How the Image of Criminal Justice Figure (Police Officer) Has Changed Over Time in Popular Culture
It sets up a preliminary scheme for classification of motifs, points to areas that are crucial for research, and makes some general observations about the significance of some of the trends observed for criminological researchers of differing viewpoints.
Eustress is a common type of stress that is normal and good, even considering the nature of the job of police officers. Distress is behavior outside of the normal range and is harmful to police over a long period of time. Within the department, internal stress factors include officers facing long hours, constant shift changes, issues of pay, lack of promotions, and excessive paperwork. Some external stressors include overly critical media coverage of police activities and investigations, lack of community support, overly lenient courts, and an ineffective criminal justice system. When it comes to race within law enforcement, male police officers still question whether women can handle the dangerous situations and physical confrontations that officers may be confronted with, while it is shown that most police women have easily met the expectations of their superiors. Indeed, studies have found that, in general, male and female officers perform in similar ways.
The British prison film tradition began in the 1940s and has developed over the decades with films such as Scum (Parsons, Boyd, Matheson & Clarke, 1979), McVicar (Daltrey & Clegg, 1980), and Greenfingers (Styler, Swords & Hershman, 2000). Yet, as noted by Wilson and O’Sullivan (2004), “the British prison film does not enjoy that high a profile” (p. 24). Other countries, including Brazil, Germany, and Spain, have also released movies about prison; however, none of these countries have established a large catalog of films in this genre. The literature on prison films is a reflection of these differences in production. Most of the research continues to focus on American and British movies.
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