12 Iss. 3 (1992)
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