8 Page Academic Essay...
Due: Wednesday January 2nd, 2016
Length: 8 pages
Format: Standard essay format: double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins, no “gaps” between paragraphs, title page, works cited page (following an excepted format, ie APA, Chicago, or MLA Style).
You may use footnotes or endnotes for your citations. You may include images.
Popular trials by their nature attract the public’s attention. In the course we have noted that popular trials may be understood as events that mirror and contribute to socio-legal controversies of the day, thereby generating popular interest. They are a site and an occasion for the dramatization of social norms. Often there are “competing” or adversarial social norms in conflict. Insofar as the trial will have legal issues at stake, the popular trial has other social concerns that are in public contest. Another way of saying this is that the popular trial, in that it is a forum of social spectacle, is a site of ideological contestation. Media plays an important part in this contest as they disseminate or broadcast particular aspects of the trial or of the controversies surrounding the trial.
Below are three trials. You are to choose one (1) of them and write an analytical and engaged essay. The primary essay questions are: how is this case/trial a site of ideological contestation, & how has the media represented this? You may also want to reflect on the following questions: * What type of crime was committed? How is this significant to broader social issues? * What charges were laid? How is this significant? * How did the media portray the crime, the trial, the main people involved? When thinking of media, remember that we are now living in a “social media” age. * What was the public’s reaction? Was there more than one type of public reaction? * What are the social issues that are being raised by the case? How are they in conflict with one another?
• The 2008 trial of Casey Anthony who was charged with murdering her daughter, Caylee Anthony.
• The 1997 trial of Louise Woodward who was charged with involuntary manslaughter of eight-month old Matthew Eappen while he was in her care.
• The first trial of Kelly Ellard (starting on March 9 , 2000) who was charged with second degree murder in the 1997 death of Reena Virk.
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