Criminal Behaviorology

The Exploitation of Crime: Crimesploitation and the Media Misuse of Reality Crime Stories

Paul Kaplan, PhD and Daniel La Chance, PhD, two experts on cultural criminology, have written on Crimesploitation, where reality programs create a kind of folk wisdom about crime, addictions and correctional work. The dangers of this kind of portrayal, the popularity of these shows and the possible hidden agenda in the development of such entertainment form the basis of this episode. I interview Paul Kaplan to discuss his work on crimesploitation, and cover the different forms of this intriguing phenomenon being broadcast on television programs and internet podcasts.

Show Highlights:

- What is crimesploitation and how can we distinguish it from other kinds of educational programs on crime, corrections and addiction? Is the nightly news an example? What about this podcast!?

- The two likely target audiences of crimesploitation.

- The irony of Neoliberalism and Law and Order Punitivism.

- The “Addiction Industrial Complex.”

- Does crimesploitation subtly justify police misconduct, aggressive law enforcement tactics and even vigilante justice?

- How the program To Catch a Predator, a popular show nationwide, came to its own abrupt end in a case of “punitive burnout.”

- How such voyeuristic broadcasts may promote an escape from social responsibilities in our modern world.

- When discussing cases of the wrongly convicted, how the emphasis should be on more than just finding out who is innocent, but instead on the preservation of the rights of criminal defendants.

- Death as a taboo topic and why it is a factor in our interest in the macabre.

Crimesploitation article by Kaplan and La Chance (2017)

Dr. Kaplan’s page – San Diego University:

The Prison in Twelve Landscapes:

Op Ed on the Addiction Industrial Complex:

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Criminal Behaviorology on Blogger.

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