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Cultural Voyeurism

  • By: Clay Calvert
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

New media technologies, ranging from hidden cameras and powerful telephoto lenses to the exponential growth of smartphones and the omnipresence of the Internet, pave the way today for an increasingly voyeuristic culture. It is a culture that thrives on watching revealing and authentic images of others’ supposedly real and unguarded lives, often at the expense of the subjects’ privacy. One form of voyeurism that challenges notions of individual and familial privacy, as well as social mores regarding the dead, involves the consumption of graphic, often sensational, images of real-life violence and death caught on camera. In some instances, more than just images are recorded, such as when the sounds of death (or possible death) are captured on 911 emergency calls and then released to the ...

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