INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE PORTRAYAL IN POPULAR CULTURE: CONTENT ANALYSIS OF BATMAN AND SUICIDE SQUAD

Date

2021-08-01T05:00:00.000Z

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Abstract

Criminological study of comics has received increased interest in recent years, as recognition for both their social and monetary importance has become more recognized. Despite the increasing attention, limited focus has been applied to how comics portray intimate partner violence (IPV). The present thesis seeks to address this gap in media studies, by exploring one of the most extreme and popular examples of IPV in comics, the relationship between Harley Quinn and The Joker. Additionally, the exclusion of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s romantic relationship in mainstream media will be discussed. The present study seeks to explore if entertainment media presents emotional or physical IPV more frequently, and if media treatment of IPV changes across subcultural media groups. A total of 249 individual pieces of media, including 185 comics, and over 51 hours of episodic and movie content were analyzed in this study. Emotional IPV was found to be more frequently presented in all media forms. Physical IPV was relatively less common, and was heavily concentrated into comic based media formats. The implication of the results will be discussed.

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Sociology, Criminology and Penology, Cinema, Anthropology, Cultural

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