Media construction of Missing White Woman Syndrome: A cultural complex of innocence

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Saurabh Chattopadhyay
Sarah L. Stein
Philip E. Carlan
Lisa S. Nored

Abstract

This study assessed whether the media are influenced by the ‘cultural complex of innocence’ first proposed by psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung using content analysis. The cultural complex proposed is that Western society may be culturally conditioned to view blonde-haired (and possibly blue-eyed) Caucasian women as the archetypal image of innocence. In this study it was reviewed 53 missing persons’ cases of women across the United States between the years 2000 and 2009. The characteristics of the missing persons analyzed included age, race, hair color, eye color, socioeconomic status, prostitution history, drug history, history of mental illness, etc. Media related to each of the 533 cases was collected from Google News, CNN online, and MSNBC online. The articles were reviewed to determine frequency of keywords relating to the portrayal of the victim used by the three media outlets.

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How to Cite
Chattopadhyay, S., Stein, S., Carlan, P., & Nored, L. (2016). Media construction of Missing White Woman Syndrome: A cultural complex of innocence. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ETHICS, TRAUMA & VICTIMOLOGY, 2(01), 10-24. Retrieved from https://www.forensicwayout.org/journals/index.php/IJETV/article/view/984
Section
Research Article