The Murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier and Its Implications for the Study of Media and Crime: A Case Study in West Cork

Shane O'Mahony (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 93
EISBN13: 9781668484661|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9668-5.ch005
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Criminologists have often highlighted how the news media tends to disseminate simplified and stigmatised narratives to represent violence against women. Furthermore, these narratives often interweave with class-based fears, sensationalism, and mythology. However, recently, several authors have begun to examine the potential of new media sources (podcasts, documentary series, social media) to subvert these narratives. Drawing on a case study examining the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork, Ireland (December 1996), the current chapter examines the ways in which three recent new media examinations of the case subvert and reinforce these narratives. The chapter demonstrates that while the new media sources foreground the victim's biography and background, give voice to her family, and situate the case within broader social and political contexts, they also reinforce class-based stereotypes relating to deserving and undeserving victims and problematically focus on the mythical elements of the case for entertainment purposes.
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